Archive for the ‘So Cal’ 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)



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.

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)

2nd Annual Maccabi USA Softball Invitational (“BreederRupp”)

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Event: Maccabi USA Softball Invitational
Date: Dec. 11, 2010
Location: El Dorado Park, Long Beach CA

Proceeds and charitable donations to benefit the Charlotte Blackburn Memorial Fund.

Here’s where friends can participate (Click here)

Instructions to donate:

Once the personal fields have been filled in click the field in memory of and type in the “Charlotte Blackburn Memorial Fund”.. They’ll send you a tax deductible receipt. With our many thanks..

Kenny Schwartz
Maccabi USA Softball

West Coast Fastpitch Association 2011

Monday, November 15th, 2010

From Bob Chapel:


March 26-27 MFP- – STOCKTON Bob Chapel
APR ? MFP — LAS VEGAS NV Robert Hernandez 714-392-1387
APRIL 16-17 MFP- – LODI Bob Chapel 406-690-0664
April 30-MAY 1 MFP- – SONORA Bob Chapel
June 4-5 MFP- – FOLSOM Bob Chapel
JUL 9-10 MFP- – SONORA Bob Chapel 406-690-0664
JUL 30-31 MFP-– CARSON CITY Bob Chapel
Aug 11-14 NAFA World Series (A Major/AA – ROCKFORD IL
Aug 18-21 NAFA World Series (A/AA Major) – ROCKFORD IL

I need to hear from all the teams with any suggestion to make our play better in 2011. If you want to have a meeting to discuss the league, in late January or February let me know so I can schedule it.

-Bob Chapel

Click here for a printer friendly copy, with calendar.

One More Time for the Black Sox

Friday, November 5th, 2010

From the Long Beach Black Sox Facebook page:

The Long Beach Black Sox will be participating in a 1 day tournament which is the last event for The Sox in 2010 and 2011. Please feel free to join us.

Saturday, December 11 · 9:00am – 8:00pm

El Dorado Park
7550 E. Spring St
Long Beach, CA

All former and current Long Beach Black Sox players are encouraged to play in the free event. Please contact me if your interested.

View Larger Map

Editor’s note: That’s my bike path to the right — look closely, you might see me.

Team Santa Barbara 2011

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

We are pleased to share the news that Santa Barbara will be on the fastball map for the 2011 season. The news comes from, longtime Santa Barbara player, Phil Hiromerides. The team will play in local Santa Barbara tournaments, including, most notably, the best of the West tournament June 4-5, 2011 ( held in Santa Barbara) as well as Masters events. Lots of familiar names and faces on this group.

The 2011Team Santa Barbara roster:
(pitchers shown in bold)

Ben Limosnero
Joe Vigil
Phil Hiromerides
Mick Ventura
John Silacci
Tony Acedo
Bud Sander
Mark Bennett

Pete Favero
Steve Garcia
Steve Adams
Russ Arellanes
Clayte Robinson

Kevin Spiers
Robert Renteria
Joe Edwards
Ron Mizener

Aaron Owens (part-time)

Coach Gary May
Coach Clyde Bennett

Santa Barbara has a long history of men’s fastball in the Southern California area, including the Santa Barbara instant replay team of the early 1990s, and Santa Barbara Bucks team that followed. The Bucks represented California in a number of ISC World Tournaments. A number of the players on the 2011 Team Santa Barbara squad were members of those Bucks teams, Additionally, catchers Tony Acedo (Team Rainey), and Aaron Owens (Long Beach Painters, and as a young 18-year-old with the 1990 Vista Bombers) also bring ISC World Tournament experience to next year’s squad.

Editor’s note: I’m sure this news will bring a smile to the face of our friend Dave Blackburn, who is a longtime member of this group. We shared a quote from Dave about teammate Phil Hiromerides in a feature story about Phil some time ago, “The Greek God of Hitting“. In talking about Phil, Dave Blackburn said:

“We called him the Greek God of Taters, because he didn’t just hit the ball hard, he mashed it”.

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.

Fred Hanker, Long Beach Black Sox Taking Time off in 2011

Monday, October 18th, 2010

From Fred Hanker’s Long Beach Black Sox Men’s Fastpitch Softball Facebook page:

I have decided to not have The Long Beach Black Sox next year. I have run this team for 6 years and I need a much deserved break. I will be playing with other teams in 2011. Thanks to all our fans for your support. I will continue to maintain the site and make posts so stay tuned. I may at some point next year reunite the team. Thanks for all your kind words

Editor’s note:

A well deserved break for Fred. He’s been the driving force for the team — and for much of fastpitch in So Cal for the past six years, both on the field and behind the scenes, somehow finding a way to manage and run the team, and yet still focus and be among the top hitters in So Cal, seemingly every single weekend. The list of players wearing the Black Sox uniform for those six year is long and distinguished. Thanks Fred to giving so many players a place to play, and learn the game — both young players and old. Like the Pittsburgh Pirates of old, it was always fun to see which uniform the team would don on a given day (just how many different version were there?) The Black Sox blended friendship and talent, with more tournament victories than one can count, a testament to Fred’s leadership. Fred’s website, his facebook page and the hundreds of photos and stories posted kept us up on fastpitch in So Cal. We’ll miss seeing the Sox in 2011 Fred, but it is a well deserved break indeed.

Conquistadors Men’s Fastpitch Tournament – Colton CA – Oct. 16-17

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Fastpitch softball tourney is planned

The Colton Dirtbags, a men’s fastpitch softball team, will be hosting the annual Conquistadors Men’s Fastpitch Softball Tournament on the weekend of Oct. 16 and 17 at Veterans Park in Colton.

The tournament is rated class “C” and has an entry fee of $350. Veterans Park is located at 292 East O Street.

For more information, call Tony Campa at (909) 824-1620 or Joaquin Juarez at (909) 915-4946.
The Colton Dirtbags, a men’s fastpitch softball team, will be hosting the annual Conquistadors Men’s Fastpitch Softball Tournament on the weekend of Oct. 16 and 17 at Veterans Park in Colton.

The tournament is rated class “C” and has an entry fee of $350. Veterans Park is located at 292 East O Street.

For more information, call Tony Campa at (909) 824-1620 or Joaquin Juarez at (909) 915-4946.