Archive for the ‘ISC’ Category

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)



2nd Annual California Classic – June 18-10, 2011

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

The California A’s and Bakersfield Silverhawks will be hosting the 2nd Annual California Classic in Santee, CA. The tournament will be held at the Sportplex USA Complex on June 18-19. More information will follow.

Teams interested can contact:

David Weldin
davidw (at)
or Chris McGehee
garageworks (at)

2011 ISC World Tournament Shortened to Seven Days

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

The International Softball Congress and its 2011 host, Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, are announcing that the 2011 ISC World Tournament will be shortened to seven days.

“The change follows the results of a survey conducted after the 2010 event in which teams overwhelmingly requested we shorten the tournament,” said ISC Executive Director Ken Hackmeister.

For 44 of the 48 teams, the tournament will start on Sunday August 14 and run through Saturday August 20 with all games scheduled to be played on six diamonds at the Green Valley Complex in Moline, Illinois.

Four teams will be asked to play in two evening games on Saturday August 13 with action continuing on Sunday afternoon following the Hall of Fame induction breakfast on Sunday morning.

Opening Ceremonies will be held on Sunday at 6:00 pm.

At this time, we anticipate holding two registration sessions and manager meetings, the first on Saturday afternoon for teams playing that night or prior to opening ceremonies and the second early Sunday afternoon for the remaining teams.

The tournament format will be the same as used in Midland this year; 48-teams playing in an EGC format with the first 24-teams eliminated going into a 24-team single elimination for the ISC II Championship. The ISC II portion will be played Tuesday thru Thursday.

We recently had our annual checklist meeting in Quad Cities and were very impressed with the improvements Quad Cities will be implementing to better serve teams, umpires and fans.

ISC Regional Vice Presidents have now been given their region’s berth allocations so they can begin awarding Qualifying events in their respective regions.

More specifics about the 2011 ISC World Tournament will be distributed by spring 2011.

Ken Hackmeister Joe Taylor
ISC CEO – Quad Cities CVB

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.

Fastpitch Chronicle – First issue, Aug 1988

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Update: See bottom of this post.

As many of our regular readers know, followed in the footsteps of Al’s Fastball, but also some older printed publications, like Ray Anderson’s Fastpitch Bulletin, and Bob Tomlinson’s Fastpitch Chronicle. (mentioned here, written when I started the site twelve years ago, back in 1998)

Though the Fastpitch Bulletin and Fastpitch Chronicle are no longer printed in this internet age, copies of old issues are still around and provide a great historical record of the game.

A while back, the publisher of the Fastpitch Chronicle, Bob Tomlinson held an auction on eBay for a complete set of issues for the Fastpitch Chronicle, and I was the successful bidder. (Sorry, Billy). We are planning to post the issues online, as part of our “new and improved” Fastpitchwest, but in the meantime, I thought I’d share a few issues to give readers a sneak preview of what is “coming soon”.

Click here to view the very first issue of the Fastpitch Chronicle, Volume 1, Number 1, published in August 1988.

It’s interesting, as Bob talks, on page one, about his plans to publish the Chronicle. It also contains a bracket sheet for the 1988 ISC World Tournament, as it was just about to get underway at the Borg-Warner Sports Complex in Decatur, Illinois. It had a full 48 teams, including my hometown Long Beach Nitehawks, who was not among the 16 top seeded teams. The Nitehawks were playing an unnamed team from the South East area, with the winner to face the Rempel Brothers of Saskatoon, Canada. It was the year before my first ISC World Tournament, and the news of games and more came to my mailbox but once a month.

OK, for bonus points, do you know who won the ISC World Tournament that year? Which two teams played in the finals ? Who won the MVP’s? Do you know without looking it up at the ISC Website ? Were you at the tournament? If so, send me an email and tell me what you recall about the tournament. Email to: jim (at)

Update/Editor’s note: This post seems to have generated quite a bit of interest, judging from the e-mails coming in. The “bonus points” go to John Younger, who was the first to note Penn Corp as the winner of the 1988 ISC World Tournament, and and MVPs Jimmy Seaman and Mark Sorenson, both members of the Penn Corp team.

