From our friend David Bell, we are pleased to share this report on the 2005 Spring Swing Fastpitch tournament. Please note his invitation for feedback on keeping the Spring Swing tournament alive. Feel free to post your comments here, but clicking the “comment” link below.
[Las Vegas, Nevada]-The 2005 Spring Swing Fastpitch Weekend has come to a close. Will it be the final time the event is played in the six year history of the Weekend? Not if all the teams that participated in this years combined A/B, and C tournaments have anything to say about it. Many players and teams voiced their opinion to please keep the Spring Swing on the pre-season schedule. They offered help in many ways, players jumped on the grill to help out, the umpires pledged their families help, just to try and keep the SSFW going year in and year out. With only three to five people to help with everything from concessions, tâ€™shirts, manning the grill, and chasing down balls, it has been a difficult task to run a tourney the way I would like to run it.
With fastpitch in Vegas dying a slow and painful death, and no one willing to take on the challenge, I am asking for ideas to keep the tournament as a staple on the March calendar. I would like to run the tournament every year to coincide with the first round of the NCAA Menâ€™s Basketball Tourney. However my staff of short supply is not as forthcoming. This year, although teams did not complain, I was not able to prep fields as I have tried to do in the past after most games. Jim Williamson once wrote a short letter as to how, during a March rainy season, that I did everything in my power to rake and absorb the drizzling rain as it would fall. Showing at the field on Sunday morning to the city field crew not being able to prep with their quad and drag, I took the initiative to grab the rakes and a couple of guys to avoid a Sunday rainout and do what the city could not. Also, with only 4 or 5 people, I am not able to supply scorekeepers as I would like. This year I asked the home team to keep book. With skirtball taking over every diamond, all of the fences are in the 300â€™ range. Itâ€™s a different game, when the fences are where they should be. In Las Vegas, that is about the 260 â€“ 275â€™ range. I would like to have them all of the time, and not the flimsy orange kind.
As I said earlier, this was our sixth event, however it was the first one without my Dad around. This year our tournament started on April 2nd. It happened to be the one year anniversary of his passing. I felt there was no other place that he would want me to be, than at the park, but playing instead of just organizing and running the Spring Swing. I felt that it was only fitting this year that the Weekend happened to start on the day that marked the one he was no longer around, or with me. For those that didnâ€™t know Dave Bell, he was a left handed hitting and fielding 1B/LFâ€™r that played for the old Vegas teams at Squires Park in downtown Sin City. Some of the teams: Fremont Coin, LV Raiders, Hughes Tool Company, and Green Saddle Ranch. I remember when I was 8 or 10 and going to Long Beach and watching the ISC World and the Long Beach Nitehawks. Watching him when I was little has been what has kept me interested in this great game. It is extremely hard to be around the game when I know he is not there to watch and offer constructive criticism, or just to be with me.
Please give me some ideas so I can do my part in keeping this sport going. I will gladly listen to and/or read what you have to offer. And then, do what I can.
Thanks to all of the teams and players for another great year, and who knows, maybe there will be a 2006 Spring Swing Fastpitch Weekend.
April 16-17, DC Current, Indiana vs. Las Vegas Hitmen 4 games
Las Vegas Hitmen
Mail to: VegasFP22@aol.com
Mail to: email@example.com