Two Dodge City men will be inducted into the United States Specialty Sports Association Softball Hall of Fame Feb. 9, 2019 at the Stoney Creek Convention Center in Independence, Missouri.
Bogner, who died in 2015, was the owner of Western Beverage. Bogner sponsored the Dodge City Budweiser Men’s Masters Softball Team for 19 years where they won 18 Masters States — 17 in a row. They won two Masters World Championships in 2003 and 2006. Bogner also helped sponsor numerous other teams in the Dodge City area and many events over the years. Joe was a big Dodge City supporter, serving on many committees that helped Dodge City grow.
Richard’s career began in 1969, when he started officiating throughout Kansas in football, basketball, baseball and softball. In 1979, Richard along with Jim Hosty and Bill Austin became involved in USSA through Jim Swint of Hutchinson, Kansas. At that time, they brought USSSA to western Kansas. The Southwest Softball Association teams of the league then became registered as USSSA teams. At the time USSSA started in western Kansas, there were 45 men’s teams, 10 women’s teams and 18 co-3e teams.
Richard was the area director of umpires in southwest Kansas and he held clinics to get umpires to register with USSSA. In 1980, Jim Hosty left the Southwest Softball Association and Richard became director of that association with Bill Austin. In 1982, Richard became USSSA area director of the year as well as continuing as umpire in chief in southwest Kansas. In 1981, the highlight of Richard’s officiating career took place when he was able to officiate at three State Tournaments under (the) Kansas State High School Activities Association in one year (baseball, football and basketball).
In 1983, Richard resigned as the director of the Southwest Softball Association at which time, Ed Kimminau became the director. At that time, Richard continued as umpire in chief with USSSA in western Kansas and continued to officiate in baseball, basketball, football and softball.
Due to the high number of tournaments Richard held in southwest Kansas, the teams had more opportunities to participate in state level tournaments.
In 1999, after 30 years, Richard decided to retire from officiating all sports.
Bogner and Falcon now join Jetmore’s Larry Berger, Ulysses’s Marv Billings, Liberal’s Ray Potter, Great Bend’s Ryan Engle, Dodge City’s Bob Seidl, Kent and Janet Bailey in the USSSA Hall of Fame from southwest Kansas.