Sioux City IA Penn Corp beat Lexington MO Harolds Supermarket twice in the finals, I think Jim Seaman was MVPitcher & Mark Sorenson MVPlayer,I didn’t stay for finals.I remember it was very hot that week in Decatur,I was glad I wasn’t playing. Harolds played in our city league in St Joseph MO at that time & I played with them in the 86 ASA national. They beat Penn Corp early in the 88 ISC & went undefeated to the finals, but Penn Corp came back with it’s great pitching staff: Jim Seaman, Steve Schults, Pete Sandman& I beleave Paul Magan

New ISC II Player Rep – Eric Fogel

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

From the ISC

NEW ISC II Player Rep- Press Release

I would like to welcome Eric Fogel, from Hummelstown, Pa, as the new ISC II Player Rep.

Eric is an active player/pitcher/coach with Pennsylvania Power, who are coming off an impressive sixth place finish at the 2010 ISC World Tournament where they were also awarded the Frank Porth Memorial Team Sportsmanship Award.

The youngest of five children, Eric’s three older brothers got him playing the game at the age of 15 in 1981. He has been hooked on fastpitch ever since and still has the passion to carry on for many years to come.

Eric helped pitch his teams to two ASA National titles in 1999 and 2005 to go along with three titles in NAFA and NSA. He is also the girls softball pitching coach at Central Dauphin High School in Pennsylvania.

A school teacher, Eric and his wife Jodi have a two-year old son named Brody.

Eric’s email address is:
efogel13 (at)

Eric will be a valued member of the ISC Player Rep Committee and I look forward to seeing a new face, with new ideas and a keen love for the game of fastpitch

Joe Todd
ISC II Vice Pres
Ingersoll, Ontario
ftode739 (at)

Best of the West 2011 – June 4-5, 2011

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

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 Men’s Fastpitch Tournament.

June 4th & 5th, 2011
Elings Park,
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)

Jim Flanagan
Email: jim (at) fastpitchwest
Tel: (562) 726-3004

p.s. Click here for updates on Dave’s condition.

Two Out, Two In at AAU

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Two teams out / two teams in at the 2011 AAU International Tournament

* Maccabi is sending one team / Elmira Erb Electric Expos is the replacing team
* Bravos de Caracas team from Venezuela out … Oklahoma Fastpitch is in.

The 40 team field:

Aragua Venezuela Venezuela
Blackburn Transport Canada
Bravos del Norte de Tenerife Spain
Brewers de Venezuela Venezuela
Capitalinos de Caracas Venezuela
Chicago/New York USA
Cobourg Force Canada
Combatientes Fastpitch Venezuela Venezuela
DC Arrows Canada
Dominicana U.S. USA
El Dorado Venezuela Venezuela
Elmira Erb Electric Expos Canada
Florida Fastpitch USA
Gigantes de Venezuela Venezuela
Hill United Canada
Hooligans of Niagara Canada
Houston Carnage USA
Indios de Venezuela Venezuela
Italian Athletic Club USA
Kitchener Outlaws Canada
Lanzeros Venezuela Venezuela
Los Socios Venezuela
Maccabi USA USA
Mexico Mexico
Miami USA
Millwood Countrymen Canada
Minnesota Angels USA
Niagara Fury Canada
NY / PA Metropolitans USA
Ohio Battery USA
Oklahoma Fastpitch USA
PK Broward USA
SC Tornados USA
Softball Canada Canada
Sopotocientos Venezuela
Sureño Soy Venezuela
Team Minnesota USA
Virgin Islands Eagles USA
Washington DC Metros USA

By country:

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)

2010 ISC World Tournament Wrap Up

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

From Kyle Beane:

Midland, MI

For all the anticipation, planning, and work that went into the 2010 ISC, it seemed like the start date of August 13th would never arrive. And once it did, the days seemed longer than ever….but then, all of the sudden, it was championship Saturday, and the tournament was coming to a close. And now, a month later, players, teams and fans are already looking to the future and what comes next – for their teams, their sponsors and for the future of the sport.

