Archive for December, 2008

Merry Christmas !

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas ! May it bring good things to all…

(My nephew Ryan enjoying the new fallen snow)

2008 ISF Junior World Championship Broadcast Available Online

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

(click logo to visit website)

Just in time for Christmas, the archived broadcast of the 2008 ISF Jr. World Championship game has been posted online for listening and download. You may listen to it directly, or save to your computer and play back on any computer. The broadcast is made available free of charge. (We have an MP3 version as well, for those who want it on a CD or to put on their iPod or other media player, but that file is too large to post online. Watch for more information on how to get on CD)

Our production team is working on the rest of the ISF Jr. World Championship games that were broadcast from Whitehorse, as well as the ISC II Tournament of Champions, so stay tuned.

Click here to listen or download the broadcast
, between Australia and Canada, with Kyle Smith and Jim Flanagan. (This file posted online is still a large one, so be patient while it downloads and buffers). Once done, it will load quickly the second time. Depending on which browser you’re using, it might make some funny noises while it downloads, but give it time.)

(Kyle and Jim will be in Orlando, January 22-25, 2009 for live broadcasts of the 2009 AAU International tournament.)

Las Vegas Road Trip II – April 4-5, 2009

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

(Click logo for official SCIFL website)

From Robert Hernandez of the SCIFL (So Cal Independent Fastpitch League)


With most of the Country freezing and snow falling in places it doesn’t normally, NAFA and SCIFL are announcing the second edition of the “Las Vegas Road Trip” Men’s fast pitch tournament. The dates of this tournament will be April 4th and 5th and the 3′ 1/2″ of snow that fell in Las Vegas should be long gone . Temperatures in Sin City should be great. Last year with the two playing days in the low 80’s. This will be a NAFA sanctioned event with the participating teams separated in the following divisions:

A-Major/AA (depending on amount of teams)
AA/AA-Major (depending on the amount of teams)

The splits in the higher classifications will be based on the amount of teams that enter. It is anticipated that 24 teams can be accommodated for this event and confirmation into the tournament will be based on the entry fee and roster being received. The entry fee for the tournament is $375 and a the NAFA 3-game guarantee bracket will be used for all divisions. It is open to all fast pitch teams and if your team has not yet paid their NAFA registration fee, there will be an additional $20 fee which will be forwarded to your State Director. With a minimum of eight (8) teams in a division, the winner in each division will have their 2009 NAFA World Series entry fee paid.

Tournament Directors for the event will be Robert Hernandez and Bob Chapel. Clyde Bennett will be scheduling the umpires. Statistician will be Jan Tokorcheck. Information regarding the event, game results and player statistics will be posted on . This year’s tournament will be played at Sunset Park which is located by the Las Vegas airport. Sunset Park is a four diamond wheel-wagon complex so all teams will be playing at the same facility this year. Game times will be available once the tournament is filled or the Tuesday prior to the event.

Team interested in playing should contact Robert Hernandez at or 714-392-1387. All teams will need to submit a signed roster from their State Director with their entry fee. Checks can be made out to “SCIFL” and forwarded to Robert Hernandez, P.O. Box 1891, Anaheim, CA 92815-1891. Teams will be entered into the event in order of receipt of entry fees.

The host hotel for the tournament once again will be Arizona Charlie’s Boulder. Last year staying at the hotel was nice for the teams as the rooms are set up in a dorm type setting and being able to talk or hang out with each other was very easy. Please help the tournament by booking with Arizona Charlie’s using their 800 number to receive the special rate. The number is 800-362-4040 and the reference code is C-SOCAL or mention So Cal Independent Fast Pitch League.

