Archive for October, 2005

Happy Halloween

Monday, October 31st, 2005

Happy Halloween from Fastpitchwest & Ballparkradio. Keep an eye out for those little folks tonight.

Photo: Maddy’s award winning pumpkin carving. Any resemblance to the editor purely coincidental. (click to enlarge)

10,000+ Page Views For Sledgehammer22 at “2005 Rumor Central”

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

It was scarcely more than a year ago, on September 15, 2005 when Fastpitchwest Forum member “Sledgehammer22” posted a note in the California fastpitch section called “2005 Rumor Central“:

“Now that the season has come to a halt and all there is left is the usual end of the year fun tourneys I ask the question………Where’s the rumors? I know there are some teams out there ready to make a run for 2005 and where do the players come from? Rumors baby…I need rumors. Who’s the Peter Gammons of the fastpitch world?

The answer to that question might be Sledgehammer22 himself. Many know his true identity, while some do not. Whether one does or doesn’t does not seem important at this juncture. The fact is that Sledgehammer’s “Rumor Central” section has topped 10,000 page views in the past year. Fastball fans are indeed interested in the latest rumors, or developments in the world of fastball, and for California fastballers, that often means catching up on Rumor Central. The ‘hammer drops by from time to time with a choice tid bit of information, rumor, or just to stir the pot, and livens things up. As the 2005 season winds to a close, and we bide our time ’til next season, and as news, information and rumors fly about who’s going where for next season, there appears to be plenty of grist for the mill.

In the meantime, after helping to generate 10,000 page views in 2005, we’ll see if Sledgehammer22 will be back for an encore in 2006.

The Wide Wide World of Fastball, on Frappr

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

The Frappr map of fastball teams, players and fans continues to grow, hitting 70 members in only its third day. One of the first to “stake a flag” was Andy McColl way down under in Australia. GHFL’s Blair Setford and a whole block of members from that hotbed of fastball, Ontario, Canada, dropped in. Al Doran, who heads up fastball’s “Holy Grail“, and mailing list, planted his flag and photo. Tom Taylor and the guys up north in BC helped “paint” the rest of the west coast, adding to those up and down the US west coast, including California, home to The Fighting Illini came out in force yesterday to stake their claim. Today’s newest member is Norman Ames over in the Netherlands. Simply amazing to see how wide is this world of men’s fastball. (To “see” flags outside of North America, click their link on the list. Note also that you can click a “photos” link at the top of the page and view the photos, 9 to a page.)

Check out our Frappr!

Thanks to all who have taken the time to “stake a flag” showing us where you are, and especially to those who have fished out a photo or logo to go along with it. If you haven’t posted a flag, it takes just a moment — your zip code and name (or nickname if you prefer) is all that is required. Two-thirds of the postings have included photos, which we strongly encourage. There’s even a place for comments or as the young players call them, a “shout-out” (for your favorite team, for example) Remember that you may post your website address or email address if you wish, so others can reach you.

And if you need a “do-over”, just send me an email and I’ll delete your first attempt and let you start over.

Welcome aboard — to all of you.

Stake Your Flag at Fastpitchwest’s Readers Map

Friday, October 28th, 2005

Frappr is a new online mapping service which allows readers of to post a flag showing where they are, add a note (and photo if they wish). Just enter your name and zip and Google Maps does the rest !

Take a look, or better still, add yourself to our map. (Once at the map, click a flag and the reader’s name, note and photo pop-up) Have a team website? Add the URL to the note (e.g.

Check out our Frappr!
Click here to view and/or add yourself to our map !

We strongly encourage you to post a photo; as you will see, it’s more fun to peruse the flags when photos are attached ! Feel free to use a photo of yourself posted at Fastpitchwest. The Frappr system will automatically resize the photo for you. Note that you can “zoom in” on any flag by using the grid on the left hand side of the page. (Zooming in will show you the city and surrounding area for the zip code entered)

: Thanks to those of you who have take the time to “plant your flag” on the map, and especially those posting photos (most have). If you decide you’d like to add or change your photo, or run into any problems, please email me (jim (at) and I’ll delete you and you can do it again.

Update 2: You may include a website address in your “comments”, but need to include the full URL to create a hyperlink.

