Archive for November, 2007

Softball New Zealand

Friday, November 30th, 2007

From Hawkes Bay Today, New Zealand:

SOFTBALL – Pitching for top spot


Jordan Waterhouse’s surname is the biggest clue … he was always going to feature on the national softball scene.

The Lindisfarne College year 11 pupil is the son of former Softball New Zealand board member Craig Waterhouse, one of the code’s top administrators and long-time organiser of two of the Bay’s biggest tournaments: the annual Fun in the Sun and the annual men’s Lion Red North Island Classic, which will be played at Akina Park, Hastings.

Waterhouse, 15, started playing teeball when he was five. But long before that he was “running errands” for his father and mother Diane as they ran various tournaments.

“Putting numbers on diamonds and other little jobs like that,” he recalled.

His days of being a gofer have ended. This weekend’s 10-team Classic will be his second on the Fast Pitch side’s playing roster.

Waterhouse is aiming to get more game time than he got last year when he appeared in one game as an outfielder. The pitcher for the Hawke’s Bay under-15s who finished second to Hutt Valley at their North Island tournament in Tauranga last summer doesn’t expect too much time on the mound.

“I might get some if we establish a big lead in a game … but any game time in any role will be welcomed,” said Waterhouse, who joins Hastings Boys’ High School’s Kane Herbert as the youngest players on the Fast Pitch roster.

He is one of three back-up pitchers to player-coach Rayner Te Wake who he spends an hour training with each day at his family’s Meeanee home, which is equipped with a batting machine and pitcher’s mats.

It’s all part of his long-term goals – to secure Junior Black Sox and Black Sox berths in the future. Waterhouse is also keen to have a stint in either the United States or Canada when he finishes school.

That’s in the future. His immediate goal is to help Fast Pitch improve on last summer’s efforts in the Classic which saw them win the plate.

“I would like to think we can have a crack at the top four in the championship section this time,” he said.

A centre in the Lindisfarne College E grade rugby team, Waterhouse tips Porirua United and Hutt City United as the teams to beat this weekend. Former Hawke’s Bay pitcher Regan Manley is Hutt City United’s top pitcher and defending champions Porirua United will again be spearheaded by former Bay star and former Black Sox outfielder Fabian Makea.

Other visiting teams are Hutt Valley Cardinals, Wairarapa Giants and Newlands. Along with Fast Pitch, Scarfe Builders Tamatea, Dodgers, Maraenui Pumas and Saints are the Bay’s hopes.

Waterhouse was quick to reply when asked who will have the gofer’s role this weekend. “It looks like its Lachie’s turn,” he said, referring to his 3-year-old nephew Lachlan.

Like his uncle, Lachlan took an early liking to the code and had a glove in his hand when he was just a week old.

SportToday won’t be surprised if he, like his uncle, is on the Fast Pitch playing roster when he’s 15. As we said … it’s all in the surname


Happy Birthday, Vin

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

We send along our birthday greetings to Hall of Fame Baseball announcer, Vin Scully, who celebrates his 80th birthday today, with fifty-seven (57) years behind the mike for the Dodgers. Remarkable. Happy Birthday, Vin.

For a bit more on his illustrious career, click here.
(He is an honorary member of the Ballparkradio broadcast crew)

There are many, many audio clips of Vin Scully’s fine work. Click here to listen to one of my favorites from a game I was lucky enough to see in person, between the Dodgers and the Yankees in June 2004. It’s a large file, so please be patient while it download to play.

Certainly another game that often comes to mind when thinking of Vin’s best work was his call of Kirk Gibson’s home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.

“And, he (relief pitcher Dennis Eckersley) walked him (pinch-hitter Mike Davis)… and look who’s comin’ up!