Arizona Charlie’s Boulder

Full service hotel/casino/restaurants/bowling alley
4575 Boulder Hwy, Las Vegas, NV
800-362-4040 ad reference “C-SCIFL” as the group name
Room rates:
Fri/Sat – $49 per night plus taxes for a standard room or $59 per night plus taxes for an upgrade to a suite
Thur & Sun – $29 per night plus taxes for a standard room or $39 per night plus taxes for an upgrade to a suite
These rates are by far the best that we received for similar type hotels during this timeframe, most were well in the $100+ range per night. Rooms will be included in the block until March 3, 2008. We will not be negotiating with another hotel, so once the hotel is booked you will need to make your own accommodation’s. Last year there were a number of teams that waited until the last couple of weeks to book their rooms and the hotel did not have any more to give. At the time of booking you will be charged first night of your stay with the reminder of days being charged upon check-in. Roll-outs are available for an additional $10 per night.

Arizona Charlie’s Boulder is located 7 miles from the park but the money saved on the rooms will be a plus for teams compared to some of the other quotes that have been received. Teams can also save at the buffet by joining the casino player program when they arrive to check in.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding this tournament.

Robert Hernandez
NAFA Pacific Coast VP
P.O. Box 1891
Anaheim, CA 92806

2009 ISC Qualifiers

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

2009 ISC Qualifiers
December 21, 2008

Canada East Region – Blair Setford, Vice President – 905-826-2697

World Tournament – 3 + 2 berths awarded from ‘08

ISC II ToC – 7 + 4 berths awarded from ‘08

World Tournament Qualifiers

Passing of William Heffelmire

Friday, December 19th, 2008

We were sorry to learn of the passing of longtime fastpitch player and fan, William Hefflemire. William followed the AAU International tournament, among others, in recent years, dropping us an occasional email to catch up on scores and send along a good word. He kept his passion for the game throughout his life.

His son, Eric writes:

SERVICE – A short and somewhat informal service is scheduled for Saturday December 20th at 2pm @ the Jackson Park Chapel 71 Olding Rd Bremerton.

William F. Heffelmire left us too soon on December 11th 2008. Tough and honorable to the end, he was 78 years old. Known, loved and respected by so many in so many roles, and by many titles – husband, Bill, Dad, Chief, COB, Heff, Boss and in perhaps his greatest and latest role, to his grandchildren, lovingly as “Grumpy.”

Born in Brady Lake, Ohio July 19, 1930 – son of Frederick J. Heffelmire and Orpha Pendleton he left home young for a career in the US Navy. A highly decorated Chief Petty Officer, he rose to the top of his vital profession and became Chief of the Boat (COB) on the greatest vessels and weapon platforms and cold war deterrents ever created – Fast Attack Nuclear Submarines. During his extraordinary 42 year career, he repeatedly refused commissions to officer rank, – rejecting, what he saw as “a demotion” from COB to Ensign. In his second full Naval career, as a Navy civil servant, he again rose to the top as General Foreman and Section Head at the Naval Undersea Warfare Engineering Station (NUWES, later NUWC). Along the way he added to his lifetime of practical experience a Bachelors of Science degree. In his long years of service to the United States and the US Navy, he came to know the four corners of the earth and the 7 seas and truly left his mark wherever he served.

He was a gifted athlete and fast-pitch baseball player/pitcher back in the day and he maintained his love of the sport his whole life, traveling all over the country to support the sport. He loved bowling, cribbage and was legend across the submarine fleet for his domino playing prowess. In later years he dedicated himself to helping raise his grandchildren, all well grounded and successful young adults, some of whom have followed in his footsteps into military service, as did all his own sons, – in the Navy and as a Cadet at the United States Air Force Academy. In this, his legacy of service and tough, but fair leadership lives on.

He leaves behind his loving wife of 53 years – Charlotte, six children – William – a Navy Veteran, Mary-Anne, Mark – a US Marine, Celia, Eric – a USAF veteran, and Adria – as well as 11 grandchildren, and son & daughter-in-law Stu and Darmie.

So in honor of a life extraordinarily well lived and in the tradition of the Navy that he loved and served his entire life – Anchors away… and until we meet once more, here’s wishing you a happy voyage home.