Our committee has heard from many of the different constituents that were part of the tournament, and we’re thrilled that the response has been positive. The City of Midland has a long-standing reputation for running excellent events for Men’s Fastpitch, and we wanted to continue that tradition. We’re very proud to now be part of the history in Midland that has included ASA and ISF events that fans from all over the world look back at fondly.

Without the following groups of people and organizations, this tournament would not have happened…all of the following groups needed to be in sync with each other to make this a success.

Sponsors: The following business and organizations provided various support to the tournament – financial, manpower, services, products – and all were integral in the tournament. Our deep thanks goes out to them.

Home Run

Dow Chemical
Valley Plaza Resort
Midland Resort
Midland Softball Association
Dow Corning
Midland Convention and Visitors Bureau


Strosacker Foundation
HH and GA Dow Foundation
Gerstacker Foundation
EGL Currie Foundation
Muehlenbeck Distributing
Mid-Michigan Health


Sports Junction
Chemical Bank
Gillis Softball Academy
Kenrye Website Design
Charter Communication

Wolverine Bank
Great Lakes Loons
Tri-Tech Cable
Boulevard Lounge
Reese Developmental League
The H Hotel
Jack’s Fruit Market
Mark Bone Agency
Gallo Wine
In-Focus Photography
Quick & Reliable Printing
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Berryhill American Legion
Kokaly Lawn Sprinklers
Dictating Machine Service

One of the unknown factors in running a tournament of this size is the amount of support that the host (especially a first time host) will receive from the community. And that support is absolutely essential. Whether it’s taking tickets, selling programs, running water buckets, pouring beer, keeping score, announcing games, running a scoreboard, cleaning up the park, watching the parking lots, chasing foul balls, or just being an extra set of hands to help with duties that come up out of the blue…..all of those areas were covered and handled with care and professionalism.

Our final count of volunteers was well over 200, and each individual and group that was part of the tournament has the Host Committees sincere gratitude for their participation.

Local Media: From the very beginning of the process, the Midland Daily News became an active supporter of the ISC Tournament, and continued that throughout the completion. Sports Editor Chris Stevens, writer John Kennet, and former Sports Editor Don Winger all proved support, encouragement and great articles/commentary that added to the bigger picture of getting the word out to fans everywhere.

The Saginaw News
, led by Sports Editor Paul Neumeyer and writer Geoff Mott also covered the tournament with great care and detail. By tying in the 1981 tournament into the 2010 version, they allowed fans from that era to relive some of the great moments from almost 30 years ago. Additionally, Geoff Mott provided a live, online blog/chat for fans during an Explorers game and during the championship game that attracted fans from all over the world.

Sincere thanks and gratitude to both newspapers for helping to make the media portion of this event professional, timely and accurate

ISC Media:
Whether it was Al Doran, Jim Flanagan, or the BallPark Radio Crew, the ISC Staff and it’s peripheral support people were all more than happy to assist in the promotion of the tournament and the sport. The world-wide coverage that is possible with the various websites, forums and media only enhance the overall aspect of the tournament and the sport. Every little bit does truly help and their efforts helped make the tournament complete.

Grounds Crew:
Simply put, the Midland Parks and Rec group that spent their time at Emerson Park and Redcoats Complex worked their tails off during the tournament to make the grounds, facilities, and playing fields the best they could be. Whether it was repairing pitchers mounds on a moment’s notice, mowing grass in the middle of the night, or getting trash picked up, they are the unsung heroes of the tournament.