(36 seconds of crowd cheering)

“All year long, they looked to him to light the fire, and all year long, he answered the demands, until he was physically unable to start tonight— with two bad legs: The bad left hamstring, and the swollen right knee. And, with two out, you talk about a roll of the dice…this is it. If he hits the ball on the ground, I would imagine he would be running 50 percent to first base. So, the Dodgers trying to catch lightning right now!

“Fouled away.

“He was, you know, complaining about the fact that, with the left knee bothering him, he can’t push off. Well, now, he can’t push off and he can’t land…4-3 A’s, two out, ninth inning, not a bad opening act!

“Mike Davis, by the way, has stolen 7 out of 10, if you’re wondering about Lasorda throwing the dice again. 0-and-1.

“Fouled away again…0-and-2 to Gibson, the infield is back, with two out and Davis at first. Now Gibson, during the year, not necessarily in this spot, but he was a threat to bunt. No way tonight, no wheels.

“No balls, two strikes, two out.

“Little nubber… foul—and, it had to be an effort to run that far. Gibson was so banged up, he was not introduced; he did not come out onto the field before the game. … It’s one thing to favor one leg, but you can’t favor two. 0-and-2 to Gibson.

“Ball one. And, a throw down to first, Davis just did get back. Good play by Ron Hassey using Gibson as a screen; he took a shot at the runner, and Mike Davis didn’t see it for that split-second and that made it close.

“There goes Davis, and it’s fouled away! So, Mike Davis, who had stolen 7 out of 10, and carrying the tying run, was on the move.

“Gibson, shaking his left leg, making it quiver, like a horse trying to get rid of a troublesome fly. 2-and-2! Tony LaRussa is one out away from win number one…two balls and two strikes, with two out.

“There he goes! Wa-a-ay outside, he’s stolen it!…So, Mike Davis, the tying run, is at second base with two out. Now, the Dodgers don’t need the muscle of Gibson, as much as a base hit, and on deck is the lead-off man, Steve Sax. 3-and-2. Sax waiting on deck, but the game right now is at the plate.

“High fly ball into right field, she i-i-i-is… gone!!

(67 seconds of cheering)

“In a year that has been so improbable… the impossible has happened!

“And, now, the only question was, could he make it around the base paths unassisted?!

“You know, I said it once before, a few days ago, that Kirk Gibson was not the Most Valuable Player; that the Most Valuable Player for the Dodgers was Tinkerbell. But, tonight, I think Tinkerbell backed off for Kirk Gibson. And, look at Eckersley —shocked to his toes!

“They are going wild at Dodger Stadium. No one wants to leave!”

“Dennis Eckersley allowed five home runs all year. We’ll be back.”

Speaking of Mike Davis, it was his brother Johnny Davis who helped lead his Seattle Fastpitch team to the NAFA 50+ National title this year, in Carson City, Nevada. Johnny was a one-man wrecking crew against the editor’s own Deadwood team, hitting not one, but two home runs. A payback for a wisecrack I made about him during a broadcast back in 2002. Not that he remembered 😉

Speaking of radio broadcasts, Ballparkradio will be on the air again in Orlando – 2008 being our fifth consecutive year of bringing you live AAU broadcasts. This year’s crew will be the largest yet, and looking remarkably like the ISC II crew. Rising young star Kyle Smith will be front and center, back for his second year, while ISC II commish and ISC II broadcast crew chief Blair Setford will be on hand — both as a player and broadcasters. Blair and Kyle arrive earlier than I, and are making arrangements to broadcast a Thursday game or two, giving us 4 days of broadcasts instead of the usual three. Bill Hillhouse, one of the listeners’ favorite analysts will likely be on hand, and waiting to hear from the ISC II’s original broadcaster Joe Todd, to see if he will join us again. All in all, it figures to give you plenty to do at work on Thursday and Friday instead of working, leading into the weekend playoff round. Don’t miss it !

(click logo to visit website)

2008 AAU Tournament Schedule

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

(click logo for our AAU website)

The 2008 AAU International Tournament Schedule of Games is out.

Click here to view.