Click here
to view story in the Kitsap Sun, Bremerton Washington’s local newspaper.

Midland Bidding to Host 2010 ISC World Tournament

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Midland Daily News
December 9th, 2008
By Dan Chalk
(reprinted with permission)

[Midland, MI] – With all of its fastpitch softball history, one fastpitch event that Midland has never hosted is the International Softball Congress World Tournament. But now, the Midland Explorers Booster Club hopes to bring the ISC Tournament to Currie Stadium in the second and third weeks of August 2010.

After a presentation by the Explorers Booster Club last Tuesday, the City of Midland’s Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously to recommend that city staff work with the booster club in support of a bid for the tournament. If the bid is accepted by the ISC, the 32-team ISC World Tournament would be held at Currie Stadium, and the concurrent 40-team ISC Tournament of Champions would take place at Redcoats Complex.

Kyle Beane of the Explorers Booster Club said the club for a few years has tossed around the idea of hosting the tournament. He said its economic impact would be between $2 million and $5 million. “We’ve looked at it for the past few years but never put the time and the organization into it,” said Beane, who also plays for the Midland Explorers fastpitch team. “We’ve still got a lot of steps to go, but we’re very hopeful.” Beane said the booster club plans to submit a bid to ISC Executive Director Ken Hackmeister next month, and he expects to get an OK from Hackmeister by March 2009.

Beane said no other city has expressed an interest in hosting the 2010 tournament, and he said that Hackmeister has told him the ISC would be supportive of a bid from Midland.“In the past, two to four teams have bid for it,” he said. “It just so happens that for 2010, no one else is bidding for it. Ken and I have talked different times over the years. He’s supportive of us (in our plan to make a bid).”

In the meantime, the Explorers Booster Club is working on the details of preparing for the tournament: lining up volunteers, vendors and accommodations, among other things. “It definitely is a year-and-a-half process to get it ready,” Beane said. The ISC has been hosted recently by Kimberly, Wis.; Eau Claire, Wis.; Sioux City, Iowa; Fargo, N.D.; St. Joseph, Mo.; Kitchener, Ont; and Victoria, B.C. Most teams that compete in the ISC are from the United States and Canada. Australia, Denmark, Bahamas, Czech Republic and Mexico also have sent teams to the tournament. “The top players in the world are going to play in this tournament,” Beane said. “It’s the best tournament the sport has to offer. … The crowds travel well. People all over the country come to the ISC every year, regardless of where it’s at.”

In the past, Currie Stadium has hosted numerous major softball events, including the ASA Men’s Major Nationals, ISF World Championships, USA Men’s National Team and Women’s National Team tryouts, and Olympic Softball team exhibition games. “We’ve got a leg up, because the (Currie Stadium) facility and the community are used to this type of event,” Beane said. City of Midland Recreation Manager Marcie Post said she feels the Explorers Booster Club is well organized in its plan to bid for the tournament. “It sounds like they really have their ducks in a row,” she said. “If we get everything set and ready to go, it would be a really great thing for Midland.”

Post added that it’s important for the city to recoup the cost of the labor that will be required to staff the tournament.“I want to break even on everything that we’re doing here,” she said. “In the crisis we’re going through with the city budget, I think it’s important that we’re breaking even, that we’re recouping our costs.” Beane said it was crucial to get the vote of approval from the Parks and Recreation Commission.“We were looking for their blessing. We knew if we didn’t have fields to play on, it would be a moot point,” he said.

Vin Scully to NAB Hall of Fame

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

NAB to honor Vin Scully

From Variety:

Dodgers broadcaster joined team in 1950

The National Assn. of Broadcasters will induct Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully into the org’s Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

Scully, who joined the Brooklyn Dodgers’ broadcast team in 1950, followed the team to L.A. before the start of the 1958 season. As the only current broadcaster to serve a team for 59 consecutive years, Scully has also announced 25 World Series and 12 All-Star Games.

