Archive for the ‘Players’ Category

Fastpitch softball player feels blessed to be in the game

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Cap tip Scott Standerfer via Blair Setford

By BOB FALLSTROM – H&R Community News Editor

Larry Moffett, 61, of Moweaqua, is still playing competitive softball. He’s third baseman and designated hitter for the Decatur Pride. Moffett said he was meant to play softball, after all, his mother and father met at a softball game. (Herald & Review/Kelly J. Huff)
He can run. He can hit. He can throw. He can field.

Larry Moffett thinks he was destined to play fastpitch softball. And he’s not going to stop.

The Decatur Pride third baseman and designated hitter will be 62 on Feb. 25.
“My dad and mother met at a softball game in Elwin.” Moffett pointed out. “My dad, ‘Lefty,’ an outfielder played until he was 50.”

How long will Moffett keep playing? “My eyes are still 20-20, I’m blessed,” he said. “My body will tell me when to quit. I have a passion for playing, I love the competition and the camaraderie. I’m sort of an ambassador for fastpitch softball. I tell everybody to keep playing.”

Click here for the complete story and photo.

Dave Blackburn

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

* Please note * All future updates are being posted here:

Dave Blackburn is at the Kaiser hospital in Los Angeles, and can see visitors, and receive mail. You can send your letters or cards to:

Kaiser Permanent Los Angeles Medical Center
4867 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles,CA 90027
(323) 783-4011
At this time Dave is in room 6541

(click to enlarge) (Photo by Tom Mc Conville, courtesy of Ron Rupp)

Latest Update (28) on Thanksgiving day, November 25, 2010 from me

I had a chance to visit Dave at Kaiser hospital last night and am pleased to tell you that he is getting great attention and care from his nursing staff and continues to mend. Considering the situation back in August, his progress to date has been remarkable.

One of the first things I noticed in his room were all of the cards, letters and photos from family and friends taped to the wall in his room. When you consider that his world for past three months has consisted of four walls, those kind of things mean a great deal to Dave, and give him the strength to endure the long process ahead.

He has an iPad near his bed, a gift from his Maccabi teammates, though he is still learning how to use it, and with his hands still healing, it may be a while before he is able to send e-mails, though I think he is able to receive and read them, or have them read to him. He’s in pain and discomfort from time to time, but it was reassuring to see him and hear that familiar voice. On this Thanksgiving day, I am grateful for friends like Dave, and to know that all of you are making a difference for him.

If any of you in the Southern California area have been considering a visit to see Dave, I am sure he would appreciate it. The hospital is easy to get to, just North of the 101, near Vermont and Sunset. (exit Vermont, and go a mile or two north (towards the mountains) to Sunset, turn left, and the hospital is on your immediate right. Due to construction at the hospital, it is easiest to park at the “4715 Sunset” building parking, and walk over to the “4867 Sunset” building where Dave is staying. The hospital takes up the entire block, but the parking driveway for the “4715 Sunset” building is on your immediate right as soon as you make the left turn from Vermont to Sunset. (Bring your drivers license, as they will ask you for it to get a visitor pass).

If any of you would like to record a message to be relayed to Dave, you can leave it on the Fastpitchwest voicemail, 562-726-3004, and I will play it for him at one of my next visits.

Likewise, if any of you would like to video a greeting for Dave, and send me the file, I will play it at one of my visits. Email to: jim (at)

Map of/to Kaiser Hospital:

View Larger Map

There is now a website set up for Dave Blackburn. Click here to view.

Note that you can sign up for email updates, and post notes in Dave’s guestbook as well.

We’ve tucked our earlier updates below the jump. (Rather than multiple postings, we’ll keep it all here in one, so that people with the link can return to it easily)

Editor’s note: We’ve set up an email address for friends wishing to pass along a note to Dave and/or Ronnie:

Yourfastballfriends (at)

(Send your email to that address, and we’ll pass the notes along to them. We’ve already mailed off a good size batch from many of you who took the time to write, something I am sure will lift their spirits, so keep those cards and letters coming)

If you are on Facebook, you can post a note here. (and we’ll pass it along)



LB Black Sox Stats

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

From the Long Beach Black Sox website:

Sox manager Fred Hanker today released the updated Sox single season pitching and hitting records. In 2010 Ryan Webb added his name to the list as he set 2 new records. His K/BB ratio of 8.6 to 1 and his 11.60 K’s per game both were new records. Sox ace Ron Rupp and Randy Clay hold 5 single season pitching records each…. Rupp’s most impressive records are his 22 wins in 2009 and his 1.46 ERA in 2007. Randy Clay has held all 5 of his records since 2004. Clay’s most impressive records being 203 innings and 40 games pitched in 2004. Chuck Vranich holds 4 records including an impressive 28 complete games.