Reminder to all teams: Please send your AAU Rosters if you haven’t already. Send to jim (at) and we’ll forward to Al’s, or you can send to him direct at fastball (at) These rosters just a preview of the teams for fastball fans, so don’t worry if you have changes — these are not official rosters. And if you add players later, we’d be happy to update your posting here (and/or forward to Al).

Speaking of Al’s Fastball, you can find complete information on the tournament at his site by clicking here.. Last we heard, there is a good chance that Al Doran will be in Orlando for the tournament, as he was last year, so the tournament will be well covered for all fastball fans that can’t make it there in person.

2008 ISC Qualifiers – Update # 2

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

(click logo to visit official ISC website)

Editor’s Note: Many additions have been made since the first calendar was distributed earlier in November and more additions will be made in upcoming weeks. Note the issue date below the heading on page 1 is now November 21, 2007. It is the intent of the ISC to provide teams with early information so they can use it to make tournament arrangements early for 2008 competition. Even if some info is missing, they are at least providing the information needed to consider various tournaments, who to contact, location and tournament dates.

Click here for webpage with this same information with “clickable email links”.


AAU Roster 7 – Tijuana, Mexico

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

(click logo for our AAU website)

AAU Roster – Tijuana, Mexico

Courtesy of Gonzalo Peña Martinez

Gabriel Marquez P
Gabriel Melendrez P
Panfilo Valdez P

Raymundo Parra 1b/Of
Jose Aguila C
Rodolfo Sandez Of
Mario Perez If
Willy Echave If
Adrian Vargas Of
Carlos Rosales 1b/Of
Marcos Diaz 1b
Roberto Castillo 1b/Of
Antonio Gonzalez If
Antonio Gonzalez Jr. Of
Ramon Pacheco If
Abel Amolitos If/C
Cesar Corona Of
Ivan Avena If
Carlos Verdugo If
Guillermo Quintana Utility

Gerardo Araujo Coach
Ulises Romo Coach
Gonzalo Peña Manager

Editor’s notes: Some familiar names on this squad, including a number of players from Mexicali’s AAU runner-up team of 2004: Gabriel Marquez, Panfilo Valdez, Raymundo Parra (So Cal Bombers) and Jose Aguila, to name a few. Mexicali finished second that year, to Los Socios, Venezuela, and third in 2005, being eliminated, ironically, in a title game rematch in the semis with Los Socios, Venezuela.

Tijuana, Mexico is located just south of San Diego, across the USA/Mexico border. The San Diego red trolley runs all the way from the downtown area (near the Padres Petco Park), through Chula Vista (home of Team USA’s Olympic training facility), and drops you off right near the border crossing.

Seven rosters received and posted so far
, with 25 to go.

Visit the “teams” section of our AAU International Tournament website.

ISC-Quad Cities Press Conference a Success

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

From Quad Cities Online:

International Softball Congress World Tournament representative Larry Koberg, of Walcott, Iowa, is all smiles after receiving a coffee mug from Joe Taylor, President/CEO of the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, during a press conference announcing the Quad-Cities will host the 2009 International Softball Congress World Tournament. In the background are Moline Mayor Don Welvaert, left, and VP of sales for QCCVB Lynn Hunt. Mr. Taylor said he was giving Mr. Koberg the coffee mug that Mr. Koberg used when they first met over coffee to discuss the possibility of bringing the tournament to the QCA.

As Reported from the Quad Cities:

All four TV stations were there with significant play during the evening news and again this morning. Front page story for Moline Dispatch with photo. Inside sports section story in Quad City Times with photo since Times broke the story and ran with it on Friday. Moline Mayor Don Welvaert and Davenport Mayor Elect Bill Gluba attended and spoke about the great event coming to the Quad Cities. The media conference went very, very well. All four TV stations were there with significant play during the evening news and again this morning. Front page story for Moline Dispatch with photo. Inside sports section story in Quad City Times with photo since Times broke the story and ran with it on Friday. Moline Mayor Don Welvaert and Davenport Mayor Elect Bill Gluba attended and spoke about the great event coming to the Quad Cities.

