Archive for October, 2009

ISF Rebranding Softball

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

(click logo for original news story)

Softball plans to rebrand after Olympic failure

October 25 – Softball is planning to rebrand with a new logo and a revamped website as it begins to come to terms with its failure to win back its place in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Softball, which was controversially dropped from London 2012, had mounted a strong campaign to regain its place on the programme but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose golf and rugby sevens instead.

Now, at the first Congress of International Softball Federation (ISF) since the decision was announced at the IOC Session in Copenhagen earlier this month, it has unveiled plans to modernise itself.

Don Porter was re-elected as President of the ISF after running unopposed but there were several other changes among the sport’s leadership.

These included a new secretary general and various changes among the regional vice-presidents.

In addition, the delegates at the meeting held at Margarita Island in Venezuela approved a constitution that took effect immediately and they awarded two future World Championships.

Low Beng Choo, from Malaysia, was chosen as the ISF’s new secretary general, following elections that took place yesterday.

She was previously the ISF deputy secretary general and replaces America’s Andy Loechner, who is retiring having been in the position since 1987.

Two other women from Low’s region were among those elected by the congress, including a former Olympic softball coach.

In the five regions, a significant change was made in that each now has two vice-presidents, plus there is a new position called non-Spanish-speaking Caribbean vice-president, a role given to Romell Knowles from the Bahamas.

Canada’s Dale McCann and New Zealand’s Bob Leveloff were elected as the 1st and 2nd vice-presidents respectively.

South Africa’s Guillo Marapjane and Botswana’s Marumo Morule were elected as vice-presidents for Africa, E.T. Colvin from the United States for North America, Colombia’s Antonio Morales and Venezuela’s Jesus Suniaga for Latin America, China’s Jiang Xiuyun and Japan’s Taeko Utsugi for Asia, Israel’s Ami Baran and Holland’s Andre van Overbeek for Europe and Australia’s Darryl Clout and Guam’s Robert J. Steffy for Oceania.

In addition, IOC memebrs Beatrice Allen, from Gambia, and Meliton Sanchez, from Panama, remain as members of the ISF Executive Council.

The newly created constitution – which comes in addition to the standing ISF Administrative Code – will provide for the creation of an ISF Board of Directors and gives a new, forward direction for the world governing body.

Two events were awarded, the 2012 Junior Men’s World Championships to Parana in Argentina and the 2013 Men’s World Championships to North Shore City in New Zealand.

ISF Jr. Worlds to Argentina in 2012

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Parana, Argentina will be the host of the the ISF Jr. World Championship in 2012. The announcement was made at the ISF convention in Venezuela.

The last world championships were hosted at Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, in 2008, with Australia, Canada and Japan winning gold, silver and bronze, respectively. broadcast a dozen games at the 2008 ISF Jr. World Championships at Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, to over 7,000 listeners worldwide.

Parana, Argentina is about a 5 hour drive from Buenos Aires, Argentina. (see map below, or click for larger map)

View Larger Map

From our friend Martin Jorge, at

(click banner to visit Martin’s site, en Espanol)

Argentina will host the ISF Junior Men’s World Championship 2012

The city of Paraná will host the next ISF Junior Men’s World Championship 2012. This was confirmed this afternoon the International Softball Federation at the World Congress is developing on Margarita Island, Venezuela. In this way, Argentina will host the World Softball Championship for the first time in its history, and it will bring to South America for the first time an event of this nature.

The official presentation of the candidates was held yesterday morning, opposite the World Championships Committee. First was New Zealand which suggested the city of Nelson to host the World Cup, in second place was Canada, who presented the candidacy of Whitehorse, and finally it was the turn of the delegation of Argentina, who presented to the city of Parana and candidate to host 2012. The end of the submission of Argentina, who was in charge of Argentina President of Softball Confederation, Mr. Jacinto Cyprian, and who had a previous hard work of members of the CAS and Paranaense Softball Association, concluded with a closed applause, the only candidate to receive such treatment from those present.

