Reflecting on Dave Blackburn’s near fatal traffic accident last August, and his courageous — and continuing — battle back, it gives me great pleasure to tell you this announcement and schedule comes directly from Dave. He will be in Santa Barbara on June 4-5, heading up the longest running men’s open fastpitch tournament in California, now in its 21st year, with Dave in charge for the last 13. (this year will be his 14th year)
From Best of the West Tournament Director Dave Blackburn:
2011 21st Annual Best of the West Tournament
Elings Park, Santa Barbara, June 4 & 5
Eight strong ball clubs will converge on the central California coastal resort city of Santa Barbara for the 21st Annual “Best of The West” Men’s Fastpitch Softball Tournament.
The longest running Open Tournament held in California returns to fields 1 & 2 of the softball complex at Elings Park on June 4 – 5. Each team will play a 3 game Round Robin schedule on Saturday June 4, and all 8 teams will qualify for a single elimination playoff bracket on Sunday June 5.
A berth in the 2011 ISC World Tournament will be handed out to the top finishing ISC Western Region ball club, using only their 2011 ISC submitted rosters.
“This is probably the most talented gathering of teams that we have fielded in our 20 previous years of running this Tournament,” said Dave Blackburn, Best of The West Tournament Director. “We will be showcasing the skills of lots of former ISC All-World players, and some who are even probable future ISC Hall of Fame inductees.”
The field will be lead by the defending “Best of The West” Champions and ISC World Tournament contender California Athletics of Salinas. The A’s feature flame throwing Canadian National Team pitcher Sean Whitten, a 2nd team ISC All-World selection in 2009. Argentina’s pitching phenomenon Lucas Mata, and USA National Team pitcher Travis Price joins Whitten on the A’s staff. Hard hitting Canadian Catcher / DH / 1B Darren Box is also a 3 time ISC All-World selection (01, 02, 03), as well as being named ISC World Tournament MVP (01). Five time ISC All-World selection Todd Budke, who lead the 2009 ISC World Tournament in batting average (.583), is also on the California A’s ISC roster, and is a deep threat against any pitcher.
The Italian Athletic Club (IAC) team out of Stockton, CA will also be very tough, and they feature young up and coming Canadian pitching star Tyson Barkman. Veteran hurler Matt Barnes backs up Barkman in the circle for IAC.
The Bakersfield Silverhawks boast Canadian Rob Schweyer as their top hurler, and young Canadian pitcher Andrew Putnam as his back-up. Hard Hitter Jeremy Tracy can also pitch, and the pickup of Canadian veteran Glenn Ormsby should help the Silverhawks offensive attack
The balance of the field is quite evenly matched, which should make for some great ball games.
Clyde Bennet is serving as the Umpire-in-Chief.
Jim Flanagan and Robert Hernandez are assistant Tournament Directors.
Paul Castillo and crew will be handling concessions at the park.
Fred Hanker, whose Bakersfield tournament reports were so popular, will be on hand with his iPad for game by game reports.
Ballparkradio will be broadcasting selected games in streaming audio. (Watch for a schedule of broadcasts, coming soon)
Saturday June 4 Pool Play
Game 1 – Field 1 – 9:00 AM
California A’s Vs Liberty Fastpitch
Game 2 – Field 2 – 9:00 AM
Maccabi USA Vs Italian Athletic Club
Game 3 – Field 3 – 9:00 AM
Those Guys Vs Bakersfield Silverhawks
Game 4 – Field 1 – 10:45 AM
California A’s Vs Bakersfield Silverhawks
Game 5 – Field 2 – 10:45 AM
Cal-State Builders Vs Pala Braves
Game 6 – Field 3 – 10:45 AM
Those Guys Vs J&B Painting
Game 7 – Field 1 – 12:30 PM
Cal-State Builders Vs Italian Athletic Club
Game 8 – Field 2 – 12:30 PM
Maccabi USA Vs CR A1 Rockies
Game 9 – Field 3 – 12:30 PM
Bakersfield Silverhawks Vs J&B Painting
Game 10 – Field 1 – 2:15 PM
Italian Athletic Club Vs CR A1 Rockies
Game 11 – Field 2 – 2:15 PM
Liberty Fastpitch Vs Those Guys
Game 12 – Field 3 – 2:15 PM
Pala Braves Vs Maccabi USA
Game 13 – Field 1 – 4:00 PM
California A’s Vs J&B Painting
Game 14 – Field 2 – 4:00 PM
Cal-State Builders Vs CR A1 Rockies
Game 15 – Field 3 – 4:00 PM
Cross Over Game
Liberty Fastpitch Vs Pala Braves
Sunday June 5 Playoff Bracket
Game 16 – Field 1 – 8:00 AM
10th Place Vs 7th Place
Game 17 – Field 2 – 8:00 AM
9th Place Vs 8th Place
Game 18 – Field 3 – 8:00 AM
4th Place Vs 5th Place
Game 19 – Field 1 – 9:45 AM
1st Place Vs Winner Game 16 (10th v. 7th)
Game 20 – Field 2 – 9:45 AM
2nd Place Vs Winner Game 17 (9th v. 8th)
Game 21 – Field 3 – 9:45 AM
3rd Place Vs 6th Place
Game 22 – Field 1 – 11:30 AM
Winner Game 18 Vs Winner Game 19
Game 23 – Field 2 – 11:30 AM
Winner Game 20 Vs Winner Game 21
Game 24 – Field 1 – 1:15 PM
Winner Game 22 Vs Winner Game 23
Our earlier post below
A number of people have inquired as to the future of the Best of the West Tournament in California, in the wake of the serious injuries suffered by Dave Blackburn in a car accident in August, 2010. The prognosis is that Dave’s recovery will be a lengthy process.
The tournament WILL be held in 2011, marking its 21st consecutive year, the longest running men’s open fastpitch tournament in California.
A group of Dave’s friends, including myself, SCIFL league Commissioner Robert Hernandez, and the co-tournament director for the past several years, Clyde Bennett, will serve as temporary tournament directors, and hold the reins during Dave’s absence. Dave has been the tournament director for the past 13 years, and we all look forward to his return in the future.
Please add the date to your list of tournament dates for 2011, and watch for further updates with additional information.
21st Annual Best of The West Menâ€™s Fastpitch Tournament.
June 4th & 5th, 2011
1298 Las Positas Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Teams interested in entering the tournament, and/or general inquiries may be sent to Jim Flanagan, jim (at) fastpitchwest.com.
Email: jim (at) fastpitchwest
Tel: (562) 726-3004