Fred Hanker the manager and founder of The Sox holds 11 Sox single season records. Six of his records have stood since 2004 including games (70), at bats (196), runs (67), hits (90), home runs (12) and total bases (167). Todd Budke holds 2 single season records both set in 2009 when he had 30 walks and a .587 on base % breaking both records held previously by Fred Hanker. Andy Martinez with 65 singles and Dan Fleming with 12 stolen bases hold the other 2 records. Todd Budke also set the single season record for hits by a pitcher with 57 in 2009 breaking the previous record held by Ron Rupp.

Click link above for more details.

Bob Court — 2010 North Cowichan-Duncan Wall of Fame inductee

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Bob Court enjoyed a stellar softball career, which started by honing his craft through his early years in the Duncan Junior Baseball Association before playing men’s fastball at the age of 15.

In 1985 as a member of the Victoria Junior Athletics, the smooth-fielding second baseman helped the club win the Canadian junior national championship.

As a member of the Victoria Payless, Legends and Travellers Inn, Court won 13 provincial and four more Canadian Senior A championships.

A perennial all-star, Court was a mainstay on the Canadian national team from 1991 to 2004.

Click logo above for the complete story.

Of Horses and Fastpitch

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Softball career kicks into gear with Black Sox

New Black Sox softballer Aaron Kuru pictured in his part time job as a horse trainer for John Bary of Hastings.

New Black Sox softballer Aaron Kuru pictured in his part time job as a horse trainer for John Bary of Hastings.

Aaron Kuru knows his part-time horse training job is a risky one.

A fall from a horse or kick from one has the potential to either end his hopes of playing for the Black Sox softball team or delay his debut for New Zealand’s most successful sports team on the international stage.

“I’m a little more cautious now … I know I have to look after the body,” said the Fast Pitch infielder who will join Maraenui Pumas pitcher Regan Manley as the two Hawke’s Bay players in the Black Sox side which will play a three-test series against world champions Australia across the Tasman next month.

“A few weeks after coming back from the Black Sox training camp in September I had a fall and I had to wear a neck brace for a little while,” recalled Kuru.

At the same he appreciates the horse training compliments his fitness training for softball. It wasn’t so long ago Kuru, 19, was eyeing a career as a jockey.

“Then my weight went up to the 65kg mark and I realised it wasn’t an option. To do well as a jockey you don’t really want to be too much over 52kgs,” Kuru explained.

His Black Sox selection which was announced last month suggests his softball career is on the right track.

“To be honest it was a surprise. I thought I still had a bit much to work on and I was a few years away from getting the nod,” said Kuru.

His Fast Pitch team is unbeaten after three weeks play in the Hawke’s Bay premier men’s competition and is almost as dominant as the star studded 1995-96 season Fast Pitch outfit was. Kuru pointed out the side is displaying the benefits of some “gutbusting” winter training sessions under player-coach Rayner Te Wake and Hawke’s Bay-based Black Sox pitching coach Chubb Tangaroa.

“My selection shows if you put in the hard yards you will get the results,” said Kuru, the fastest base runner in the Bay, and the second fastest in the Black Sox side.

During the Black Sox camp his best time for the run from first base to third out of six attempts with a 30s break in between was 5.39s.

That sort of pace is exactly what Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase needs as he looks to combine speed with power in his batting line-up.

Click here for the complete story.

Editor’s note: Unrelated directly to the above story, but if you didn’t see the feature on 60 minutes Sunday night about the racehorse, Zenyatta, it’s worth a look. She’ll be in the Breeder’s Cup this weekend.

Paging Jerry Hoffman

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Know How to get in touch with Jerry Hoffman?

Former Lancaster/Lakewood Chameleon first baseman Jerry Hoffman is among the members of the newest ISC Hall of Fame class, to be inducted at Quad cities in August, 2011.

