Manteca resident Steve Padilla is one of eight new members honored in the 35th Annual induction ceremony for the ASA/USA Softball National Hall of Fame on Oct. 31 in Louisville, Ky.
A native of Los Banos, Padilla was a dominant fast-pitch hurler in the 1980s, earning his stripes for Valley-based teams before competing at an international level. He participated in five U.S. Olympic Festivals and pitched for the 1987 silver-medal team in the Pan-American Games.
Padilla, now 47, was named an ASA All-American in 1982 after leading the Turlock Tee House to the Class A national championship before getting promoted to the Men’s Major Fast Pitch circuit with Merced-based California Kings a year later. Padilla enjoyed another All-American season and was crowned MVP after aiding the Kings’ run to a national title. He added three more All-American accolades while with the Santa Clara Guanella Brothers and NorCal Merchants of Stockton. In 1994, the Merchants rode his arm to the 40-over national championship.
After his decorated playing career, he served as a fast-pitch coach for the national team program and an assistant for the 1999 men’s national team in the Pan-American Games and ISF World Championship. Padilla was later an assistant for the Puerto Rican national team in the 1996 Olympic Games.