’23 Blade “Softball Ambassador Award” Winner: Scott Kessler

Literally Mr. Softball


When a guy kinda goes by the nickname Mr. Softball in Kenosha, WI, you know this man takes the game very seriously. Well, that is the nickname and the path of the 2023 Steve “Blade” Hess Softball Ambassador Award recipient Scott Kessler. Scott is most definitely the grand old man of softball. Very soon, I’ll turn 60 years old and Scott Kessler gave me my start in the game when I was 15…and he is STILL PLAYING!!! That alone merits some type of lifetime achievement award in itself. But here is the beauty of Scott Kessler….see him on the street and within 5 sentences, the conversation will be something about softball. And within about 8 sentences, the conversation will be about softball and more specifically “The Blade” tournament. That is simply who this man is. No one in the history of Kenosha Softball loves (present tense) the game more…no one.

Scott Kessler will be known as the Shortstop and driving force behind Club Benes softball team. There is zero chance that you’ve played softball for any distinguishable amount of time and have not played against Scott and Club Benes. Was he the best player ever? Nope. He’s just a KTown guy with a never-ending love for a kid’s game. Now I want you to think real hard for one second. Tell me the first name that comes to your mind when you think about a grown man with a huge love for this kid’s game. For me, it is Steve Hess…and a ridiculously close second is Scott Kessler. You have to love the game to play it nonstop for somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 years. Scott has played countless games on every diamond, in every league on every night during every summer since the mid 70s!!! Wrap your head around that. And for Kessler, doing it again next summer is simply a no-brainer. One of the quotes he sent me regarding this award sums it all up perfectly…”now I’ll never retire”.

I’m glad that myself and the others charged with this decision all concluded that Scott was the perfect recipient for this year’s Ambassador Award. Again, give this some thought…Kessler has played more softball seasons past his 50th birthday than several Kenosha Softball Hall of Famers played their entire careers. Guess what folks, a decade with a “beautiful team” ain’t shit compared to 50 years of commitment. You can do a decade on talent but we aren’t talking about Rod Carew or Mickey Mantle out there…it is still just pretty talented KTown dudes playing a bar-league game…don’t take yourself so seriously. No one is mistaking KTown for Cooperstown. Softball is a shot and a beer, it is going to the saloon after the game, it is respecting your teammates and those you compete against, it’s about bullshitting about softball when you see each other in the grocery store and the snow is ass-deep. Steve Hess was ALL about that. Scott Kessler is equally ALL about that. To me, that is what a Hall of Fame career is. So to me, Scott Kessler is the perfect choice for this award.

When I asked the man for a quote for this article, true to form, Scott was quick to be thankful…”I would like to thank all of the Don’s community and everyone who I have met throughout the years. I would like to thank my wife for supporting me and my teams. Benes, Rumors, and Coins for sponsoring us. And all of my teammates since day one.” It was quite unique to see Scott Kessler at a loss for words when he was announced as the winner and that too is vintage Kessler. Like The Blade, there is just no way you play this game for glory and accolades and to read your own press clippings….you play it because you love it. And there is no question that this dude does love it and a 50-year love affair with a kid’s game don’t get you much…but it does get you recognition from people that understand what Kenosha Softball is really all about and it gets your name, at least some of the time, mentioned in the same breath as Steve Hess. And for many people like us, that is the greatest recognition there can be. Congrats Scott, you have absolutely earned this