Mike Koppa

Beginning in the early 1980s, Mike Koppa was one of the most dominating pitchers in local fastpitch circles. Through the years he played with some of the same teammates but under many different sponsors: Cloverleaf Tavern, B&I Sports, Pegasus, Coors, Chalet Tavern, Greco Homes and Cleon's Auto Repair. In addition to pitching, Koppa also played catcher and centerfield.

Koppa was born on July 31, 1951 in Wausau, Wis., and passed away on Sept. 21, 2006 in Tacoma. He attended Southwest High School in Green Bay, Wis., where he was a football, basketball and track & field star. He eventually graduated with an MBA from the University of Wisconsin in 1975. While living in Tacoma, he ran his own tax consultant business and was also an auto service advisor for McCann Motors.

In the 1980s, B&I Sports and Cloverleaf Tavern dominated the local fastpitch scene, winning numerous league titles and tournament championships. They also teams fared well in regional competition. Koppa was one of the pitching stars for B&I, and in fact was named the regional MVP in 1989. He remained one of the best in the business through the years and led several of his teams to national tournament play in Florida, Texas and Kansas. The 1992 squad finished second in the National Softball Association (NSA) nationals in 1992 and followed that up by placing third in the 1994 North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) World Championships.

According to teammate Ron Balmer, "Mike was one of the better pitchers in the area for quite a few years. I remember one weekend he threw 70-some innings. He was a horse."