Archive for November, 2008

Happy Birthday, Vin Scully

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

(Young Vin Scully in Brooklyn)

We send along our birthday greetings to Hall of Fame Baseball announcer, Vin Scully, who celebrates his 81st birthday today, with fifty-eight (58) years behind the mike for the Dodgers. His career as the Dodgers announcer started in 1950. Eight seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, fifty with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is as reliable as the seasons, a touchstone of life, as time goes by.

One of my favorite Vin Scully quotes underscores baseball’s connection to life:

“Andre Dawson has a bruised knee and is listed as day-to-day (pause). Aren’t we all?”

Click here to listen to Vin’s famous call

of the last inning of Sandy Koufax’s first no-hitter on June 30, 1962

From his National Baseball Hall of Fame biography:

Scully’s remarkable tenure as the “Voice of the Dodgers” began in 1950 when he joined Red Barber as a member of the Brooklyn club’s radio team. Scully followed the Dodgers’ move west in 1958. As Scully recalled: “Red was my teacher … and my father. I don’t know—I might have been the son he never had. It wasn’t so much that he taught me how to broadcast. It was an attitude. Get to the park early. Do your homework. Be prepared. Be accurate. He was a stickler for that. He cared. He was very much a taskmaster, or I might have developed bad habits.”

Many adjectives have been used to describe Scully and his style since his declaration to a teacher at the age of eight of his ambition to become a sports announcer: entertaining, precise, proficient, charming, friendly, outgoing, smooth, relaxed, warm, knowledgeable, intelligent, literate, concise, well-prepared, colorful. Los Angeles Times columnist and J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Jim Murray once called him “the Fordham Thrush with the .400 larynx.”

Scully has covered many of baseball’s most thrilling moments, including Sandy Koufax’s four no-hitters, Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, Maury Wills’s 104 stolen bases, Don Drysdale’s and Orel Hershiser’s scoreless inning streaks, and Kirk Gibson’s dramatic home run in Game One of the 1988 World Series.

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

Speaking of radio broadcasts, Ballparkradio will be on the air again in Orlando – 2009 being our sixth consecutive year of bringing you live AAU broadcasts. Back for his third year, and heading things up will be broadcaster Kyle Smith, now a fixture on the ISC II broadcasts during the summer, and featured broadcaster at this past summer’s ISF Jr. Men’s World Championships from Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Keep an eye out for the Ballparkradio schedule of broadcasts for the 2009, which will be the largest field of teams ever, at forty !

(click logo to visit website)

Here’s a short clip of Kyle Smith, with yours truly, broadcasting at the 2008 ISF Jr. World Championships in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Remember you can view in high quality by clicking the little YouTube logo in the lower right, after you start playing this video.

YouTube Goes Wide Screen

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

YouTube has gone wide screen. The old 4:3 “TV” format has been upgraded to a wide screen version. (16:9)

Want to see what it looks like? Revisit Dean Holoien’s grand slam at this year’s ISC World Tournament. To see the wide screen version, click the YouTube logo in the lower right hand corner of the photo below after starting the video with the the arrow button in the middle.

Dean Holoien, of Aspen Interiors of Saskatoon, Canada hits a grand slam home run against defending champions, The Farm Tavern of Madison Wisconsin at the 2008 ISC World Tournament at Kimberly, Wisconsin, August 15, 2008.

The grand slam came in the bottom of the 5th inning, with Aspen trailing 2-1, and catapulted Aspen into today’s winner’s bracket final against Kitchener. Scoring ahead of Holoien is the pinch runner for Keith Mackintosh, Ron Head, Carl Crawford and Dale Levy.

(Video by Jim Flanagan)

Here is a look at the Aspen 5th in that game:

Aspen Interiors 6th – Hale B to lf. Mackintosh K singled. Crawford C walked; Mackintosh K advanced to second. Head R pinch ran for Mackintosh K. Lawton M pinch ran for Crawford C. / for Lawton M. Levy D walked; Lawton M advanced to second; Head R advanced to third. Holoien D homered, 4 RBI; Levy D scored; Lawton M scored; Head R scored. Mackintosh P struck out. Ethier T grounded out to 2b. O’Brien S flied
out to lf. 4 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Selects get second crack at Jr. Nationals

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008


[Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada] – The dust didn’t get much time to settle on the 2008 Canadian Junior Men’s Fastball Championship in Owen Sound when Softball Canada announced the event would return for a second consecutive year.

Owen Sound Volkswagen Selects president Bill Simpson said Friday that the 2009 Canadian Junior Men’s Fastball Championships will run from Aug. 2 to 9 at Duncan McLellan Park.

