Archive for April, 2007

SCIFL Scores from Norwalk

Monday, April 30th, 2007

Click here for Scoreboard from the Norwalk Panteras tournament.

Chuck Vranich Retires After Illustrious Career

Monday, April 30th, 2007

From the So Cal Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL) website:

Softball veteran pitcher Chuck Vranich has decided to retire from softball at the age of 63. Yes that’s right 63 we finally get his true age from him. Chuck made the decision after the Palm Springs 1 tournament and will be available to the Sox when needed. Chuck pitched with Long Beach from 2004-2007 and is a veteran of over 40 years of fast pitch softball. Vranich goes down as one of the greatest pitchers ever to pitch for The Long Beach Black Sox. He will be eligible for The Long Beach Black Sox Hall of Fame next year and will be a shoe in to go in on the first ballot. Vranich leaves behind over 10 career and single season records. Chuck and Randy Clay have accounted for 95% of the sox pitching wins in the history of The Black Sox. He accounted for 44 wins and pitched in 87 games. His career ERA is a very respectable 4.60. He recorded 10 career shutouts and 72 complete games both Sox career records. His 28 complete games in 2004 and 5 shutouts in 2005 are both Sox single season records. He also was a career .303 hitter for Long Beach with 8 RBI. He ranks in the top 5 in Sox history in every pitching category. In his 4 year Sox illustrious career he won The Cy Young Award for most wins and The Bob Gibson Award for lowest ERA in a season. His best season with Long Beach was 2005 where he was 16-5 leading the team in wins. In that season he was voted Most Valuable Pitcher a record 4 times. Chuck will be available to The Sox when needed. The Long Beach Black Sox would like to wish him the best of luck and thank him for his service with the team. In 2007 Chuck was 3-1 with a 4.96 ERA in 5 starts in the new SCIFL.

As manager and owner of The Long Beach Black Sox I look for character as well as talent in a player. When I first started this team in 2004 Chuck Vranich was always a competitor as an opponent I admired as a person and as a ballplayer. He was one of the first people I wanted on this team. I cannot begin to thank him for his contributions to this team as a pitcher, hitter, runner, teammate and most importantly as a mentor and someone to talk to when I needed advice. I respect his decision to retire and he always has a spot on my team in any capacity. I thank him for his 4 years of service and always being there when I needed him. He is one of the most reliable players I have ever had and he always wanted the ball healthy or injured. I was always amazed how he kept himself in such great physical condition. He was much disciplined in his eating habits and his physical status. I never had to worry about Chuck being out of shape or not ready to pitch. His hard work and determination inspired many of our young players and gave them a positive role model. I wish him good luck in his future endeavors and in my mind he will always be a key component of The Long Beach Black Sox.

–Fred Hanker Long Beach Black Sox

Here is a brief statement released by Chuck.

To Sox Players:
From Chuck V
As you may, or may not know, (depending on how close you live to the Rumor Mill) I have chosen to retire from competitive fastpitch softball at this time. This is not a decision that was made hastily, as Fred and I have discussed it the past few years. Simply put…too many injuries that don’t heal (shoulder,elbow, back and now knee), too much fear (four “shots” up the middle in five games) and too little talent. With the depth of our pitching staff, three guys that want the ball, and the fact that I won’t be available in August, now seems like the smartest time to step away from the game I love. I’ve told Fred that this is a “Roger Clemens” retirement this year….meaning if any injuries, job changes, vacations, etc., would leave him shorthanded, I would gladly fill in when needed. Of course I would expect “Clemens $$$$$” !!!!!! Other than that, if you see me throwing again, I assure you the ball will be a DeBeer 212. You’ve chosen to join a great group of guys with a real dedicated leader. So, at the ripe old age of 63 (there, I’ve said it) I wish you all great success throughout the year and in the future. See you around the ball yard……..Chuck

p.s. Fred…..Thanks for dragging my career out a few more years!!! I’ve had a great time and been associated with some really neat people while wearing “Sox gear”. I really appreciate the confidence you had in my ability and your perception of my value to the team…….although somewhat inflated at times. The guys are lucky to have you as their leader and the game is lucky you stepped into a leadership role to run the new association…..both difficult and underappreciated jobs. If you do need me for anything during the season I’ll do everything in my power to get there. If you need me to throw in Beaumont to have lower class pitching, just let me know a couple of weeks before…you know I’ll be in shape! I’ve got a couple of “wishes” I’d like from you, but we’ll talk later. Thanks again!!!!…. #12 Chuck V

