2004 Hall of Fame Inductees FASTPITCH
Kermit Lynch

Prior to arriving for a short stint in the Puget Sound area with the Army Air Corps, Kermit Lynch had already built a reputation as an outstanding fastpitch softball hurler. Playing out of Hammer Field in Fresno, Calif., Lynch and catcher “Dutch” Chandler formed the nucleus of the Hammer Field Raiders team that won ASA world championships in both 1943 and 1944. Lynch was then transferred to Fort Lewis in April of 1945, and though here for less than a year he put his mark on the area softball scene. Coaching and pitching for the Stores-Machinists team, he lost only once in 10 games and struck out an average of 18 batters per game. Stores-Machinists, the state champion, would go on to finish third at the 1945 national tournament, the team’s performance hindered by a sore arm that Lynch developed pitching in Cleveland’s cold night air. Lynch combined a devastating fastball, a sharp-breaking curve and a wicked change up, all thrown with great control, to dominate team after team. In a seven-inning game played in 1945 against the Olympia All-Stars, Lynch struck out 21 batters, walked just one, and he doubled and scored the only run in a 1-0 victory. After being discharged from the service, Lynch returned to his home in the San Joaquin Valley of California, intent on forming a top-notch women’s fastpitch team. He and his old teammate, Chandler, started the Fresno Rockets in 1946. Lynch then founded the Hanford Kings, coaching his team to league and state titles and a third-place national finish in 1947. That same year, Lynch assisted in the creation of the National Softball Congress, and he was named the NSC’s Pacific Coast Commissioner. In 1949, his Hanford Kings won the NSC national championship, and they placed second in 1950, the year that Lynch retired from the sport. By the end of his career, Lynch had played on or coached six state and three national and world championship teams. Born December 21, 1918, in Oklahoma, he now lives in Midwest City, Okla.