This spells good news for today, when they finally decide the World Junior Men’s headquarters. And indeed, this afternoon the full ISF World Congress confirmed the news of Paraná will host the World Youth Championship 2012. After the election, which was defined unanimously in favor of capital entrerriana, it came time for the congratulations, acknowledgments and joy of the delegation of Argentina, who received on behalf of all delegates present countless expressions of support and recognition .

A total of fifteen countries will come to Argentina in 2012, and join our Team to contest the World Junior Championships. Softball lovers in Argentina will have the chance to see play on the diamonds of Paraná the future stars of New Zealand, Australia, Japan, USA, Canada, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, South Africa, among others, as is perhaps the best softball tournament ever in our country.

Thus is fulfilled the dream of having for the first time in history a World Softball Championship in Argentina diamonds. There is still a long road ahead of work and effort to show the world that softball of Argentina is capable of doing great things. However, the first step, the most difficult, is given. Argentina is officially host the ISF Junior Men’s World Championship 2012. The world will come to play softball in our country, and Parana will welcome you with open arms.

Source: Softball Confederation Argentina – Photo: Ministry of Sports of Venezuela

En espanol after the jump. (more…)

Steve Kerian to Iowa Hall of Fame

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

From the Sioux City Journal:

Former softball stars enter hall

By Terry Hersom –

SIOUX CITY — Two metro Sioux City men will be honored Sunday in Ames, Iowa, when the Amateur Softball Association announces its new inductees to the Iowa Men’s Fast-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame.

New hall of famers this year include former pitcher Francis Foley, who retired from softball at age 40 in 1963, and infielder Steve Kerian, who played on five ASA national championship teams.

Foley pitched for various teams in the Sioux City area, including Solomon Foods, Burnett Motors, the Le Mars Eagles, Johnson Biscuit and Blue Bunny in a career spanning from 1942 through 1963.

Compiling over 300 wins, Foley struck out 2,849 batters and had a career 1.51 earned run average, pitching in seven ASA state tournaments (11-3 record) and helping teams win state titles in 1949 and 1952.

Foley threw 20 no-hitters, including six perfect games, and also had 33 one-hitters and 37 two-hitters. He logged 80 shutouts and pitched another 75 games in which opponents scored just one run.

A 2000 North Central Conference Honor Award recipient for his support of Morningside College athletics, Foley also pitched in four western regionals, winning a championship in 1952, and also appeared in the World ASA tournament that same year.

Kerian, a native of Waverly, Iowa, who played college baseball at Ellsworth Community College and Florida International University in Miami, played the brunt of his softball career from 1978 through 1999.

After four years with the Waverly Merchants, he played for Cedar Rapids Vigortone and Decatur (Ill.) ADM before playing on Sioux City Penn Corp and NHCD teams that won four ASA national titles and finished second twice. He also helped Penn Corp win two ISC World Tournaments and finish second twice while playing on an ISC winner for Decatur and an ASA champ with Green Bay (Wis.) All-Star.

Kerian helped Team USA win its most recent gold medal in the quadrennial International Softball Federation Championships in 1988 and he also represented his country on two silver medalists in Pan-American Games competition. In addition, he was on ASA Olympic Sports Festival champions four times and played for the U.S. four times in New Zealand’s Winfield Challenge.

Kerian and his wife Tina, who make their home in McCook Lake, have three sons, Jeff, 20; David, 16; and Matthew, 10. The owner of a home building and development company, JDM Homes LLC, he continues to play baseball in a local league and still plays in an occasional fast-pitch tournament.

AAU Women’s Tournament – Jan. 29-31, 2010

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Click here to view full color PDF flyer

40 Teams in 2010 AAU International Tournament

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Click here to view full color PDF flyer (photo by Maddy)

Here are the 40 teams so far…. There are 8 teams on the waiting list in case of any cancelation.

Alex Linares
Amateur Athletic Union Of The United States, Inc.
Sports Manager
Panama & Puerto Rico Liaison
International Events
407- 828-5602
407- 934 – 7242 (fax)
alex (at)


*Update 1: Midwest Stampede is merging with the Bahamas team. It is now Bahamas Stampede. From the waiting list now in the tournament: Hill United is in.

