Former Olympians Fiona Crawford and Tanya Harding have been afforded the ultimate recognition from sport’s international governing body with their induction into the WBSC (World Baseball Softball Confederation) Hall of Fame.
The announcement was made at the third WBSC Congress in Sakai, Japan where they were among 23 new members inducted to the illustrious list.
Tanya Harding was the 166th player to play for the Australian Women’s softball team, the Aussie Spirit, from 1993 – 2008 playing 283 games and over 50 tournaments. She competed at four Olympic Games (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008) and four World Championships. Tanya is one of only three Australian players to medal in four Olympic Games, with three bronze medals and one silver medal.
After the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Tanya retired from international competition, leaving an indelible mark on Australian softball. Her list of achievements is as formidable as the spin and speed she put on the ball.
Nationally, Tanya was awarded many individual honours including an unprecedented five Midge Nelson awards for the Most Valuable player at the Open Women’s National Championships. Tanya has twice won the Softball Australia Female Athlete of the Year award and was inducted into the Softball Australia Hall of Fame in 2012.
Fiona Crawford is the 190th player to represent the Aussie Spirit. Beginning her career as shortstop, she progressed to 2nd base, and was the starting 2nd base for every game at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.
She carved out an impressive softball career, playing 223 games for Australia, competing at two Olympic Games, three World Championships and many international competitions.
At the 1998 World Championship in Japan she was a member of the Aussie Spirit team that won silver.
Competing at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, Fiona was a member of the Australian team winning bronze. At her second Olympic Games in 2004, Fiona was a member of the team that won the Silver medal, Australia’s best result in Olympic softball history.
She was on teams that won gold, silver and bronze at over 28 international competitions between 1997 and 2006, including two gold and three silver medals at the Canada Cup, one of the most competitive tournaments in the world.
Fiona was inducted into the Softball Australia Hall of Fame in 2010.
A total of 13 players from eight countries at this year’s Congress inducted into the WBSC Softball Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame now counts with 249 members from 38 countries.
The 2019 class includes 13 players, three umpires, three administrators, three meritorious services, and one coach. Three countries inducted their first-ever Hall of Famer.