Archive for October, 2007

Vancouver Grey Sox Sign Ree, Rassmussen

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

(Brian Ree)

Vancouver, BC

The Vancouver Grey Sox are pleased to announce the signings of infielder Brian Ree and catcher -outfielder Kevin Rasmussen for the 2008 season.

Both Ree and Rasmussen were members of the 2007 edition of the Portland, Oregon DeMarini Merchants. Ree a resident of Gresham, Oregon and Rasmussen a resident of Everett, Washington are expected to provide open level experience and depth to the Grey Sox line up as we attempt to improve upon our recent result at the ISC World Tournament.

Further updates regarding our roster and 2008 schedule will be provided in the weeks ahead.

Larry Kancs
Vancouver Grey Sox

(click logo for official team website)

Editor’s note: With Vancouver signing three of Portland’s top players from 2007, Mike Piechnik, Brian Ree and Kevin Rasmussen, rumors are swirling that this spells the demise of the Portland team. Not so, however, says a very reliable source, who tells fastpitchwest that Portland will be adding personnel to replace those departing players and plans to be on the field for the 2008 season.

Fastpitch Chronicle

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

We are pleased to share the revamped Fastpitch Chronicle with you, courtesy of publisher/editor Bob Tomlinson, who credits his daughter for the web handiwork on the revised front page. As most of our readers know, Bob was the publisher of the “Fastpitch Chronicle” newspaper in the 1980’s, and inspiration for fastpitchwest. Though the chronicle is no longer published in newsprint, readers can find the new and improved online version here.

A Note from Russ Snow

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Editor’s note: A postscript on the So Cal Fires notes from last week, a note from Cindy Snow, pitcher Russ Snow’s wife. We are sorry to report that Russ’s home and business was in the path of the fire, but grateful to report that he and his family are fine. Somewhere in my batch of old photos are some of the Vista Bomber team BBQ on his ranch, amidst the the fish, firewood and Russ’ familiar trailer. It was a special place, an oasis amidst the city life. Sad to hear of the news, but knowing Russ, he will bounce back. A number of you had asked if/what we had heard, and so, with their permission, we have posted this note to family and friends:

Dear Friends and Family,

Here is the update on the Snow ranches. Wonderful news! John and Nancy Snow’s beautiful home is safe. We are so very happy and are counting our blessings. Several of the houses near their home, including one on their private ranch road and four on their old ranch, across the street, are gone. We feel very fortunate. Russ’ situation is different. Tuesday morning, We waited until about 10am and then headed back up to his ranch in Highland Valley. Roadblocks were everywhere, but with Russ’ local knowledge and ability to charm Cal Trans employees, we got to his ranch about noon. There is no other way to put it, but “we took a hit”. Russ’ home is gone; his mobile home caught fire and melted. With it went most of his personal items, he will miss among other things, his grandfather’s tackle box, a lifetime collection of reels and poles, his golf clubs, a Rolodex with his entire wood client list, his baseball card collection, photos and his wedding and world championship rings.


Panteras “Ace” Memorial Tournament

Friday, October 26th, 2007

This weekend in Norwalk, CA.

Click here for the schedule of games for Saturday and bracket for Sunday.

2008 Zac Trainer Tournament – Yakima, WA

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Zac Trainer Memorial May 31st – June 1st
Yakima Washington Gateway Complex
Entry fee: $325.00
Class: A, B
Payable to: Mark Seward
Send to: 400 N 77th Ave Yakima Washington 98908

Contact info: or
1-509-388-1250 Contact phone

Piechnik to Vancouver in 2008

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

(click logo for official team website)

Vancouver, BC

The Vancouver Grey Sox are pleased to announce the signing of veteran lefthanded pitcher Mike Piechnik for the 2008 season.

Piechnik a resident of Victoria, BC spent the 2007 season with the Portland, Oregon Demarini Merchants. Highly regarded at the open level for his numerous accomplishments and fine pitching performances, “Peaches” is a most welcome addition to the Grey Sox program.