Update 3: If you have a high resolution (large) photo, Frappr will shrink your thumbnail, but post the photo in full size (which may be too large for online viewing). We recommend nothing larger than 800 x 600 (640 x 480 works fine, or even smaller if you wish). If you don’t know how to reduce that giant photo, email it to me and I will do it for you: jim @

Update 4: Great job out there. The map is growing by the day. Note that you can click “photos” link at the top of the map page, and view the photos, 9 to a page. You can click the photo to enlarge them as well. Right now, about 2/3’s of the members have a photo or logo for their flag.

Feed Blitz Update

Thursday, October 27th, 2005

“Feed Blitz” is our automated email system that notifies you when a new item has been posted to the Morning Brief.

Note to our readers: We note that about a dozen or so people typed in their email to receive Feedblitz emails, but have not clicked the link in the “welcome to Feed Blitz email. So if you think you signed up for the service, but are not receiving emails from FeedBlitz — check that welcome email you received and click that “confirmation” link. If all else fails, you can just sign up again.

For more info, click the Feed Blitz logo above, or the link over there at the upper right that says “Get Morning Brief via Email”

So Cal Bombers Add Second Norwalk Title to 2005 Resume

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

The So Cal Bombers started the 2005 season in February with a tournament title at Norwalk at the Panteras Valentines tournament. Last weekend, October 22-23, 2005, they closed out their season with another, winning Fernie Ramirez’s October tournament at Norwalk, CA, with a 2-0 win over rival Team Rainey in the championship game. Travis Price and Raymundo Parro pitched for the Bombers, with Travis Price picking up two wins over his former team, Team Rainey. Panfilo Valdez and Sonny Perkins threw for Team Rainey, with Perkins pitching well in the championship game.

In between, the Bombers garnered additional tournament titles at the Las Vegas Spring Swing, Best of the West and Mexicali, a second at Red Rock, and 10th at the premier event in all of men’s fastball, the (40 team) ISC World Tournament, held this year at Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It marked the first time in more than a decade that a So Cal team finished in the top 10 at the ISC World. The team is already looking ahead to 2006. Ralph Trejo, owner and sponsor of the team said:

“We had a good season in 2005, we have made some changes and will continue to improve the team for the 2006 season. Check the Bombers website in early 2006 for new signings of players and for the 2006 Bombers Rosters .”

C-Mac to Circle Tap in 2006

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

Some departures, some additions to the Tap squad for 2006. Read more at Al’s Fastball: Circle Tap 2006

Help Wanted – “C” Pitcher for Palm Springs, November 5-6

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005

A team headed to Palm Springs for the tournament Nov. 5-6, 2005 is looking for a “C” pitcher. Click here for contact info.

Today is Last Day for Palm Springs/Cal Cup Entries

Monday, October 24th, 2005

Today (Monday, October 24, 2005) is the last day for entries to “B” and “C” tournaments at Palm Springs, slated for November 5-6, 2005. Contact Vicki Oltean at Palm Springs for more information. Entries and $300 entry fee check to must be in today to:

City of Palm Springs
c/o Vicki Oltean
401 S. Pavilion
Palm Springs, CA 92262

Please drop us an email, if your team is planning on going, so that you are added to their contact list. Don’t miss this one!

The perpetual Cal Cup will be awarded to the the champion of the “C” division.

Andy Martinez of the LB Black Sox “on the Hot Seat”

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

Don’t miss the latest “Hot Seat” interview at the Long Beach Black Sox website. This month’s “victim” is shortstop Andy Martinez, (at right in photo below) one of the bright young stars in Southern California. The “Hot Seat” feature is a favorite at Fred Hanker’s Long Beach Black Sox team website, and always makes for good reading. Incidentally, Andy Martinez, 27, was named the Sox co-MVP for the 2005 season, as well as garnering “Gold Glove” honors for the team.

Andy (at right in photo) is currently playing shortstop for the Mustangs in the City of Artesia fall league, alongside his younger brother Christian, (at left in photo) who is five years his junior. The two will team up full time next season. And just for good measure, there is a third brother, five years younger than Christian, the third of the Martinez brothers to play baseball at Tustin High School. As a pitcher who’s had the privilege to play in front of these two, I can tell you they throw the leather. Shades of the fellow who helped introduce Andy to fastball, a Mustang teammate, Terry Canale, former Long Beach Nitehawk great who recently earned All World honors himself at the ASA 45+ Nationals last month.

(Photo courtesy of Fred Hanker)