One of STL's Finest Shortstops

Kerry Rieker Inducted Into St. Louis Softball Hall Of Fame

Kerry Rieker, of Wildwood, recently was inducted into the St. Louis Softball Hall Of Fame. She was one of 20 female and male recipients in the Class of 2023. 

The St. Louis Softball Hall Of Fame is an independent organization that holds biannual awards banquets to recognize community members who have demonstrated exemplary skills, and/or contributed beyond the normal scope of promoting and supporting softball in St. Louis.

Kerry played softball from 1962 to 1984. Her 22-year, fast-pitch career began at the age of 13 years when she played in the St. Louis Muny AA League, often against women a decade older. Known as a slick-fielding shortstop with pop in her bat, Kerry typically batted either second or third in the batting order and also was noted for her incredible speed on the base paths.

The teams that Kerry played for were the Manchester Hawkettes and The St. Louis Reds & Kutis. After a two-year stint with Kutis early in her career, Kerry moved to the Hawkettes for the next eight seasons and led the squad with a .385 batting average.

In 1973, she returned to Kutis for the next eight seasons and went to three national championship tournaments in 1973, 1974 and 1975, finishing third in Salt Lake City in her final appearance.

She's the mother of John Reiker, owner of Harpo's Bar & Grill in Chesterfield, who shared that other players verified she was known as one of the finest shortstops in the history of St. Louis fast pitch softball.

FUN FACTS: George Hancock, at the time a reporter for the Chicago Board of Trade, invented the game of softball in 1887.

What year did women's softball start? Reportedly in 1895, when the first women's softball team was formed at Chicago's West Division High School. However, they reportedly could not play competitively until 1899 when they finally hired a coach.

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