The Scenic City submitted the only bid for the event.

“I like to think (we were selected) because of the good job we did but in a roundabout way all of the details they send you to hold a tournament scared away the other bids,” Simpson said.

“Having seen everything you have to do and read, I know now why it scares people away.”

The 2008 organizing committee is just completing its final report for that tournament. Simpson plans to meet with tournament chair Maxine Parker about the 2009 tournament.

“We’re going to go through the good, the bad and the ugly of what we did (in 2008) and how we can do it better (in 2009),” said Simpson. “We don’t have an opportunity to change very much because Softball Canada basically says what’s what.”

The 2008 tournament failed to turn a profit after heavy rains wreaked havoc with the schedule late in the week. Simpson is hoping better weather next summer will help the tournament make a little money.

The Selects will once again serve as host for the tournament. The squad finished third in August when it simply ran out of steam on the final day.

The tournament was won by the Scarborough Wolverines, who defeated Elmira in the final.

While such players as ace pitcher Andrew Scott have moved up to the city’s senior team due to age, Simpson said the Selects should not have a problem finding replacements for the veterans because joining Owen Sound means an automatic trip to the Canadians.

Black Sox strike early form

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

(click photo for original story)

The New Zealand men’s softball team opened their South American tour this weekend with wins against a club team and the Argentina national side in Santa Fe.

In the exhibition games, the Black Sox beat Parana 7-0 in five innings with five runs coming in the fifth inning, including a home run from Wellington’s Wayne Laulu which also scored his captain Jarrad Martin and Patrick Shannon.

The Black Sox then backed up that performance with a hard-earned 1-0 win over the Argentina national side, with Shannon scoring the sole run in the second inning.

The Black Sox have a further three exhibition games before they play in a tournament which will also involve the Argentina and Venezuela national sides as well as a number of club invitation teams.

Six recalled to Black Sox

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

(click banner for original story)

Oct 29, 2008

Six players, including pitcher Karl Gollan after a four-year absence, have been recalled to the Black Sox softball team for next month’s trip to Argentina.

After playing against four club sides, the Black Sox contest a tournament along with Venezuela, Argentina and the Parana All Stars.

Gollan, who last played for New Zealand at the 2004 world championship in Christchurch, has been based in the United States but returned to New Zealand to enhance his chances of making the national team.

“He deserves his selection in this team based on some really strong performances in the US which culminated last year’s most valuable player award at the International Softball Congress tournament ,” Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase said.

Also back in the Black Sox are Stacy McLean, Steven Ratu, Fabian Makea and brothers Michael and Thomas Cameron.

Ratu and McLean have been regular members of the Black Sox, but were overlooked for the Oceania world championship qualifying tournament in April.

Makea last played for the Black Sox at the Commonwealth tournament in Melbourne in 2006, Michael Cameron was a member of the team in 2005 and was also in the New Zealand A team the following year while his older brother Thomas was last in the side in 2006 for the Pacific Series tournament in Japan.

Forced changes

The six changes have come mainly through a combination of work, family commitments and injury.

Kohlhase lost the experienced Travis Wilson through his fielding coaching commitments with the New Zealand cricket team, pitcher Heinie Shannon pending fatherhood, catcher Aaron Neemia (wedding), and infielder Nathan Nukunuku recovering from an injury.

Another player who will also come under close scrutiny during the South America tour is Wayne Laulu, who was the 2007-2008 most promising men’s player.

Laulu made his debut for the Black Sox at the world championship qualifying tournament where he was the top batter with an average of .600.

For Kohlhase the tour to South America, which also involves games against Venezuela, is crucial in the side’s preparation for a fourth consecutive world championship crown next July.

Argentina have a number of players involved with American club sides and have on their roster two world class pitchers, while Venezuela are traditionally among the top six sides in the world.

“They play a different brand of softball, they are very free spirited,” Kohlhase said.

“This is a good opportunity for us to play against some teams we will see in 2009 and also do some hard serious training in between those international games.”

The team leave New Zealand on November 14 and return December 4.

Black Sox: Michael Cameron, Thomas Cameron, Roman Gabriel, Donny Hale, Patrick Shannon (Auckland), Daniel Milne, Stephen Ratu (Canterbury), Rhys Casley, Jeremy Manley (Hutt Valley), Marty Grant (Nelson), Brad Rona (North Harbour), Wayne Laulu, Stacy McLean, Fabian Makea, Thomas Makea (vice captain), Jarrad Martin (captain, Wellington), Karl Gollan (US-based).

