Whitlock, Greg

Inducted: 2014

Whitlock, Greg

Louisville, Kentucky

It could be argued that Greg Whitlock was not only the best shortstop to ever take the field in Kentucky's storied softball history, but a case can be made for him being the best of all time on a national level.

The Louisville native showed off his quick release, soft hands, rocket arm, and unlimited range as a shortstop for his semi-pro baseball team in the late '70s at Derby City field before moving over to the 60-foot bases of softball shortly after his baseball glory days.

It did not take long for Greg Whitlock's superior shortstop skills to take center stage on the softball scene as he went straight to the softball professional circuit in 1979 as the shortstop for the Kentucky Bourbons.

Two years later. Whitlock led the Bourbons to the 1981 Pro Softball World Series, and he was named the World Series MVP. It was the second time that Whitlock and the Bourbons had made it to the world championship in a three-year span. Whitlock's defense was just part of his skillset which ranks him among the elite infielders of all time. He had a Derek Jeter-like quality about him which was the bigger the stage, the better he played-and, Greg was known as Mr. Clutch at the plate as well as on the field.

After the Bourbons, Mr. Whitlock went on to play for the legendary Hit Men of Steele's, then the Smythe Sox, Starpath, and Ritch's - all teams on the "Super" level of softball.

From 1979 to 1990, he was honored on three All-Pro teams with the Bourbons, before that league disbanded and subsequently was awarded 10 All-World selections at the highest level in softball - Five ASA selections in 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, and 1991: two USSSA All-Worlds in 1990 and 1991; two ISAs in 1989 and 1990; and one NSA All-American in 1986.

When Greg won the prestigious Smoky Mountains Classic in 1986 and 1988, it was further proof of his worthiness at the shortstop position. The rest of his starting infield for the Starpath team that won the Smokies was regarded as the top defensive infield ever with four former shortstops across the infield- Rodney Woods at third, Whitlock at shortstop, Doug Flynn at second, and Scott Jones at first base. Doug Flynn was a former golden glove for the New York Mets and was a backup for the Big Red Machine. That stat alone speaks volumes of Greg's ability to play short like no other before or after him.

As a side note, Greg could be seen and heard in between games, especially at night belting out Elvis choruses with his brother David, who also played for the Bourbons. It's not certain whether Greg actually wore blue suede cleats, but it is for sure that the color of his glove was golden.