Additionally, the Great Lakes Loons grounds crew were a great resource of ideas and help during the tournament – they did some coaching, some teaching, some repairing and the spirit of cooperation that was shown was appreciated by all involved.

Host Committee: Finally, the group of people who made up the Host Committee is a unique collection of softball people, business leaders, players and fans. Their very common trait is that they are passionate about softball, and it showed in their dedication to the tournament.

Don Hartz
– Bringing a much needed ‘non-softball’ perspective to the group, Don helped in fundraising, meeting organization and vision. Don was a great sounding board for the group and helped to push through details to make sure the bigger picture was considered. He was also a fixture at the park helping to coordinate the volunteers on a daily basis.

Pete Finn – If there was a connection to be made in the Midland Community, Pete had it. Bringing a players, and an organizers perspective to the committee, Pete was in a unique position to offer his expertise because he’s been on both sides of the ISC/tournament atmosphere. Pete put in long and important hours at the park, and was instrumental in the tournament’s success.

Jack Starling – Throughout the process, Jack brought a sense of balance to the committee, and helped temper many discussions with a different point of view, which helped lead to the best possible solution. Another one of the group that helped lead the volunteers during their workdays, Jack spent a ton of time greeting fans at the ticket gate and making sure that process ran smoothly.

Kristen Wright
– During the course of tournament planning, Kristen helped get the word out through the local and greater Michigan communities via any social media that was available. She was also our point person on the Chamber of Commerce and helped the committee find ways to utilize the networking that membership provided.

Marcie Post / Karen Murphy / Jesse Stewart
– Our Parks and Rec support from the very beginning of this process was excellent. They were receptive to ideas, to change, to suggestions and worked with us every step of the way to make sure their facilities were ready for teams and fans.

Trey Lee / Neil Faccio –
The two representatives on the committee from the co-host team of Mickey’s Sleds, Trey and Neil recruited the concession vendors for the tournament. From the comments from fans and players, it was a great mix of offerings at fair prices, which is a win-win solution for all involved. They also spent plenty of time rolling out tarps at night with other members of the Mickey’s team, and helping to staff and supervise the beer tents and ticket gates.

Lee Isenhart – Hall of Fame Breakfast, Tournament Director, Campsites, ISC Commissioner, Explorers Booster Club Past-President….the list of things that Lee worked on is pretty amazing. Anyone who saw him at the park knows that he started working first thing in the morning and finished late into the night.

Jim Volk – If there was a detail to consider, a contingency to plan for, or something that we hadn’t thought of, Jim found it. Absolutely tireless, I’d be shocked if he missed an inning during the tournament. Being the Host Committee’s main point of contact for the ISC in terms of fields, game play, scheduling, and the overall execution once the games started, Jim was an ‘A+’, without question.

Marc Gillis – The third piece of the Tournament Director staff, Marc worked the Redcoats Complex, the U-19 Tournament, and the Legends tournament to keep things running smoothly, and did so with his usual efficiency. What many people may not realize is that Marc was the right-hand man for his Dad, Art, at the 1981 ISC in Saginaw – a lot of the committee work that our group completed with a 20+ person group was handled by Marc, Art and only a couple others, which makes the 1981 tournament even more impressive.

Clint Beane – If there was an errand to run, something to pick up, an extra set of hands to help set up something, or a piece of work that didn’t have a volunteer, Chet took care of it. I don’t know how many miles he put on during the week, but I don’t think many people put any more on.

Ellen Beane – Taking care of details at the park with the ticket gate, programs, beer tent, and vendors…along with record-keeping for the team and the tournament committee (along with being the Explorers #1 fan), Ellen didn’t miss a beat.

Steve Horning – Doing behind the scenes work for the team, as well helping to coordinate hotels with teams and fans, Steve continued what he’s done for the team for years – helping out where ever he can to make sure things run smoothly.

