Archive for January, 2009

“The Game America Plays” – a book by Bill Plummer III

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

(click banner for original news story)
Winger: Plummer’s book a great read for fastpitch fans
By Don Winger
for the Daily News

If you want to know anything about softball, just ask Bill Plummer III. Actually, you can get all your answers in Plummer’s recently published book entitled The Game America Plays: Celebrating 75 Years of the Amateur Softball Association.

A former sports writer for the Syracuse Herald Journal, Plummer has been employed by the ASA at its Oklahoma City headquarters since 1979. He began as publicity director and has worked his way up the ladder to ASA Hall of Fame Manager.

Plummer, who was a frequent visitor to Midland when the city played host to several ASA national tournaments, gives a detailed history of the ASA, beginning with its founding in 1933 by Leo Fischer and M.J. Pauley.

The book details the history of the ASA decade by decade. It talks about the early financial struggles of the ASA until it was able to get on its feet following World War II.

Among the early supporters of the ASA was William Randolph Hearst, who promoted the first national tournaments through his many newspapers and supplied the trophy presented to the winning team.

The book also details how the rules of softball were developed from the beginning of the ASA through today. It also talks about the development and popularity of slowpitch.

Particularly interesting are anecdotes about some of the famous players of the game, both men and women, many of whom are enshrined in the national Softball Hall of Fame.

Midland native Bill Humphrey’s contributions to the game are highlighted in a section dealing with umpires. It was Humphrey, along with ASA National Umpire-in-Chief Tom Mason and Ron Jeffers of Cincinnati, Ohio, who convinced the ASA Board of Directors to establish national umpire schools in the early 1980s.

Humphrey also was chosen by the United States Olympic Committee to umpire games in the 1978 U.S. Olympic Festival. In 1997-98, he served as national president of the ASA.

His many works with the ASA have earned him enshrinement in the National Softball Hall of Fame.

Plummer’s book contains many photographs of past and present players, managers, sponsors and commissioners. It also has action photos and still photos of both players and teams.

Another interesting section contains records from both the men’s and women’s national fastpitch championships.

For example, longtime local fastpitch fans know about the feats of Al Linde when he pitched for the Dow A.C.s. But before that, he was an ace pitcher for the Hammer Field Raiders of Fresno, Calif., helping lead them to back-to-back national championships in 1943 and 1944.

It is evident that Plummer has put a lot of work into researching material for his book. I think it is a must for every fan of the game.

Don Winger is the retired executive sports editor of the Daily News. Email him at or telephone him at 631-0347.

A Look Back at 2004 ISF Worlds

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

I thought while we’re talking about the 2009 ISF World Championships coming up in July, that the recaps from the 2004 ISF Worlds, held in Christchurch, New Zealand, might make for interesting reading.

Fastpitchwest’s coverage of the 2004 ISF World’s, pre-dated this blog, but can be found here.

It was New Zealand and Canada in the finals, for gold and silver, respectively, and Australia earning its first medal in ISF play, with the bronze. All three medal winners came out of a very tough Pool A. only unbeaten team in round-robin play, at 6-0, with New Zealand and Canada finishing 6-1. The USA did not have to face the medal winners during round robin play, and were the only unbeaten team in round-robin play, at 6-0, with New Zealand and Canada finishing 6-1. The USA sailed through robin robin play, with 5 shutouts in 6 games, surrendering runs only to Japan in a 7-3 win.

The USA stumbled in the playoff round, though, going 1-2 and was knocked off the medal stand, with a fourth place finish. Japan was fifth.

Final standings here.

Round Robin Scores

Many fastball fans are predicting a repeat final in 2009 between New Zealand and Canada. Time will tell, as a number of countries would like to have something to say about that. Certainly Australia, with Kirkpatrick and Folkard figure to be in the hunt. Curious who handed New Zealand and Canada their losses in 2004 round robin play? Well, Canada beat New Zealand 5-4, and it was upstart Samoa (eventual 6th place finisher) that beat Canada, 3-1.

