Elliot Hawke Legacy Award

2019 Award Winner - Earl Turnure

Earl grew up in Atlantic, Iowa where he was known to be a stellar athlete in basketball and baseball. His athletic career in baseball took him to attend Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. From his college days of playing baseball he went into professional baseball in the Angels system.

His brief stint with the Angels led him to his lifetime passion. In 1961, he came home to Atlantic, Iowa and played fast pitch softball with his wife’s Dad, brothers and uncles. He pursued his passion as a catcher, third baseman, and eventually learned to pitch. His first competitive experience was with Danbury, Iowa. From his softball travels and successes, he was invited to contest the legendary “King and his Court.” He was the only one in that outing to put the bat on the ball from Eddie Feigner. He was really proud of his two foul balls. That experience took him on the road across the country playing fast pitch with several teams in Iowa, until his job took him to Kansas City, Mo. In KC, he played semi-professional softball with Stewart Sand. He took allegiance to Gaslight Realty, and later Ramirez Trucking where he was a member of their National Championship team.

His love for kids and athletics led him to being a youth coach. He started with boys in American Legion baseball. He met a fantastic man, Jerry Mackey who owned Hi-Boy restaurants, and was given a fantastic opportunity to coach with a Hi-Boy sponsored team. After much success with baseball, his 10-year-old daughter Stacey, wanted to play the game she always saw her Dad playing.

In 1983, the Originals were created. Earl coached Stacey in Independence Girls Softball Association, teaching her to pitch with the windmill. He was the first one in the area to teach this style of pitching and initially wasn’t well received. As the sport grew, the windmill style of pitching became more accepted and he decided to move to the competitive world of girls fast pitch softball. In 1983, and several years the Originals were the lone competitive team in Jackson County. With the sport taking off, and his initial group of girls getting scholarship offers, he couldn’t give it up. He was happy to start the Originals Organization, which allowed many girls in KC the same opportunities he envisioned fast pitch to offer. He was a huge influence in growing the game of softball on the Missouri side of KC. He welcomed the first organization in all of softball, only to see the trend grow. He loved to watch all teams sporting the Red, White and Blue O’s. He found great pride in watching his girls play at the highest levels or the smallest colleges. There wasn’t a day that went by during high school that he wasn’t at a ball park. He provided pitching lessons for FREE, to anyone that wanted to learn. He had great relationships with tons of college coaches at various levels. They would frequently ask his opinion on kids that never played for him, just because he knew the game. As a coach his passion wasn’t about winning EVERY game, his passion was to play the game at the highest level, and have fun. He never stopped being a student of the game. His legacy is forever rooted in Kansas City.

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