Changes to the ISC II Ineligible List

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007


Changes to the ISCII Ineligible list are posted at our ISC II blog, “The Deuce”. A few additions and lots of deletions (meaning pitchers who become ISC II eligible). Click here for the details.

Quad Cities to Host 2009 ISC & ISC II

Monday, November 19th, 2007

The Quad Cities of western Illinois and eastern Iowa, will be the hosts for the 2009 ISC World Tournament (August 14 – 22) and ISC II Tournament of Champions (August 19 – 22).

View Larger Map

Situated along the banks of the Mississippi River, the Quad Cities are comprised of Davenport and Bettendorf, IA and Moline/East Moline and Rock Island, IL. Combined, they have a population of approximately 400,000 and have excellent access by Interstate highways, I-80, I-74, I-88 and the I-280 belt route encompassing all the communities. Moline has a world class airport with excellent direct service to many cities. Approximate driving time to Quad Cities from some selected cities; Chicago – 3 hours, St. Louis – 4 hours, Des Moines – 1 ½ hours, Rockford, IL – 2 hours and Madison, WI – 3 hours. For both Quad Cities residents and the ISC, returning to Quad Cities will be nostalgic for many as Rock Island, IL hosted the ISC World Tournament a then record 10 times, from 1961 to 1969 and again in 1973. All the tournaments were played in Rock Island’s Douglas Park.

The ISC has been working with Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau and Sports Commission since October 2006 and in Kitchener this year, Quad Cities had two representatives attend the 2007 World Tournament in its entirety. Lynn Hunt, CVB Vice President and Milt Hand, Moline Parks & Recreation Director were each in Kitchener for half the tournament, Lynn for the first half and Milt for the second half.

For the first time, the two 2009 tournaments will be played in the same venue. Moline’s Green Valley Complex boasts two separate 4-diamond facilities with 6 of the 8 diamonds capable of playing men’s fastball. The venue has excellent parking and seating capability. The primary 4-diamond facility has a large, well appointed press box and the diamond separations provide ample space for auxiliary seating. They have hosted previous national championships in girls’ classifications and have the infrastructure of volunteers to accommodate the ISC.

The agreement contract also extends a 2011 hosting option to Quad Cities. They must exercise their option by February 2009. Otherwise, the ISC will seek other bidders for 2011 who will present their bids in Quad Cities in August 2009. For more information about Quad Cities and surrounding areas go to

The agreement to have Quad Cities host us in 2009 was just recently reached so at this time, tournament directors nor headquarters hotels have been determined. This information will be released in the near future. Earlier today, November 19, a media conference was held in Quad Cities to formally announce to their local media that the International Softball Congress is returning to their area in 2009.

From an ISC standpoint, we want to extend a special thanks to Joe Taylor, President/CEO of Quad Cities CVB and Sports Commission, Lynn Hunt(CVB Vice President) and Milt Hand (Moline Parks and Recreation Director). In addition, our thanks to ISC people who have been directly involved in meetings and discussions over the past year; Larry Koberg of nearby Walcott, IA who has served as tournament director for over 20 Iowa ISC Area Tournaments, Pat Sullivan, ISC Regional Commissioner from Dubuque, IA, Wayne Fisher, ISC Developmental Vice President from Iowa City, IA and Eric Wernke, coach of the Quad City Sox team, from Bettendorf, IA. Without the cooperation and involvement of all these people, this agreement would likely have not happened.

View Larger Map

(click the “View Larger Map” link above to see driving directions/route from airport to the fields, 4.3 miles, or 2.6 kilometers.)