Editor’s note: I want to send my personal best wishes to one of the classiest people I have known in the game. And I have known him a long time. We even share the same birthday — that’s day not year 😉 I started playing against Chuck in 1981, when he was doing what Fred Hanker is now — running a team AND a league at the same time, no easy feat. In those days, I was with the El Cajon Phase Alloy Miners, and Chuck was the player/manager of “Matthew Bronze”, the name better known to most as just “The Bronze”, which is was called in later years. I was fortunate enough to be picked up as a pitcher by Chuck when his team qualified for the ASA “A” Nationals. In those days, it was a dogfight in Southern California, with all of the top “A” teams fighting for one berth to the Nationals. We didn’t last long in the National tournament, but, but the Bar-B-Q’s were great, and Chuck always excelled in surrounding himself with great people. Bloomington, Illinois was never the same. Nor will fastpitch in So Cal be the same without “Chuck V” around. We got a chance to team up again last year with the Black Sox, albeit briefly when my elbow put my on the shelf. Chuck just kept piling up those innings, and Sox records. He remains a favorite of Maddy’s as he always went out of his way to make her feel welcome around the diamonds. His age was a well kept secret – – and with his ability to compete against players a fraction of his age, he wasn’t about to tell them and give them any kind of edge. He’ll be remembered for that deep voice, that hearty laugh, and pitching into the late innings when you thought you’d get to him sooner. Oh, and of course that annual St. Patrick’s Day party on the hill in Riverside. But, hey, this post is not a eulogy, but to say, nice job. So Chuck, when does Clemens return?

Pennsylvania Power 2007 Roster

Monday, April 30th, 2007

From Al’s Fastball:


The Pennsylvania Power Fastpitch Club from Ephrata, Pennsylvania is pleased to announce its 2007 roster and schedule. The PA Power is the defending 2006 NSA World Series Champions and the ASA 2005 Men’s Class C National Champions.

Returning from last year’s squad will be: Pitchers: Eric Fogel, Merlin High and Ryan Rutt, Catcher: Chris Pagano, Infielders: Dean Malone, Greg Houtz, Dave Giblin, Corey Schnoke, Andy Mease and Jerry Zimmerman. Outfielders: Rich Sauder, Duane Weiler,
Bob Wicker, Rob Loglisci, Alan Esporrin and Gary Fiore.

In addition, the Power is pleased to have added: Pitcher: David Stokes (Keating’s Fitness), Catcher/Infielder: Brad Theys (South Lebanon) and Infielder: Derrick Zechman (Orillia Riversharks).

2007 Pennsylvania Power Schedule: (more…)

Pitcher Wanted for Palm Springs Tournament

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

The Larry Miller Hogs need an open pitcher for a tournament in Palm Springs CA, May 18-20, 2007.

Mizuno to Sponsor ISC

Thursday, April 26th, 2007



Norcross, GA (April 25, 2007) – Mizuno, a leader in the men’s fastpitch softball arena, has signed on to become the newest sponsor of the International Softball Congress (ISC). The ISC is a non-profit organization for the promotion and administration of men’s and boy’s fastpitch softball in North America.

“If you’re going to be involved with fastpitch softball, then you need to be involved with the ISC,” said Larry Brushett, Softball Promotions Manager for Mizuno USA, Inc. “This partnership with the ISC is yet another sign of Mizuno’s commitment to fastpitch softball. We want to be involved with all aspects of the fastpitch community, both men’s and women’s, and we’re looking forward to a long relationship with the ISC.”

Mizuno offers high performance softball products to equip the fastpitch athlete from head to toe. Mizuno’s industry leading product line includes high performance ball gloves, batting gloves, footwear, bats, equipment bags, accessories, and apparel that can all be found online at Mizuno products are sold at major sporting goods stores throughout the United States, as well as through team dealers.

Mizuno USA, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mizuno Corporation, one of the largest specialty sporting goods manufacturers in the world. Mizuno USA, Inc. manufactures and distributes baseball, golf, softball, running, track & field, and volleyball equipment, apparel, and footwear for North America. Mizuno USA, Inc. is based in Norcross, Georgia.

10 Days to Red Rock

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

Click photo above for panoramic shot of the beautiful Canyons Complex. (if it does not “shrink to fit” in your browser, right mouse click, then choose “view image”. )

Click here for a collection of prior Morning Brief posts on Red Rock.

The Farm Tavern 2007

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

From Al’s Fastball:

2007 Roster
(pitchers in bold)
Korry Gareau P
Rob Schweyer P
Sebastian Gervasutti P

Scooter Lang
Jimmy Climenhaga
Donnie Hale
Bernard Hale
Zenon Winters
Kevin Shellenburg
Jeff Goolagong
Colin Abbott
Paul Rosebush
Jason Hill
Rob Gray
Paul Lynch

2007 Schedule
June 1-3 Graffmeier
June 15-17 Townline Shootout
June 22-24 Eau Claire Classic
June 29-1 Monkton
July 6-8 Boys of summer
July 13-15 Orillia world series
July 27-28 Farm tourney
Aug 2-5 ASA
Aug 10-18 ISC

Rod Peterson

Editor’s notes:

[Madison, WI] – Some major changes in 2007 for a team that is nearly always near the top of the heap. The most obvious is the pitching staff. Only Korrey Garreau returns. Young phenom Sebastian Gervasutti at the ripe old age of 23 is only getting better, coming off of his bronze medal performance for Argentina at the Pan-Am games that deprived the USA of a medal, and also a fine ISC World Tournament for the now-defunct Team Rainey, in 2006. Rob Schweyer also joints the staff for a solid 1-2-3 punch for the Farm. Missing from their batting order is one of the game’s premier hitters, Todd Budke, who will don a Hallman Twins uniform in 2007, playing for the ISC World host team. Also gone is former ISC MVP Ryan Wolfe. Taking over at shortstop is Vancouver’s Kevin Shellenburg, which will add power to the middle infield. Two key additions from last year’s ISC World Champion County Materials come aboard, Donnie Hale and Jeff Goolagong. It was Hale, of course, who hit the monstrous game-tying home run in the 2005 ISC World title game in Eau Claire against the Farm, depriving them of a World Title.