Fastpitchwest Forum Registration Update

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Sunday night update, November 23:

Welcome to the new members who registered on the Fastpitchwest Forum over the weekend. Registration has been closed as the spammers are swarming again (we got about 10 spams for each legitimate new user). Keep an eye out, we’ll open it up again for those that missed the open window.

Due to spammers, we have had to lock down registration for new users on the Fastpitchwest Forum. We are opening it up from time to time, though, so if you have been unable to register, keep an eye out here for “Forum Registration Open” notices. We had another open registration period last night and I see that some of you managed to register. You’ll note the spammers as the ones that post from overseas, and include a “link” over on the right hand side, to various sites and scams that they are running. Be careful not to click those links. It just encourages them, and in some cases, can link you to harmful viruses and such.

An important note:

(1) After you register, you will receive a “welcome” email but still need to be “activated” by the administrator (me). So when you receive that, forward to me with a “please activate me” in the subject line, and I’ll get you squared away. Please tell me what team you are affiliated with, or something fastpitch related so that I can distinguish from the spammers. If you have included a link on your registration, to a fastpitch site, be sure and mention to me, or I will mistake you for a spammer. Sorry it’s a bit tedious to join, but that’s just the internet these days. These guys are like the little machines on “The Matrix”– they just keep coming.

(2) I receive a number of emails from people asking me to add them to the forum. I am unable to add you, as the “welcome/activation” email comes back to your email address that you use when you register. You’ll need to create the “new user” yourself, using the “Register” link on the forum menu (left side of the page).

To the new forum members, welcome, we hope you will enjoy your time on the board, and invite you to post fastpitch information from your local region. For old members, we’re glad to have you as a member of the Fastpitchwest community, and appreciate the support you have given the site over the years.

Michael White’s Daughter

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

This was passed along by our friend Scott Standerfer:

Michael White’s Daughter

I just wanted to let all of you on the Ultimate site know that Mike White’s daughter, Sidney who is 11 years old, is facing a serious medical situation. She is in a Portland Children’s Hospital undergoing tests. For those of you who don’t know Mike, he is one of the finest pitchers in the world, and he has been instrumental in helping us with our Elite Futures Camps. Pasted below is a note Mike sent regarding Sidney:

“I briefly wanted to give you all an update on our daughter Sidney’s condition.

Since July Sidney has been suffering from anxiety which has led up to brief spells where she basically freezes in place. Looking at Sidney you wouldn’t know a thing is wrong. Physically she is 100%. She is getting A+’s in school, pitching better than ever, and excelling in her new sport volleyball. However, for the past (nearly three months) Sid has been talking less and less – and having momentary lapses where she just kind of freezes in one place. Sidney was admitted to Riverbend Hospital in Eugene on Friday after her condition deteriorated the past 2 weeks. A MRI and EEG were performed and showed some abnormalities in both.

The results of the MRI showed Sid has a dark “spot” about the size of the end of your finger in the deep tissue of her brain stem. Because of the depth of the “spot” in her brain it is not easy to determine what exactly it is. We will not know more until the results of extensive tests are returned early next week. It is not a “text book” case where there is a logical explanation for the cause of her symptoms. They do however think that there is something “structural” within the brain that is causing Sid’s condition. This weekend the doctors are gathering more information using 48 hour EEG monitoring (brain wave patterns) to see if there is any type of seizure activity. On Monday we will be moving Sidney up to Doernbecher Children’s hospital in Portland where a team of specialists will take Sidney’s case and determine a course of action. We do not know how long this will take but we will do everything we can to get Sidney back to normal soon.

Sidney is an extremely courageous girl and will fight this illness with all her strength. I have included as many friends as possible so that the power of our prayer will be multiplied many times. I ask that you add Sidney to your prayers and to your friends and church congregation prayers. Please pray to continue to give Sidney the strength to fight this illness; that you pray to give the doctors the wisdom and insight to find the cure and to give our family the strength to get through this very difficult time.
God bless Mike, Lisa, Nyree, Kenzie and Sidney

If you know the Whites, you know that they would never ask for anything; they are truly a family that gives. I am posting this message in the hope that all of you will send your prayers and best wishes to the White family. Getting Sidney well is the ultimate wish. She is now in the hands of some of the best children’s doctors in the world. But as Mike says, she needs the power of your prayers during her battle.

The Eugene community is quickly mobilizing to help the Whites. An account has been set up at U.S. Bank titled, “Sidney White Donation Account. Any U.S. Bank can accept funds for this family. Obviously, the internet can also provide access. Understanding that these are difficult times for all any help you can offer would be great.