The ISC is try to get in touch with him, in preparation for that induction.

If you have any contact information for Jerry, or know how to reach him, please e-mail to me, jim (at), or ask Jerry to get in touch with me directly, by e-mail, or phone, 562-726-3004.

Team Argentina heading to New Zealand

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

From our friend Martin Jorge:

Argentina Men’s National Team Staff confirmed today that school will be touring in New Zealand and Australia between 24 November and 12 December in what will be the first international competition will face the national team since he is commanded by Eduardo Sabaté.

Selection will be leaving from Buenos Aires on November 24 for New Zealand where he held a series of meetings with the selected second in the world, the Black Sox. On 1 December the national group will travel along with the selected New Zealand to Australian lands, where they will play from 3 to 5 December, the National Championship Skin, along with the eight best teams in Australia. The international series between the three selected, will run from 7 to 10 December in the city.

Yesterday, the Body Coach of Argentina Mayor announced the list of players who will join the Argentina National Team during the international competition:

1-Bittor, Nicholas Paraná
2-Bolzán, Kevin Paraná
3-Brandauer, Juan Bahia Blanca
4-Cáceres, Mauricio Bahia Blanca
5-Ferrara, Lautaro Paraná
6-Godoy, Gustavo Paraná
7-Godoy, Manuel Paraná
8-Guerrinieri, Gustavo Paraná
9 – Jiménez, Nicolás Bahía Blanca
10-Malatesta, Marcelo Paraná
11-Montero, Mariano Paraná
12-Montero, Maximiliano Paraná
13-Montero, Pablo Paraná
14-Motroni, Bruno Paraná
15-Petric, Fernando Paraná
16-Potolicchio, Juan Paraná
17-Rúa, Fernando Buenos Aires
18-Sabaté, Paraná Francisco
19-Sacks, Paraná Germain

It is noteworthy that two substitute players for any contingency that may arise with the squad (injury, administrative, labor or personal disabilities, etc.).

The Body Coach of Men’s Argentina is headed by Mayor Eduardo Sabaté, along with his assistant Mariano Spotorno (not travel due to labor), Rafael Salguero, Ricardo Biondi, Laureano Gomez, and Javier Martínez Team Leader.

Jorge Martin
Head of Media and Communication
Softball Confederation Argentina

A hit to cherish

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

From OttoInFocus:

(click banner for original news story at OttoinFocus)

Written by Bob Otto on October 12th, 2010


Named to the NAFA AA-Major All World team were Manor’s Christopher Torres, Peter Saldana-Rodriguez (first row, far right), Jason Chagoya, and Corey Avery. From the Toros, Jaime Garcia, Jr., Boomer Berry, Kyle Brown, and Tony Buckley were selected All World. Avery was selected the Most Valuable Pitcher, while Buckley was named the Most Valuable Player.

DES MOINES, WEST DES MOINES, IA – Peter Saldana-Rodriguez stepped into the right-side batter’s box. The bases were loaded. Tim Schultz was on third, Will Sandifer on second, Chris Torres on first.

For over three hours, the Texas Manor Dirt Bags and New Image of Monfort, WI. were locked in a battle in the NAFA World Series “AA-Major” playoffs. The score was tied, 1-1, in the 14th inning.

Like two iron-willed poker players playing for high stakes, the game had everything riding on it. The winner advances to the championship game. While the loser goes home.

And all alone in the batter’s box stood Rodriguez with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 14th. He could hear his Manor Dirt Bag teammates imploring him to wait on the change up and just meet the ball.

Much easier said than done.

For on the mound stood the imposing, 6-foot-2, and 240 pound, Jeramie Holman. New Image’s ace hurler, long considered one of the best – if not the best intermediate pitcher in North America.

And most agree that Holman owns the best change up in the game. A pitch that leaves the best hitters lunging like drunken sailors throwing wild punches and hitting nothing but air.

Just relax, sit back, and meet the ball Rodriguez told himself, while taking a deep breath. But Holman had already slipped two strikes by Rodriguez and controlled the battle of wills with an 0-2 count.

“He had just thrown me two change ups,” Rodriguez said, “that I swung at and missed…”
But not the third time.