Lanny Dexter – If there was a question about a vendor process, the beer tent, food menus, pricing, or set-up…Lanny was the man. His ‘real-world’ experience in the industry brought much-needed insight into how to run the food/drink portion of the tournament.

Jeff Servinski – ‘Sod’ wore a lot of hats over the course of the tournament – coordinating the insurance policies we needed, fundraising, writing media releases, pushing tarps, fixing mounds, helping out the grounds crew, leading opening ceremonies and doing color commentary on the MCTV broadcast. For those who know him well, his level of involvement is not a surprise – one of the hardest workers, and most conscientious, of anyone that’s ever been involved with the Explorers organization.

Laura Currie – Given her own, and her family’s legacy with Midland softball, just having Laura on the committee as a resource of ideas would have been a win. But she also provided us with volunteers, kept score, helped fundraise, and was an advocate for the field improvements that were done at Emerson and Redcoats.

Sports Junction – Art and Tuck were great idea people for the committee. Even though they were one of our vendors, their experience with big tournaments like the ISC was important as we planned for park setup, souvenir offerings, and as a resource for items we needed throughout the tournament.

Marty McGuire
– One of the architects of all the previous big events at Emerson Park, Marty served as an advisor and also helped with the licensing piece of the tournament.

Gregg Sauve
– Being an active player, and manager, Gregg was able to provide unique insight into what was needed to run the tournament. Helping to fundraise, recruit volunteers, and assist in the park setup process, Gregg did a great job for the committee.

Sue Forbes – Taking on one of the most important jobs of the tournament, Sue coordinated the volunteer effort – recruiting, scheduling, follow-up, training…couple that with the hours that she spent at the park, and Sue truly was an MVP.

Pete Volk
– Pete handled the finances, tracking and reporting during the tournament. His ability to keep us on track and up to date with invoices, balances and necessary information was absolutely key to the process.

Brett Bechtel
– A jack of all trades for the entire tournament, Brett is a student at Northwood University who served as an intern during the process. Studying Sports Management, Brett was able to add some additional real-world experience to his academic endeavors.

Katie Ardouin – In addition to serving as the tournament photographer, Katie was instrumental in helping to organize and recruit our volunteer group.

Jeff Ryers – The website designer for our tournament site, Jeff brought a unique perspective to the process a former player, and a sports fan. He wanted to give visitors to the site a feel of professionalism for the tournament (and the sport) and he accomplished that goal. Constant improvements, additions, and quick response led to 20,000 visitors to the site from 50 states and 40 countries.

Leslie Benner – Leslie handled the coordination of the Opening Ceremonies, and kept everything flowing during that piece of the tournament. She was able to get as much content into a short period of time, which allowed all of the participants a chance to take part and be recognized.

Kathy Peariso and the Midland Special Olympics – In a thousand different ways, Kathy and her peers add so much to the lives of their athletes. We’re very grateful for their particicpation in the 2010 ISC World Tournament, your teams are welcome at any of our events whenever you’d like.

Final Thoughts:
The Host Committee is in the process of wrapping up all the final details….getting final invoices, preparing reports, detailing what went right, what we could have done better, and talking about what the future holds for events like this in the Midland Community. It really was a giant undertaking that made us appreciate the efforts that go on behind the scenes to make sporting events possible.

Congratulations go to the Cobourg Force, Scarborough Champion Indians, Wellington Sox and the Jarvis Travelers for their championship runs in Midland. There were unforgettable moments on the field from these teams and all the others, that helped to make the on-field product the true reason that everyone associated with the sport is so passionate towards.

The work was worth the reward – and that reward was becoming part of the ISC history, leaving our mark on softball in Midland, creating memories for teams, players and fans, and maybe even inspiring others to become involved at bigger levels than what their current participation allows them to. Thank you to all who came to Midland to be part of the 2010 ISC World Tournament.

See you at the ballpark in 2011,

Kyle Beane and David Lach
Co-Chair, Midland 2010 ISC Host Committee