ASA 2008 National Tournaments

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

Continuing the ASA theme of today’s posts, here is the list of 2008 National tournaments:

ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch
7/31/2008 – 8/3/2008 Stevens Point, Wisconsin

ASA Men’s 23-Under Fast Pitch
7/31/2008 – 8/3/2008 Brandon, South Dakota

ASA Men’s Class A Fast Pitch
9/4/2008 – 9/8/2008 Gladstone, Missouri

ASA Men’s Class B Fast Pitch
8/27/2008 – 9/1/2008 McAllen, Texas

ASA Men’s Class C Fast Pitch
8/27/2008 – 9/1/2008 Prescott, Arizona

ASA Men’s Masters 40-Over Fast Pitch
8/20/2008 – 8/24/2008 Minot, North Dakota

ASA Men’s Masters 45-Over Fast Pitch
9/11/2008 – 9/14/2008 Springfield, Missouri

ASA Men’s Senior* 50-Over Fast Pitch
9/26/2008 – 9/28/2008 Fort Worth, Texas

* ASA continues to refer to 50+ fastballers as “seniors”. Someone tell them that the “seniors” are over playing slow pitch.

Editor’s notes: Speaking of date changes, ASA has moved the 50+ tournament to the last weekend in September instead of the heat of the summer in early July. I wonder if the 40+ will follow, instead of continuing to lose teams and players because they are involved in the ISC World Tournament, and NAFA World Series. Readers will recall that last year’s ASA 40+ and 45+ Nationals in Alabama were canceled due to “lack of interest”.

Sites Announced for 2009 ASA Nationals

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

From the ASA Website:

Men’s Major Fast Pitch – Southbend, Ind.
Men’s 23U Fast Pitch – North Mankato, Minn.
Men’s Class C Fast Pitch – Pending
Men’s A Fast Pitch – Pending
Men’s Class B Fast Pitch – Prescott, Ariz.
Men’s Class C Fast Pitch – Hastings, Neb.
Men’s 40-Over Fast Pitch – Springfield, Mo.
Men’s 45-Over Fast Pitch – Fresno, Calif.
Men’s 50-Over Fast Pitch – Prescott, Ariz.

Editor’s Notes: This is the way it appears on the ASA website….showing Class C as “pending” and also as Hastings, Nebraska. Hastings, of course, the locale where Energy Link made their run to the title, with some of those players moving on to the present day Lumberkings, Brian Teeters among them. There were 70 teams that year. The boys from Raymar also had a great run at that one, finishing third that year behind the ageless “Papa Joe” Salcido.

South Bend Indiana seems to be a popular venue for the ASA Major tournament. Turnout was certainly better there, in the heart of the midwest than other spots, in recent years. Illinois area teams provide a solid base of support for National tournaments in the open and upper-intermediate divisions.

Prescott, Arizona, one of my own personal favorites, appears to be back in the game. In the 1980’s, Prescott hosted the very popular “A”/Open “4th of July Rodeo Days” tournament which drew teams from Phoenix, So Cal, Northern Cal and beyond. Many members of the legendary Guanella Brothers had a team that went by the name of the Morgan Hill Nine. The Prescott Mustangs, with Mark Higgins and Ronnie James were always in the hunt in those days. Cars and trucks cruised down the main street in parade fashion all day long, a bit of small town Americana, going right past the ballyard, which sits down below street level, allowing passersby to line the fence along the third base line and look down onto the field. More than 1000 attended the 1987 championship game between the Morgan Hill Nine and our San Diego Hilltop Eagles. The “Dugout” bar was directly across the street from the field, so players didn’t have far to go for refreshments after the game.

Prescott hosted the 50+ in 2005-2006, the women’s A and B National last summer, and will host the 2008 “C” Nationals. Prescott is about a 2 hour drive north of Phoenix, up into the mountains, so it is much cooler than Phoenix, and boasts some scenic vistas of the entire valley. The 50+ tournament was well run there, with the only criticism I heard was the lack of cover from the sun for the players and fans.