The date has been set. The 4th Annual Blade will take place on Aug 4th starting at 4 PM and going strong til 7PM on Aug 6th. It will again take place at the only home it has ever known…The Moose!! I am confident Swa and Griff will have boatloads of details forthcoming. Those two Dons and their legions of Bladies and Gentlemen, who embrace the struggle of Hess-worthy Entertainment, will undoubtedly deliver “THE WEEKEND EVENT IN KTOWN” once again. But that is not my reason for reaching out to you today. My reason is simple and that is to encourage intelligent discussion on the next recipient of the Steve “Blade” Hess Softball Ambassador Award.
For review…the Ambassador Award was created as a Lifetime Achievement Award. Let’s be real for a second…there are a lot of guys that could play, from back in the day. And playing the game was simply just a part of being a true giant in the softball landscape of Kenosha. Blade was the Gold Standard of being a KTown Softball Ambassador. Think about what anyone who has ever seen Blade thought, when they saw him walking in damn near fair territory down the left field line, about 8:45 on a Saturday night, to play the 9:00 game. Think about what people at Munster or Fond du Lac think about Blade and Kenosha Softball. It has only a small percentage to do with how good of a softball player he was. He was just the dude.
And so The Softball Ambassador Award was created. It is meant to be a living testament to a guy that was the original Softball Vagabond. If you saw him, he’d be playing softball, drinking with a softball buddy, or talking about softball, and all from a very humble point of view. Blade never thought his opinion was more important than the next guy’s. He was a walk-it not talk-it kind of guy. And the guys who were convinced they were the best of the best? Yea, they’d still be the ones standing there talking about The Blade as he strolled by. A true Softball Ambassador.
So who succeeds Swa as the Blade Softball Ambassador Volume 2? Swa has had a good reign in his year at the top of the Blade Heap. As he does each year at this time, he and Griff and a multitude of Dons and Donnas start prepping for the event of the summer. His place in Ambassador history is secure! So who is next?? ALL suggestions are welcome and will be considered. Please, understand that this lifetime achievement award is to honor someone that is a walking promotion of what we all remember softball to be. A person that “gets it” in terms of what was really important about playing this kid’s game into our 50s and 60s. Someone that gave a shit. Someone that still gives a shit. Someone Blade would approve of. Maybe not a long-term teammate, maybe never a teammate at all…just someone that loves and helped advance the sport.
So let your voices be heard. Positivity is encouraged (even though I am about as negative of a dude as you will read sometimes). Who is a Blade-type Ambassador? To the winner goes a quintessential Dons Traveling Cup and a handcuff to Swa for the rest of your life. Not exactly the Lombardi Trophy. Just a lifetime Thank You from the Kenosha Softball Community. The Blade is a name you want to be associated with til the end of Don_Time.