You can reach Joann and me at allister (at) If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to touch base with us. Thank you very much.

Derek Allister

2009 AAU International Pools and Schedule

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

2009 AAU Men’s International Fastpitch Tournament
January 22-25, 2009 – Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex
(click title of post to print)

Pool A
1. Mac’s – NY
2. Guatemala
3. Chicago/NY – NY
4. Barranquita – Puerto Rico

Pool B

1. Florida Fastpitch
2. Combatientes – Venezuela
3. ADCO – NY
4. Hill United – ON

Pool C
1. Meraloma – BC
2. Dominicana – Dom. Republic
3. Elmira – ON
4. Radio 560 – Mexico

Pool D

1. CPI/ADS Classics – ON
2. Puierto Rico Junior National Team
3. DC Arrows – BC
4. Tijuana – Mexico

Pool E
1. Midwest Stampede – IA
2. Cobourg – ON
3. Virgin Islands
4. Maccabi Red – USA

Pool F
1. Los Socios – Venezuela
2. PK Broward – IL
3. Earl’s Club – WI
4. Sioux Falls Sox – SD

Pool G
1. Gremlin Knights – NY
2. Texaco Pirates – Bahamas
3. Manor Dirt Bags – TX
4. Brewers de Venezuela

Pool H
1. Millwood Logistics – ON
2. Puerto Rico National Team
3. Minnesota Angels
4. Venezuela/Miami

Pool I
1. Team Minnesota
2. Bahamas Nat’l Development
3. Niagara Storms Fury – ON
4. Sopotocientos – Venezuela

Pool J
1. Sebringville – ON
2. Jamaica
3. Maccabi Blue – USA
4. Ohio Battery/Stockpack – OH


Young Bucks Win Santa Barbara Tournament

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Sat Round Robin Seeding

1 Red Tease (Burbank) 3-0
2. Kickin Chickins(Ridgecrest) 2-0-1
4. Young Bucks 2-1
5. Tri County(Santa Barbara)2-1
6. Felons(Burbank) 2-1
7. FOG(Santa Barbara)1-2
8. Relics(Palmdale) 1-2
9.Maccabi 0-3
10. Rudys(San Fernando)0-3

Sunday Scores
Maccabi13-Rudys 0
Felons 3 Siverhawks 0
FOG 5 Relics 2
Red Tease 2 Maccabi 1
Young Bucks 8 Tri County 7
Kickin Chickens 3-Fog 0

Semi Finals
Red Tease 3 Kickin Chicken 1 winning p Matt Barness L John Newton
Young Bucks 6 Felons 2 winning pitcher Arnie Dondero L Debbie Day


Young Bucks 2 Red Tease 0 winning pitcher Andrew Ysasis L Matt Barnes

The Young Bucks team was pleased to be joined by Tan brothers, Marcus and Merik for this tournament. It is hoped that they will become permanent members. As usual Larry Watt caught all 6 games for the Young Bucks

Giesbrecht gets shot at coveted world softball title

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

From the Winnepeg Free Press

[Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada] – Rob Giesbrecht of Landmark has been named to the national men’s softball team, which will compete in the 2009 ISF Senior Men’s World Championship set for July 17-26 in Saskatoon.

Giesbrecht, an honoured member of the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, has been a national senior men’s team player since 2003 but this will be his first time challenging for a world title since he helped Canada’s national junior men’s softball team win a world championship in 1993.

“This is unbelievable, this is the highest level we can play because we’re not in the Olympics and this is the biggest even for men’s softball so to be on this team means a lot to me,” said Giesbrecht, 34, a teacher at Landmark Collegiate.

Canada’s senior men competed in the 2004 world championship but Giesbrecht was unable to participate due to his teaching commitment. In 2003, he helped Canada win a gold medal in men’s softball at the Pan Am Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and in 2007 he was on the the Canadian team that won silver at the Pan Am Championships in Mexico.

“It’s always been on my mind to go for this ultimate goal and now I have that chance,” Giesbrecht said. “It’s the last major title that I’m after because I’ve won Canadian, world junior, Pan Am and different club championships but this is the one that I really covet!”

Giesbrecht has been a member of the Vancouver Grey Sox senior men’s team since 2005 and won a Canadian championship title with the team in 2007. He has signed with them again for 2009, which means flying to Vancouver most weekends throughout the summer to play ball. His wife Michelle and son Luke, five, often accompany him.

Giesbrecht also won an Allan Cup in senior men’s hockey with the 2003 Ile des Chenes North Stars.