Shawn Albritton made his debut in the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association (CMSA) during the spring of 2000, playing softball for an Equality Illinois team in what then was known as Division 5 (now, D2-Division). He was an outfielder on opening day.
Today, Albritton is out for all CMSA sports. In fact, he jokes that it's easier to name the sports he doesn't or hasn't played. This year, for instance, it's no badminton or basketball. However, he does still play softball, football, tennis, volleyball and soccer.
In addition, Albritton is the CMSA president. On May 19, he was inducted into the CMSA Hall of Fame. Sam Hamilton and Jack Nielsen joined Albritton in this newest class.
"I'm flabbergasted" at the honor, Albritton said. "I'm deeply honored. It's hard to describe how honored I am. This is one of the biggest honors I could imagine receivingbecause this organization, CMSA, means so much to me."
Albritton was the commissioner for the men's flag football league from 2003-2008. He also has been a softball umpire and football referee, among other CMSA chores.
"My happiest time in CMSA is seeing new members join, and watching them have a great time," Albritton said.
Hamilton has been a CMSA mainstay since 2003, participating in women's flag football, dodgeball, basketball, soccer and more. In 2011, she coordinated Family Day at a Chicago Sky game.
"CMSA is like my family and I've had such good experiences in CMSA," Hamilton said. "It's amazing to be honored. I never thought I would be [inducted into the Hall of Fame;] it's incredible."
Neilsen also made his CMSA debut on the softball fieldsin 2003. And his greatest CMSA accomplishments have been softball-related. No one lives Sunday Funday in the spring and summer more than Neilsen who, since 2009, has been the commissioner of CMSA's open division softball on Sundays. Plus, he was the key CMSA representative several years ago that helped land the 2011 Gay Softball World Series in Chicago.
He also has been a World Series winner.
"I'm very emotional … overwhelmed, honored and humbled," Neilsen said. "This award truly makes everything I do worth it
"I am truly, truly humbled, and speechless."