From the official ISF website:


by: Andrea Blackshaw in Christchurch

New Zealand’s Black Sox have achieved an historic three-peat at the ISF XI Men’s World Championship in Christchurch.

The Black Sox beat Canada, 9-5, to win their third consecutive title, after wins in Michigan (USA) in 1996 and East London (South Africa) in 2000.

It was a fitting farewell for several veteran players who will be retiring, including Mark Sorenson, Marty Grant, Jim Wana, and Jarrad Martin.

Earlier in the day, Canada had sealed their place in the final with a one-sided 7-0 win over Australia. Despite that loss it was a great day for Australia, claiming their first medal at an ISF Men’s World Championship in taking the bronze.


Which ISF Pool Has Tougher Road to Medal Round?

Friday, January 30th, 2009
Which ISF World Pool is a tougher road to the medal round?
Pool A
Pool B free polls

Team Pools

Pool A

New Zealand
United States
Great Britain

Pool B

Czech Republic
South Africa
Puerto Rico

Pools Announced for 2009 ISF World Championships

Friday, January 30th, 2009

(click logo to visit the official ISF XII World Championships website)

Pools for 2009 ISF World Championships in Saskatoon

Team Pools

Pool A

New Zealand
United States
Great Britain

Pool B

Czech Republic
South Africa
Puerto Rico

Editor’s note: We have added a link to the official ISF World Championships website at the upper right of Morning Brief for handy access for our readers.

Panteras Valentine Tournament – February 14-15

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

The Panteras annual St. Valentine tournament will kick off the third season of the Southern California Independent Fastpitch League. The tournament will take place the weekend of Febuary 14 & 15 at Hollifield Park in Norwalk.

The second tournament will be held three weeks later as the SCIFL moves to Taft and joins forces with the long-running Billy Bash Tournament on March 4 & 5. Yes, Billy Pilgrim’s big bash is still alive & well and will continue to play on the first weekend of March.

You can contact Robert Hernandez to enter both tournaments or Fernie for the Panteras tournament and Billy for the Billy Bash.

Robert – 714-392-1387 or rmh323 ( at )
Fernie – 562-762-8397
Billy – 661-428-0812

Hope to see everyone very soon.

Robert Hernandez

YouTube Video of Rob O’Brien’s HR in AAU Title Game

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Update: Tuesday, January 27, 2009:

Here is a link to view the high quality video.

Update: Wednesday, January 28, 2009:

Several readers have pointed out that it seems that whenever I point the video camera, someone goes yard. (Holoien, Martinez, and now O’Brien), not to mention Budke’s triple. Coincidence, I imagine, but there is a line developing for hitters asking me to be at their next game with the video camera (with a corresponding list of pitchers telling me to “stay away”. ) If this keeps up, I’ll have to do them on a reservation basis 🙂

(Video by Jim Flanagan)

This video was shot during the 2009 AAU International Tournament title game between the Chicago/NY Dominicana team from the Dominican Republic, and the Midwest Stampede, of Iowa. Most valuable pitcher Rob O’Brien is at the plate, his team leading 3-0. He hit a three run homer, breaking the game open, and staking his team to a 6-0 lead. They would go on the win the game, 8-0, and capture the 2009 AAU International Tournament crown. The Dominican Republic won the very first AAU title, back in 2000 when there were just eight teams. This year’s field of teams grew to a record forty (40).

The video was shot with a HD “Flip video” camera, that is about the size of a small iPod. The quality of this video at YouTube is very average, but the quality of the original is remarkable. YouTube had added a “view high quality” setting, which I was using on my Fastpitchwest channel at YouTube, but that option does not appear to be available this evening. I am trying to adjust it for better quality, but in the meantime, if you wish to see the original, email me, at jim (at) fastpitchwest (dot) com, and I’ll email you a link that you can view it at.

West Coast Fastpitch Association Schedule for 2009

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

From Bob Chapel, for Northern California, via Billings, Montana:

The season is fast approaching and here is my schedule for the year:

March 28-29 Stockton
May 2-3 Sonora
May 16-17 Folsom
June 13-14 Stockton
July 11-12 Sonora

As notified before, I have formed an association for Tax reasons. A board has been formed with Ed Davis (Fat City) and Gary Dower (Santa Rosa) serving as player and team representatives to assist you with any suggestions or complains. The association is called West Coast FastPitch Association (WCFA). I am working on sponsorships to help reduce the cost. At this time nothing has been finalized so the entry fee will remain the same for now. The fee is $450 per event.

