Cornelia Chwojka, Luis Ángel Melero Martín, Theourania Zavitsanou, Dionysis Chorafas and Stamos Mazarakis inducted to the WBSC Europe Hall of Fame

Cornelia Chwojka, Luis Ángel Melero Martín, Theourania Zavitsanou, Dionysis Chorafas and Stamos Mazarakis inducted to the WBSC Europe Hall of Fame
10/02/2024
In 2024, the WBSC Europe Hall of Fame welcomed five baseball and softball icons: Cornelia "Conny" Chwojka (AUT), Luis Ángel Melero Martín (ESP), Theourania Zavitsanou (GRE), Dionysis Chorafas (GRE) and Stamos “Tom” Mazarakis (GRE).

During the WBSC Europe Congress 2024 in Malaga, Spain, five baseball and softball rapresentites were induced in the Hall of Fame, marking a historic moment for European baseball and softball.

With the merger of the Confederation of European Baseball and the European Softball Federation into WBSC Europe, a new chapter began, and with it came the establishment of the WBSC Europe Hall of Fame, starting from the ESF's one

This year's induction ceremony was particularly special as, for the first time, the WBSC Europe Hall of Fame welcomed representatives from both baseball and softball disciplines, honoring their contributions to the sport. 

Cornelia "Conny" Chwojka (AUT) - Softball Player
Cornelia Chwojka's career in Austrian softball has left an indelible mark on the sport. As a pitcher of the Austrian National Team, she took part in numerous Women's Softball European Championships, including 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2017. Chwojka's contributions were pivotal in securing silver medals in 2003 and 2025 and the bronze medal in 1999 for Austria.

Her journey extended beyond national representation, as she also competed with the Vienna Razorbacks, the Vienna Wanderers, and the Dornbirn Sharx, winning the Women's Softball European Premier Cup in 2009, silver in 2008, and bronze in 2004 and 2010. In the B pool, Chwojka won three gold medals (1995, 2000, and 2001), three silver medals (1993, 1997, 1999), and one bronze medal in 1994.

Upon receiving the distinction in person in Malaga, Spain, Chwojka expressed her gratitude. Reflecting on her journey, she expressed her appreciation for the profound impact softball had on her life. She marveled at the evolution of softball from the nascent stages of her career to the present day, a testament to the sport's growth.

WBSC Europe Softball Vice President, Gabriel Waage, joined in congratulating Chwojka for her outstanding career as both a player and a technical commissioner for the ESF and WBSC Europe. 

Luis Ángel Melero Martín (ESP) - Baseball Administrator
Luis Ángel Melero Martín's induction as a Baseball Administrator heralds a new era in the WBSC Europe Hall of Fame, marking the first baseball representative to be honored. 

Melero's impact on the management of baseball and softball in Spain spans nearly four decades, showcasing his commitment to the sport. Melero served as the Secretary General of the Real Federación Española de Béisbol y Sófbol (RFEBS) from 1982 to 2021.

His leadership extended beyond national borders, as he was on the Executive Board of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and the Confederation Mundial de Béisbol y Sófbol (WBSC).

Theourania Zavitsanou (GRE) - Softball Player
Theourania Zavitsanou's induction into the WBSC Europe Hall of Fame celebrates her achievements as a player in Greek softball. Representing the Greek National Teams from 2014 to 2019, Zavitsanou participated in several European Championships.

Zavitsanou was a Bronze Medalist at the U-22 European Championship in Dupnitsa, Bulgaria, in 2014, and took part in the Women’s Softball World Championship 2016 in Vancouver, Canada, and in the Super Six 2018 in the Netherlands.

Dionysis Chorafas (GRE) - Softball Coach
Dionysis Chorafas' induction as a Softball Coach underscores his contributions to the development of the sport in Greece. With a coaching career spanning over two decades, Chorafas led Women's and Junior teams to victory in national championships of 2000, 2001, 2002.

Chorafas took the role of coach, administrator, and educator, supporting the growth of softball in Greece. He was the Head Coach of the U-17 Greek National Team in 2007, the U-22 Greek National Team in 2014 and 2016 at the European Championships.

Stamos "Tom" Mazarakis (GRE) - Baseball Administrator
Stamos "Tom" Mazarakis' induction as a Baseball Administrator pays tribute to his journey from a Bronx-born baseball enthusiast to a driving force behind the development of baseball in Greece. Despite initial challenges, Mazarakis' passion propelled him to lead efforts in establishing and promoting the sport in the country.

His leadership was a key in Greece's participation in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, marking a historic moment for Greek baseball. From coaching and managing teams to navigating administrative challenges, Mazarakis' contributions have been invaluable in shaping baseball in Greece.

Cover photo by Eloi Puigferrer