The induction will be held during the NAB Show Radio Luncheon April 21 in Las Vegas.

Editor’s note: As Dodger Thoughts editor, Jon Weisman so aptly noted: “What Were They Waiting For?”

Full Press Release After the jump.


Gmail’s PDF Reader

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

The Google boys have come up with some new tech that makes reading PDF files quicker and easier, in Gmail, right inside your browser, without “opening” the file. Great for opening that tournament notice, or bracket sheet, on the fly:


Gmail Makes Viewing PDF Files In-Browser Easier

Next time you receive a PDF file attachment in Gmail, hit the View link next to it. Instead of the hardly-ever-looked-good HTML view, you’ll get Google Docs’ full-on PDF viewer right in your browser, with thumbnails for navigating the PDF’s multiple page the way your desktop PDF viewer works.

(click link above for complete story)

With PDFs so commonplace nowadays, my old article from Los Angeles Lawyer magazine seems a bit dated: “The Emergence of PDFs as the New Standard for eDocuments

Fastpitch Bulletins – Circa 1984

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Fastpitch Bulletins to be archived online at

1984. No, not George Orwell’s 1984. Fastpitch, circa 1984. None of Clyde Bennett’s Young Buck 23-and-under-players had even been born. But fastpitch was going full throttle, and being covered in the “Fastpitch Bulletin” by the late Ray Anderson and his ace reporter, the late Betty Stout (wife of Roy Stout). There were no computers to speak of back then, nor an internet to post the news on. It was a typwriter with a lot of time and patience that Ray used to put the Bulletin together and see that it got out to subscribers every month. A true labor of love. A year’s (first class mail) subscription was $12.50. That translates to $1.04 per issue. As you can see from the stamps on some of these issues, it was 54 cents to mail them back in 1984. Add in the xeroxing costs, and, well, you get the idea.

As I wrote on our “About Fastpitchwest” some ten years ago, the Fastpitch Bulletin played a big role in the establishment of this website:

The publication of FastpitchWest began in 1998, with the hope of helping to promote the game, teams and players of fastpitch, particularly those in Southern California and the West. In doing so, we pay appropriate homage to some of the people who have been, for the longest time, the “keepers of the flame”, ensuring that we in the world of fastpitch get our requisite dose of information about the exploits of our favorite players and teams: the late Ray Anderson, whose “Fastpitch Bulletins” still occupy an honored corner of my garage, and his top writer, the late Betty Stout who covered the game for years during the 1970’s and ’80’s. Bob Tomlinson, picked up the torch, and published the Fastpitch Chronicle serving as the “bible” of information for fastpitch for years (and now publishes it online)

We are currently in the process of archiving those old Fastpitch Bulletins, for our readers, filling in gaps with the help of co-NAFA founder and current ISC VP Jim Williamson. We will be adding a new section to the website, with menu buttons and all, but thought you might enjoy a sneak preview of some of the old issues. They are all in PDF format, so you’ll need Adobe Reader, but most computers have that nowadays. The first batch is from 1984, courtesy of Jim Williamson. (note the mailing label on the last page)

Last year, we were the successful bidder on eBay for the entire set of Bob Tomlinson’s Fastpitch Chronicles, and have spoken with Bob about a joint venture to make them available here, and at his site, the as well. That task is a bit more daunting, due to the fact that most issues of the Fastpitch Chronicle were published in “full newspaper format”, and therefore, do not fit in conventional 8.5 x 11″ scanners. But scan them we will, and look forward to making them available to fastpitch fans around the world.

We hope you enjoy this bit of fastpitch history. Like the players written about inside, the issues are a little worn around the edges, but with plenty of great stories to tell.

Comments welcome, jim (at) fastpitchwest (dot) com.

Click links below — but please be patient, the files are VERY large and take a little time to load, even on a high speed connection. Not sure where we’re going to house all of the issues, but we’ll figure it out as we go.