1. Gigantes De Venezuela
2. CPI, NY
3. Cobourg Force
4. Los Socios,Venezuela
5. Virgin Islands Eagles
6. Atascados / Tijuana Fastpitch
7. Texaco Bahamas Pirates*
8. Earls
9. Capitalinos de Caracas (Venez)
10. Big Cove Fastpitch
11. Combatientes de Venezuela
12. Minnesotta Angels
13. Dominicana
14. Chicago N.Y.
15. Venezuela / Miami
16. Jamaica National
17. ADASI Spain
18. DC Arrows
19. Sopotocientos
20. Puerto Rico National Team
21. Puerto Rico National Jr.
22. Barranquitas Puerto Rico
23. N.Y. Gremlins
24. Maccabi USA / Red
25. Maccabi USA
26. Valle Colombia
27. Radio 560 Mexico
28. Sureño Soy
29. Brewers de Venezuela
30. Indios de Venezuela
31. Millwood Logistics Countrymen
32. Ashland, OH Stock Pack
33. Florida Fastpitch
34. Adco ToolShed
35. Midwest Stampede*
35. Hill United * (added from waiting list, with merger of Bahamas and Midwest Stampede)
36. Kitchener Outlaws
37. Team Minnesota
38. Niagara Storms Fury
39. PK. Broward Pirates
40. Nova Scotia

Maddy’s Missing ISC Photo Surfaces

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

As we mentioned earlier, Maddy was not permitted to shoot photos at this year’s ISC World Tournament. She did manage to shoot this one off site, though, as California A’s catcher Jeff Twist was being taken away to the hospital after collapsing on the playing field with muscle cramps.

All kidding aside, it’s wasn’t Maddy’s photo. We thank Dr. Dave Drotzman for sharing the photo from TMZ with us.

Leon Knowles Inducted to Bahamian Hall of Fame

Friday, October 16th, 2009

(click logo for original news story)

In softball, the late Leon “Apache” Knowles will receive his honour posthumously. He was the first Bahamian to have been inducted into the International Softball Federation’s Hall of Fame back in 1987.

He managed the Bahamas’ first men’s national team that placed second in the Central American and Caribbean Confederation Tournament.

Knowles will be joined by Richard “The Lion-Heart” Johnson, who two decades later in 2007 was also inducted into the ISF’s Hall of Fame. Johnson was the premier pitcher in the country for at least two decades.

Keeping York County’s softball history alive

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Former York County fastpitch softball players still meet to share stories from their glory days.
Daily Record/Sunday News

Former men’s fastpitch softball player Dave Lehr played in various York County leagues when he was younger. Now he has embarked on a mission to preserve the sport’s history from the 1940s up to the 1980s. (Daily Record/Sunday News – Bil Bowden)

When the thought popped into Don Runkle’s head, he wasn’t completely sold on it.
Years had gone by, many more years than some would care to acknowledge.

Even so, Runkle wondered if decades later, would men’s fastpitch softball players from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s in York County consider getting together for a reunion?

“It was just sort of a wild idea I had,” Runkle said. “We all played ball together for many, many years. We weren’t all on the same teams, but we played in the same leagues. We knew the same people.”

So in 2006, Runkle organized a softball old-timers luncheon for veterans of York County’s community, church and industrial fastpitch leagues.

And to his surprise, the idea caught on and has turned into a regular occurrence.

“We had 18 guys show up that first time,” said Runkle, a Dover resident. “Since then, things have just sort of mushroomed. It’s not always the same people, but we meet every three months. We have the fellowship of being together and swapping stories.

“When we got together at the end of September, we had 33 people in attendance. We look at it as our third anniversary group picture.”

Among those who show up at the Old Country Buffet restaurant in York for each gathering is Dave Lehr, who pitched for various teams from the mid-60s through the early years of the 80s.

“I guess you could say I’m the youngest of the old-timers since I’m only 61,” said Lehr, who started off as a bat boy 50 years ago for some of the other


players who attend the luncheons. “I was born and raised in York on Vander Avenue in a row home, and my backyard extended was Girard Park.
“That was the home field for Stambaugh’s and Girard A.A., so I grew up around the guys such as John Erney, Dick Rawlinson and George Powell, three of the greatest players our area has ever known.”