Compare this year’s Farm Roster to last year’s: (more…)

Happy Birthday, Steamer

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

Well, it’s a little belated, but the Steamer’s birthday was last Friday, so excuse me while I take a moment to pay homage to my namesake, James “Steamer” Flanagan, whose 28 at bats represents but a cup of coffee in the bigs, but nonetheless a spot in the Baseball Almanac. (and a long career compared to Moonlight Graham) Today, April 20 is Steamer’s birthday. Born in 1881, he would be 126 if still alive today. After the Irishman attended the University of Notre Dame, he worked his way up to the bigs in 1905, as a teammate of the legendary Flying Dutchman, Honus Wagner. Shown below is Steamer’s tobacco-baseball card. Oh, and in case you were wondering, 7 hits in those 28 at bats, including a double and a triple, for a respectable lifetime average of .280. He scored 7 runs for the 8 times he reached base, stealing 3 bases in as many attempts. Tomorrow will be the 59th year since his passing in 1947.

James “Steamer” Flanagan Baseball Stats by Baseball Almanac

Steamer Flanagan was born on Wednesday, April 20, 1881, in Kingston, Pennsylvania. Flanagan was 24 years old when he broke into the big leagues on September 25, 1905, with the Pittsburgh Pirates.



Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

Some SCIFL news on last weekend at Palm Springs, available at team websites and the astpitchwest Forum:

Courtesy of the Fastpitchwest Forum’s RMH323:

The So Cal Hustlers won the “A” portion of the tournament with an impressive 9 – 1 victory of the Palm Springs Express. After allowing a run in the first inning, “Papa Joe” Salcido limited the Express to four hits and cruised to the victory. The Hustlers pounded out 15 hits in their four innings of at-bats, including two triples by manager Bobby Cole who was taking it easy in right field.(thanks to the forum’s RMH323 for this info)

Courtesy of the Fastpitchwest Forum’s “broke off”:

It would be safe to say Sunday was Spud Barker day in Palm Springs in the SCIFL. Barker threw back to back shut outs against the hot hitting Long Beach Black Sox and the always tough Panteras in the Championship game. Barker held the Sox to only two hits in a dominating performance, while his Rude Pac team mates run ruled the Sox 8-0 in 5 innings. In the Championship game Barker continued his impressive streak by shutting out the Panteras 2-0 with Rude Pac using some timely defense to secure the win and the Championship. A tip of the hat to Mr. Barker and his Rude Pac team mates.

For the second time in three Tournaments, the So Cal Hustlers and Papa Joe Salcido won the A minor Championship in the SCIFL. When most men Papa Joes age are at Levitz picking out a comfortable recliner, Mr. Salcido is out winning Tournaments against men half his age! Very impressive i must say! The Hustlers are the real deal with talented players like Bobby Cole and his hard playing crew of fastpitch talent. The A minor division of the SCIFL with qaulity teams like the Latin Heat, Palm Springs Express, So Cal Hustlers and the Panteras II prove they’re are always a threat to win the Championship! Great job gentlemen and we look forward to seeing you all in Santa Fe Springs in May!

Editor’s note: I was not at the Levitz store over the weekend. 🙂

From the team websites:

Long Beach Black Sox (turn down the volume if you’re at work)

So Cal Hustlers (this is news from Palm Springs I weekend, Palm Springs II due up soon)

Latin Heat (Same here, news from March 24 Palm Spring I weekend, new Palm Springs II news due up soon)

We’re hoping to receive a report from the league office soon that we’ll post here and at the league’s official website,

One for the 40+ Crowd

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

Happy 40th, Omar Vizquel. As a Dodger fan, you know how hard it is for me to root for a Giant. Especially when they are playing my Dodgers, as they are tonight. But Omar is a special kind of ballplayer, and person. I had a chance to meet him earlier this spring, at the Giants’ spring training camp. He was taking time from his training to meet and talk with Special Olympic athletes from Arizona and Venezuela. A friend of mine heads up the program in Santa Clarita, and was kind enough to invite me along. These pictures tell the story as to how much it meant to those kids. One of the truly good guys in the game. And now that he’s eligible for the “Masters” division, those of us in the 40+ crowd can claim him as one of our own.

At 40, Vizquel not even close to slowing down (more…)