The veteran leadership qualities that Mike Piechnik possesses and positive influence it is expected he will provide to the entire Grey Sox team and in particular the pitching staff, made him a priority for the organization as we attempt to improve upon our 7th place finish at the ISC World Tournament, and defend the Softball Canada National Championship.

More news and a schedule announcement will be forthcoming in the weeks and months ahead.

Larry Kancs
Vancouver Grey Sox

The So Cal Fires….

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

San Diego Area Fastpitch Players Among Evacuees

Thanks to all of those who have written to see how we’re doing amidst the So Cal fires. We’re fine, thanks for asking, more fortunate than those north and south of us. San Diego appears to be getting the worst of it, as can be seen by this map.. Lots of smoke in the air on Sunday and Monday, from the Irvine fire half hour south of us, but nothing like our counterparts to the north and south. At this point, things seem to be improving. Let’s hope so, for everyone in the fire ravaged areas.

One area that many fastpitch fans are familiar with is the ARCO Olympic Training facility, in Chula Vista, which is home to Team USA and the USA Jr. Men. Chula Vista is located south/east of San Diego, right near the border with Mexico.

The map linked above shows the Olympic training facility in the (yellow) evacuation area, but just (barely) outside the fire zone for the Harris fire, one of the largest fires. (You have to zoom in on the map once it loads to see the Olympic Training facility. ) If you’re looking on the map, it’s not where the words “Chula Vista” appear, but quite a bit east, over by the Otay Reservoir. (If the little fire diagrams and icons don’t load at first, click refresh.)

The town of Ramona, which hosted the USA Jr. Men and So Cal Travel league in the summer of 2005 just before they went to Prince Edward Island for the ISF Jr’s. is right in the heart of the Harris Fire (east of Escondido) and well in side the evacuation area, as is the Barona Indian Reservation, which was the longtime home of the old So Cal Fastpitch league of the 1980’s.

Here is a NASA photo taken on Monday from space., which explains why we had smoke filled skies here for a couple of days. The top two islands are the Channel Islands near Santa Barbara, the lower one, Catalina, directly across from us. (click the photo to enlarge)The top plume of smoke is coming from Irvine fire, the larger ones from San Diego.

We’re checking on friends in San Diego, including members of the San Diego Fastpitch team, as well as members of the Deadwood and United Sports Academy 50+ teams. Drop us a line if you hear from anyone affected by the fires, or if you are. The fastpitch community has been asking about you….

See below the jump for more and some player updates….


NAFA Announces Appointments for 2008

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

So Cal’s Robert Hernandez Among New NAFA Officers

From NAFA Executive Director, Benjie Hedgecock and Ronn Kopp, NAFA President:

We are proud to announce two new Vice President appointments for 2008. Robert Hernandez has been appointed Pacific Coast Vice President and Mike Watson has been appointed the Lower Midwest Vice President. This brings the number of Vice Presidents back to 4 with Jon Kegel, Upper Midwest/Canada and Loren Lathrop as the Eastern U.S. V.P.

These two additions as Vice Presidents are outstanding individuals that always put the good of the program before anything else. They are both very intelligent and bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. They both are in the core age category of the people that play our sport. They both served as Tournament Director at this year’s very successful World Series in Des Moines, Iowa and will again serve as Tournament Directors at the 2007 Mankato, Minnesota World Series.

We would also like to introduce Tony Schaaf as out new NAFA Statistician who also is on the Executive Committee.

Congratulations to Regional Umpire-In-Chief, Henry St. Clair for being inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame and to Todd Malnoury and to Bill Sklebar that were inducted as well.