Holman wound up and delivered. But this time Rodriguez was ready. “Change up,” his eyes told his hands. “Wait, wait…” And then like a Texas Timber Rattler striking out at a helpless cottontail, his hands whipped the bat around, driving the ball into the hole between short and third. And in raced Schultz with the winning run.

Within seconds of touching first base, Rodriguez’ teammates embraced, mobbed, and greeted him with high-fives, and “aata boy’s.”

But there was little time to celebrate. For the championship game was about to start. A game that the Manor Dirt Bags went on to win, 2-1, over the Topeka Toros to claim the “AA-Major” title, Sunday, Aug. 22.

And Rodriguez’ clutch hit helped bring it all about.

“That was definitely one of my biggest hits,” said, “especially since we were able to win it all, and I was able to be a part of a national championship team.”
But Rodriguez will also remember facing Holman, who not only pitches for New Image, but manages the ball club as well. A ball club that went on to finish the 2010 season with a dazzling, 95-11, record.

“The toughest pitcher in the tournament had to be Jeremy,” Rodriguez said. “For every nine change ups you might see a fastball… Everybody knows what’s coming, but his change up has so much movement and he throws it with different speeds and different arm angles that it’s hard to pick up.”

Both Holman and Rodriguez were selected to the All World team. Rodriguez had a blistering .417 batting average (5-for-12) along with two RBI’s and a stolen base.

And years from now when he’s long retired from the game, he’ll recall that moment in time when one swing of his bat sent his team on to victory and the championship.

“That hit is something I will always cherish,” he said.

Blake Miller to Oregon Ducks

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

EUGENE – University of Oregon softball head coach Mike White announced Monday that the program is excited to add Blake Miller as an assistant coach for the 2010-11 season.

The 10-year college coaching veteran joins the Ducks after serving as head coach at Texas A&M-Kingsville the past three seasons. In prior stints, he served as the head coach at Darton College (2006-07) and an assistant coach at East Tennessee State (2005), Missouri Western State (2004) and Mesa State (2001-03).

“We‘re thrilled to add someone of Blake’s caliber to our coaching staff,” White said. “As a U.S. National Team member he was known for his competitiveness and was a leader by example. His versatility on the field and at the plate were impressive, as was his intelligence on the field – he looked for the little things which are big in our game. Adding in his experience as a head coach at two successful Division II programs, he will help our players, particularly our young ones, continually increase their softball knowledge.”

Altogether during his coaching career, he coached two All-Americans, nine Academic All-Americans, and guided four teams to regional bids and one Junior College World Series trip.

Miller played on International Softball Congress world championship gold medal teams in 2008 and ’09 for the Kitchener, Ont., Riversharks, and the same team won the U.S. title in ‘10. A four-time first-team All-American (1999, 2002, ’05, ’07), he played on silver-medal U.S. teams in the 2003 Pan Am Games, 2007 European World Cup, the gold-medal squad in the 2007 American Challenge Series and fourth-place team in the 2009 ISF World Championships in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Click logo above for complete news story.

Softball complex is renamed after Larry Miller

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

(click logo to read the entire news story)

Wes Haymond, a former teammate and competitor of Larry H. Miller, speaks Friday at a dedication ceremony during which the Cottonwood Regional Softball Complex was renamed in honor of the late Jazz owner and philanthropist. (Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County officials and members of the Larry H. Miller family [unveiled] new signage at the Cottonwood Regional Softball Complex Friday, Oct. 1, at 3 p.m. when it will be renamed the Larry H. Miller Softball Complex. A brief ceremony will be held at the park, at 4350 S. 1300 East. Of his fastpitch softball career, Miller once said, “Other than the times I’ve spent with (his wife) Gail, I will say that some the happiest times of my life were when I was in uniform competing at the ballpark.”

Earlier this year, the Salt Lake County Council unanimously approved the name change.

“Softball was a big part of my dad’s life,” said Greg Miller, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. “I think for him, it provided an opportunity to compete, socialize and have fun all at the same time. Personally, I have many fond memories related to my dad’s softball career. … From traveling around the country in the back of a Toyota station wagon to attend his tournaments, to the hundreds of hours I spent playing ball and watching him at this (the Cottonwood Complex) facility. I can think of no more fitting way to memorialize my dad than to have this facility, where he spent so much time and learned and taught so much, named after him.”

(click Deseret News logo above to read the entire news story)