If a team will commit in February to four or five events, I will lower that team’s entry fees. The team will need to make a $500 deposit on February 21 with equal payments due on March 21 and April 25. If your team is interested in this process, please contact me. If a team wants to play in a single event the entry fee must be received by Thursday of the week prior to the tournament. (Example: Payment for the March 28 tournament is due by March 19)

I have hired a person to keep stats at each tournament and your stats will be provided.

Checks will be made payable to:

West Coast FastPitch Assoc.
1165 Capricorn Pl
Billings MT 59105

I can be reached at: 406.896.1086 or my cell 406.690.0664 (there is a one hour time difference . if you need to contact me after 9pm always call my cell phone)

Bob Chapel

Red Rock at Carson City – May 2-3, 2009

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009


9th Annual Red Rock International Invitational
Carson City, Nevada
(35-45 minute drive from Reno)
TOURNAMENT DATES: May 2 and 3, 2009
CLASSES: Major, A, AA, NAFA (ALL), (ASA A & B)

ENTRY DEADLINE: March 1, 2009

FORMAT: Round Robin into single elimination.


ISC QUALIFIER: One (1) ISC World Tournament berth to the highest finishing US West team and one (1) ISC II (Tournament of Champions) berth are available.


Payable to:

Roy Stout
P.O. Box 812
Lake Hughes, CA 93532

AAU Sunday Playoffs

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

The 10th Annual AAU International Tournament in Orlando, Florida at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex concludes Sunday with the quarters, semis and finals.

10 am
Championship Bracket

Mac’s C Fastpitch 3
Team Minnesota 1
WP – Brand and O’Brien
LP – Gosse and Boom

Los Socios 0
Midwest Stampede 8
WP – Muizelaar and Rosthenhausler
LP – Alvarez and Perez

Ohio Battery/Stock Pack 2
Chicago/New York 4
WP – Gervasutti and DeGroat
LP – McKinney and Flinner

New York Gremlin Knights 0
Sebringville Sting 1
WP – Koert and Crawford
LP – Newton and Rozich

12 pm

Chicago/NY 9
Mac’s C Fastpitch 6 – Ballpark Radio
WP: Montero, relief Potolichio, O’Brien
LP: Ethier, relief Brand

MidWest 3
Sebringville 0
WP – Muizelaar and Motroni
LP – Scott and Crawford

2 pm
Championship final

Chicago/NY/Dominicana 8
MidWest Stampede 0 – Ballpark Radio
WP: Rob O’Brien and Frank deGroat
LP: Sean Whitten, relief Tony Peeples and Rosthenhausler
MVP: Frank deGroat, Chicago/New York
Top Pitcher: Rob O’Brien, Chicago/New York

Two More Ballparkradio Broadcasts on Saturday from the AAU

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Two games Saturday, live from the AAU Tournament in Orlando:

Saturday, January 24, 2009, 11:00 a.m. EST – CPI/ADS, Oswego, NY vs. Team Minnesota
Saturday, January 24, 2009, 5:00 p.m. EST – MidWest Stampede vs Bahamas Pirates

To listen to the broadcasts, just go to the Ballparkradio website, and click the black “Click to Listen” button, then choose the link for the game you want to hear, turn on your speakers and sit back and enjoy the action. (or turn down the volume/don the headsets for those of you listening at work)

There are a few remaining time slots available. Teams wanting to have a game broadcast may sponsor a game, splitting the cost with their opponent. For further information, email Ballparkradio, jim (at) ballparkradio (dot) com for further details. Broadcast slots will be handled on a first come-first served basis.

The 10th annual AAU International Tournament will be held January 22-25, 2009 at the Disney complex in Orlando, Florida, hosting 40 teams from around the world. Selected games will be broadcast live on