I enjoyed my years of involvement in softball in the 1960s-70s-80s and a little bit in the 90s. One question I have been asked many, many times is who do I believe was the best softball player(s) I ever saw who came from Clermont County or who played regularly in Clermont County.
I have given this question a lot of thought for a long time. I could not come up with just one, but I have a personal two-way tie for who stands out in my mind. They had long outstanding careers, but they were primarily in their prime in the 1970s and ’80s.
Mike Rich began his softball career as a 16-year old high school sophomore at Lebanon High School, in Warren County, from where he graduated in 1971. He was a three-sport letterman for the Warriors – football, baseball, and track and field.
Now a Loveland resident, he was the first Clermont countian to become a member of a team in the American Professional Slow Pitch League (APSPL) in 1977.
The APSPL hit its peak that summer of the professional baseball strike. Thousands of fans were craving some kind of diamond play. Goldie became a member of the Columbus All-Americans after the Cincinnati Suds lost its opportunity to have him as a member of the local professional team’s line-up.