Harper, Donny

Inducted: 2022

Harper, Donny

Frenchburg, Kentucky

The ’80s and ’90s were undoubtedly the peak of our favorite Hall of Fame sport—softball. One could literally find a tournament to play in within a 30-mile radius every weekend and leagues in every ballpark in the Bluegrass were overflowing nightly.

The competition on the upper level of softball was also at its summit as you could literally fill out an “A” and Major schedule beginning in early March and running through the Labor Day weekend’s national and world championship events.

Tournaments that dominated the softball landscape in the Kentucky region in the ’80s and ’90s were the Bowling Green Spring Classic; the H&W in Campbellsville; the Conway Twitty in Hendersonville, TN; the Thoroughbred Classic in Lexington, KY; the L.I.T. (Louisville Invitational); the Smoky Mountain Classic in Maryville, TN; and the Lake Cumberland Classic in Monticello, KY.

While softball was at its pinnacle, one player, Donny Harper from Frenchburg, KY, was also riding high as one of the top softball talents in Kentucky.

Donny was a rare five-tool softball athlete using his quickness, power, defense, hitting, and arm to propel his teams to many of the aforementioned tournament championships.

On the national level, Harper was named a Major class All-American on such iconic teams as Wildcat Fence (1991) and Riverside Paving (1993 & 1995). In 1993, with Riverside, at Tifton, GA, Harper went 20-25 (.800) while stroking 5 home runs. Riverside won three ASA Major National Championships in the early '90s, and Donny was on the 1995 Riverside championship squad.

At the Kentucky State level, Donny Harper has won virtually every well-known tournament including some multiple times like his five triumphs at the Thoroughbred Classic from 1988-1994. His eight All-Tournament selections at the Lake Cumberland Classic from 1988 to 2007 puts him in a class by himself.

Harper showed off his amazing athletic versatility by earning a Gold Glove in the 1991 Johnson Marathon, the best hitter award in the ’92 Johnson Marathon, Home Run Champ at Monticello’s 1990 Lake Cumberland, and overall MVP in five separate Kentucky events including the Daniel Boone Classic at beautiful Lake Reba Complex in Richmond, Kentucky.

Donny’s 20 All-Tournament selections all around this region and multiple state championships including the 1989 “A” State with Buffalo & Dad’s in Owensboro are just part of the reasons why the Menifee County native will live in