GABORONE, Botswana-Don Porter was awarded by President Riccardo Fraccari the Collar of Honour, WBSC supreme recognition of those people who contributed to the foundation of the Confederation and its success. Don Porter was President of the International Softball Federation (ISF) at the moment it merged with IBAF (the International Baseball Federation) and shared duties as WBSC President with Riccardo Fraccari before the Confederation ran elections in May 2014.
Don Porter was introduced to WBSC Congress by Dale Mc Mann, who succeeded him as WBSC Softball Division Chairman.
In an emotional speech, Mc Mann honored Don Porter’s contribution to international softball and highlighted his firm leadership: “With Don, you’d better not be late for breakfast. And breakfast was usually at 6 or 6.30…”.
Don Porter commented: “I want to let you know how much I appreciate this. I want to thank you all that are sitting here today and remeber those who are not among us anymore. I think of them every day”.
Don Porter shared the memory of the day he met Nelson Mandela in 2009: “I told him that the Olympic reinstatement campaign proved extremely difficult and he replied never give up, I didn’t“.
He then added an anecdote: “I was asked to throw the ceremonial first pitch at a game between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers. My pitch got to the catcher after 3 bounces. The catcher, as he gave me the ball, commented that I’d better stick to softball….”.
Don Porter was born in 1931. He became the Executive Director of the Amateur Softball Association in 1963 and the Secretary General of ISF in 1965. He was elected ISF President in 1987 and led the Federation until 2013. In his career he served on various Commission of the United States Olympic Commitee (USOC; 1984-1988), on the international Council of the General Association of International Sport Federations (GAISF) and is a founder of the World Games. Last but not least, he was a referee (1976-1979) in the National Football League (NFL).
In May 2017 Porter published (Tate) the book Inclusion/Exclusion: Softball’s Olympic Odyssey