Fastpitch Bulletin – January 1984
Fastpitch Bulletin – February 1984
Fastpitch Bulletin – March 1984

(some issues still loading on Friday afternoon)

Watch this blog for further issues and information on the archives.

Maddy’s 12 Days of Christmas

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Regular readers of this column are no doubt familiar with “Maddy’s Photos”,, the website where you will find more fastpitch photos than any site known to man (or woman, as the case may be). But if you have not visited since the end of the 2008 season, you may have missed the complete remodel of her website.

The new site is divided into three main galleries, “Sports“, “Events, and “Places“. (Well, and those “private galleries” under lock and key). To view them, click the “Galleries” button at the top of the main page. The fastpitch galleries will, of course, be found in the “Sports” section, and comprise the largest set of photos with still more to come. It is still a work in progress. While most of our readers spend the bulk of their time in the fastpitch galleries, you may wish to peruse the other galleries to see what she’s been up to. The “Places” galleries are favorite of mine, providing a perspective on the cities or towns that we visit during the course of the year (season).

Maddy has been shooting the game of fastpitch since 2002, when she took her little digital snapshot camera to Salem, Oregon, to shoot the 2002 NAFA World Series. She graduated to newer and better cameras annually (or so says Santa Claus), and started getting serious in 2004 with a trip to the AAU International Tournament in Orlando, Florida. While fastpitch was new to her in those early years, photography was not, and had been a lifelong hobby, back in the days of 35 mm camera and film. The digital age coincided with her introduction to the game of fastpitch, and grew to a passion.

Since those early days, she has been a fixture at the AAU, and other tournaments like Red Rock, Rose Cup, ISC II Tournament of Champions and ISC World Tournament, with side trips to places like the Bahamas, and Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada thrown in for good measure. Along the way, in addition to posting her photos to Fastpitchwest, and later her own website,, her fastpitch work has been published a dozen or so times in Softball Magazine, as well as in a number of newspapers. The most recent “feathers in her cap” in was a sports section front page shot published in the Kimberly, Wisconsin newspaper, and a recent “inside cover” shot published in the lastest issue of Softball magazine, her sixth “inside cover” in the magazine. Her photos have also popped up (with permission) on fastpitch websites, from the likes of Al’s Fastball to league and team sites, including some in other countries. Her photos have also been featured prominently in the last several ISC Media Guides.

The new website permits fastpitch players and fans alike not only to view the photos, but to order them if they wish. One of the most difficult things for her was trying to keep up with the myriad of requests for one photo or another. With a demanding “day job”, it was hard for her to keep up, especially as the collection of photos grew from hundreds to thousands. The decision to sell her photos was a difficult one for her, as she is certainly not shooting fastpitch as a money maker. The new site works through a well known company called “SmugMug”, an online photo store of sorts, permitting people to get the photos they want in an automated fashion. While her expenses to tournaments exponentially exceed the nominal sales of the site, it does help with some of her equipment and travel costs.

Maddy wanted to pass along her thanks to all who write to her about her photos. The feedback from those who have ordered online has been positive, with prompt mailing, and good quality photos.

For the Christmas season, (Maddy’s 12 Days of Christmas) she has reduced the standard prices for photos, and also added digital images to the mix. So if you are struggling for gift ideas like most of us, an enlargement might go well with that picture frame you bought. She also added other photo-gift options from SmugMug (stocking stuffer items like T-shirts, keychains, buttons, and such). (I found those items a little pricier, but SmugMug’s pricing dictates most of that).

So for Maddy’s 12 Days of Christmas, enjoy the reduced price of prints ($3, $7 and $12 for the standard sizes), or some of that well deserved year end time off, to just peruse the photos at her gallery. Looking for galleries from prior tournaments? Stay tuned, they will follow soon.

Click logo above or below to visit or here to go directly to the fastpitch galleries.

Readers may write to Maddy directly at maddy (at) maddysphotos (dot) com, or by clicking the “Contact” link on the main menu at her site.