Softball Europe Hall of Fame welcomes three new members

Softball Europe Hall of Fame welcomes three new members
During the weekend, the Softball Europe Hall of Fame welcomed three new members: two players - Ms. Stephanie Jardine and Mr. Brett Gibbens, and one Umpire Mr. Christopher Moon.

The celebrational induction of three new members into the Softball Europe Hall of Fame took place on May 21, 2022, at the Farnham Park National Baseball and Softball Complex in London, Great Britain, during the first weekend of the British National Softball League. 

Mr. Ieuan Gale, BSF President, and Mr. Gabriel Waage, WBSC Europe Softball Vice President, run the induction. 

Gabriel Waage introduced the European Hall of Famers and said: “This is the first time ever that the doors of the European Hall of Fame are opening for members of the slowpitch community. It is significant when it is happening right here, by great slowpitch event in leading country of European slowpitch.”

In fact, the first weekend of the National Softball League, run by the British Softball Federation (BSF) and hosted by BaseballSoftballUK (BSUK), welcomed a total of 32 coed slowpitch teams on 8 fields.

Induction of three new members of the Softball Europe Hall of Fame was held as the first point of the evening celebration, followed by a demonstration fastpitch game between Eagles and Ravens on Saturday evening, after all the slowpitch games. 

Ms. Stephanie Jardine's, Mr. Brett Gibbens' and Mr. Christopher Moon's induction into the Hall of Fame was announced at the WBSC Europe Congress in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on February 11th, 2022, where their biography was presented by WBSC Europe Softball Technical and Competitions Director Mr. Mike Jennings.

Ms. Stephanie Jardine won five Coed Slowpitch European Championship titles in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2011. Jardine took a six-year break from slowpitch to participate in the 2005 Women's Softball European Championship in Prague, Czech Republic, and in the 2006 ISF World Championship in Beijing, China. Jardine then had a baby before returning for a final outing with the British Slowpitch national team in 2011.

In between, however, Steph won a gold medal with her club team, Baker Tomkins, at the second Coed Slowpitch European Super Cup in Dupnitsa, Bulgaria, in 2008. 

Former GB Slowpitch Team Head Coach Mark Saunders wrote: “Steph was one of those players you never wanted to play against and always wanted to play with. She was the ultimate team player, always supportive, always encouraging, and incredibly consistent both with the bat and glove.”

Mr. Brett Gibbens lead the British National Squad to seven Co-ed Slowpitch European Championship titles in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2013. Gibbens was an extremely powerful hitter.

Former GB Slowpitch Head Coach Mark Saunders wrote: “Once he joined the GB Co-ed Slowpitch Team in 1999, Brett quickly became the most feared power hitter in Europe. No one trained harder or committed themselves to the programme more fully than Brett.”

Brett also played for the British club team Chromies in Coed Slowpitch European Super Cup in 2010 in Ljubljana, where Chromies won the gold medal, and in 2012 in Pardubice, where they took silver. 

Mr. Christopher Moon became a softball umpire in 2005. He qualified as an ESF Umpire in 2010 and officiated at ESF Co-ed Slowpitch Cups and Championships up until 2016. 

He called his last ESF game during the Coed Slowpitch European Super Cup 2016 in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, and retired, as umpires do, by ceremonially placing his cap on second base before leaving the field. The teams present came to the field and provided a spontaneous salute by forming an arch of bats held aloft for his walk from second base back to home plate for the last time.  

In 2013 Moon qualified as an ISF Slowpitch Umpire and from 2014 through 2016 called at ISF Co-ed Slowpitch World Cups held in Plant City, Florida.

He also was an ESF Umpire in Chief for four years for the European Softball Federation. Moon was assigned, as Umpire in Chief, to the 2021 Coed Slowpitch European Championship and Coed Slowpitch European Super Cup.