Former Softball New Zealand President Hilton Earley has been one of the sport's most dynamic administrators and entrepreneurs.
Hilton (now a Mt Albert Ramblers and Auckland Softball life member) began in softball as a junior with the Bears club in Mt Eden, Auckland.
Later joining Ramblers, where Hilton has been a leading light for some six decades as an administrator.
Recognised early for his organisational and entrepreneurial skills, Hilton has been instrumental in developing Ramblers into one of NZ's most successful and enduring clubs.
He was key to club's rise as a national force in the 1980s when Ramblers won two national men's interclub titles (1982, 1984) and one national women's interclub crown (1989).
Ramblers - dubbed the 'People's Club - have been at the forefront of NZ softball on and off the diamond thanks in large part, to Hilton's vision and commercial acumen, aided by other loyal and long serving administrators.
A proud family club, Ramblers also boasts Hilton’s wife Cynthia, son Ricky, and daughter-in-law Megan as Life Members. Hilton’s daughter Sheree was a junior Auckland representative and is still actively involved at Ramblers.
Hilton developed a flair for managing softball teams (managing Auckland for the first time as an 18-year-old).
He formed a successful association with a good friend, John Voyle, and together they earned a reputation as two of New Zealand softball's more innovative thinkers and organisers.
Hilton was team manager and Voyle head coach when Auckland won their first national provincial men's title for 23 years at Hastings in 1984.
In the 1990s, Hilton became manager of the NZ Junior Black Sox team that went on to win silver in Newfoundland, Canada at the 1997 U19 World Championship.
As well as his long service to Ramblers and the Auckland Softball Association, Hilton has also been respected on the national scene serving as Softball NZ president from 2010 -2013.