Sites Announced for 2009 ASA Nationals

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.

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