2008 Executive Committee

Executive Director, Benjie Hedgecock, Oregon
President and Chair of Exec Committee, Ronn Kopp, Wisconsin
Vice President, Eastern U.S., Loren Lathrop, Wisconsin
Vice President, Upper Midwest, Jon Kegel, North Dakota
Vice President, Pacific Coast, Robert Hernandez, California
Vice President, Lower Midwest, Mike Watson, Nebraska
Umpire-In-Chief, Carley Parish, Canada
Business Manager, Kris Russom, Oregon
Webmaster, Brett Bresnahan, Minnesota
Statistician, Tony Schaaf, Wisconsin
Jim Williamson, President Emeritus, Washington
Pat Bucknell, Executive Director Emeritus, Washington
Dewey Yoke, Umpire-In-Chief Emeritus, Washington

Once approved Mike Clark, Masters Committee Co-Chair, Iowa

The members of 4 of the 5 NAFA Operating Committees are:

Masters Program Committee
Mike Clark, East U.S. Co-Chair
Dave Birnie, East Canada Co-Chair
Jim Williamson, West U.S.
Lanky Johnson, East Canada
Benjie Hedgecock, Executive Director
Carley Parish, NAFA UIC

Hall of Fame Committee

Chair Ronn Kopp, NAFA President

Research Jon Kegel
and the rest of the Executive Committee

International Classification Committee

Mike Clark, new Co-Chairman, pitchers, order of finish pull through info
Brett Bresnahan, Minnesota, Open level Assistant Coach, Minnesota Director
Jim Williamson, Washington, Former NAFA Classification Chair
Benjie Hedgecock, Oregon, NAFA Classification Co-Chair
Darren Strang, British Columbia Rep and pitchers evaluator
Jon Kegel, Has had a team in every class
Chad Mix, 2006 and 2009 Host, one of top catcher in game, Wisconsin
Ronn Kopp, President, State Director of largest program in NAFA
Loren Lathrop, Sees more softball than most of us combined
Brian Looft, has played, A, AA, Minnesota
Chris Wright, Northern California
Robert Hernandez, Southern California
Mike Watson, Midwest
Dave Birnie, Ontario, Canada

Regional Umpire-In-Chief Committee

Carley Parish, NAFA UIC
Pete Grebner, Midwest Region UIC
Henry St. Clair, Southern Region UIC
Greg Fowler, Northwest Region UIC
Danny Young, West Canada UIC
Bob Wagner, East Region UIC
Darren Gerrior, Central Canada UIC

Please change our email address in your address book. The new address for the National Office and Executive Director, Benjie Hedgecock is:

Thanks on behalf of both of us,
Ronn Kopp, NAFA President and Benjie Hedgecock, NAFA Executive Director

NAFA WoodBat Spring National

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

[Denver, Colorado] – NAFA would like to announce the addition of the NAFA WoodBat Spring National to be held in Las Cruces over the weekend of May 3rd and 4th. Due to the tremendous success that the WoodBat National has had the past two years, NAFA felt that a Spring National tournament was the next logical step. In addition, we feel that the Southwest US is a perfect environment for the tournament due to climate as well as teams.

This tournament will be a mirror image of the Fall National in Colorado. All pitchers need to be on the NAFA AAA or lower list. We are extremely excited about the opportunity to bring a national tournament to the Las Cruces/El Paso fastpitch community.

NAFA will be releasing more information on this tournament over the next several weeks via the internet as well as at You may also contact myself at or at 303-475-8142.

Thank You,

Dave Parker
Rocky Mountain Director
NAFA Rocky Mountains

2008 Portland DeMarini Rose Cup

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007


Portland, OR

The Portland DeMarini Rose Cup will be held June 21 & 22, 2008 at Delta Park.
Entry Fee: $400.00
Format: Round robin into single elimination bracket. 4-game gaurantee.
Tournament Contacts: Roger Jones 503-887-3200 , John Fitzgerald or Brian Ree
UIC:Dan Duffy

Travel prize money:
1st place – $2,000
2nd place – $1,000
3rd place – $500 each (two teams tie for 3rd place)
Consolation winner – $500

Championship game – 1:00pm Sunday

Host Hotels:

Country Inn & Suites
7025 NE Alderwood Rd
Portland, OR 97218
Contact: Allison Negus 503-255-2700

Portlander Inn
Contact: Claudia Henderson 503-345-0300 ext. 5870

Tournament entry deadline: May 1st, 2008.


Brian Ree