The softball old-timers meet on the first Monday of the month every three months.

“Dave is the youngest, and our oldest guest is Tom Horn, who’s 92,” Runkle said. “The majority of the guys are in their late 70s and early 80s, and I’m 81.”

Runkle played baseball, too, back in his day. In fact, he saw time with the Susquehanna League’s Frysville squad in 1949, but softball was his love. He spent more than 20 years patrolling outfields for teams in the Industrial League.

“Met-Ed had a team. Caterpillar had a team. There was a team sponsored by the York Wallpaper, Co., where I started,” Runkle said. “We probably had somewhere between eight and 12 teams in the Industrial League, and the Community League had more teams.

“A lot of the guys played softball well into their 40s, but I had to get out around 36 because my knees just couldn’t take it anymore.”

Although he stood just 5-feet, 4-inches tall, Lehr was a pitcher who learned from a master in Erney — the Columbia resident and York County legend — who was inducted into the Pennsylvania Softball Hall of Fame in 1984.

“I was always pestering him with questions like, ‘How do you grip the ball to throw a rise? How do you grip it to throw a drop?'” Lehr said. “He told me, ‘Put the ball where you want it when you want it’ and that was the key to being a successful pitcher.”

His love of fastpitch softball has sparked Lehr’s pursuit of compiling a memory book, something he wants to share with others.

“I came across some scrapbooks from back in the day, five of them full of newspaper clippings and photographs,” Lehr said. “I’m trying to make copies of all the stuff for all of the guys who come to our meetings.

“Someone needs to preserve the history of men’s fastpitch softball around here. We’re talking about a four-decade span of time from the late 1940s through the mid-1980s.”

Lehr’s plans for comprehensive look back at men’s fastpitch softball in York County took a back seat to his health, though, during the summer, when he underwent a heart transplant.

“A year and one day to the day of my second heart bypass surgery, I get the call from the University of Maryland at 3:45 in the morning saying, ‘Get down here. We’ve got a heart for you,'” Lehr said. “I was on the waiting list since Dec. 9 and had the surgery on June 19.”

Lehr spent 24 days in the hospital before being released. Now that he’s feeling better, he expects to pick up his work on the softball history project.

In fact, earlier this week, Lehr, Runkle and nearly a dozen other members of their group traveled to Sunbury, site of the Pa. State Softball Hall of Fame.

It’s the common love of the sport — even after all these years — that keeps the former players gathering together.

“We get together for the friendship and the camaraderie, but I like the guys to share stories, too,” Lehr said. “I came on board in the fall of 2006, and Don Runkle said to me, ‘Dave, I don’t know how to get these guys to respond and open up when they get there.’ I said, ‘I’ll take care of that.’

“So I told them, ‘We want you to share some stories. If you won’t, you’re going to have to listen to me, because I have them.’ I was definitely blessed with the gift of gab.”

Passing of Earl Hicks

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

We regret to report the passing of Earl Hicks from from Lakenheath, noted to us by his friend Annelies van der meulen of Holland. Earl was a fastballer in the UK, had a team there, and as we have seen from the many notes we have received, many friends in fastball. He will be missed by them all.

World Masters Fastpitch in Australia

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Cap tip to Ivan Taylor for this one:

The World Masters are going on in Australia right now and there is some fastpitch being played.

There is a Canadian Team from Cornwall there with Sammy Forbes. [correction update courtesy of Dave Birnie — Cornwall, not Coburg as earlier posted and Wells not there.

Click here for more.

Update: Lanky Johnson writes to tell us that there are a number of Canadian teams “down under” at the World Masters in Australia:

There are a few Canada, USA mens teams down there.

45 A – Qmax, Calgary Alberta

45 A – Rossini’s, Vancouver B.C.

45 A – Northeast Selects, Alberta

45 B – Ohio Battery, Ohio

45 B – Saskatchewan Flatlanders

45 B – Centennials, Kelowna B.C.

35 B – Rollyview, Alberta

35 B – TC Cornwall Ontario