MORGANTOWN - For the Hertzler brothers, softball is more than just a game.
Their life-long passion for the sport grows out of their childhood, when their father, Ralph Hertzler, constructed a full-sized diamond on the family farm in Morgantown.
"Kids from all over came in to play on that field," said Ken. "The field was lighted, which was something of a novelty in those days."
From those humble beginnings, playing as kids on their father's homemade field, the Hertzlers have become icons in the regional softball world, with word recently reaching them that they would be inducted into the Amateur Softball Association of Pennsylvania's Hall of Fame at a ceremony this March in Grantville.
The Hertzlers created their softball legend with fast pitch teams like the Morgantown Bombers and Honey Brook Comets. The two played for the 1968 and 1969 state champion Comets, and posted impressive individual numbers. According to newspaper reports from the time, Jim, a lefty and natural first baseman, hit .455 in 1968 with 13 homers. Ken, who batted cleanup and followed Jim in lineup, hit .364 in 1964 and belted four home runs.
Both will always remember battling through the 1968 state tournament in Lewisberg, when they won their first state championship.
"It was the biggest thing for us," Ken said.
The two hit back-to-back for a great deal of their careers, according to Jim, but also were the anchors of a solid infield defense at first and third.
"I could always rely on Jim at first to scoop up my wild throws," Ken said with a laugh.
Before joining the Comets, the two played for the Morgantown Bombers, where they helped win a Conestoga Valley League championship in their third year with the team.
The two have retired from fast pitch now. Jim still plays a little slow-pitch ball every now and then, but Ken has moved on to golf, due partly to a rotator cuff injury.
Both say that they are extremely honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony is scheduled for March 1.