Toronto Gators Press Release
TORONTO, ONTARIO, CA – All good things must come to an end and it’s with an air of finality that Jack Fireman is announcing today that the Toronto Gators will shutter their operations.
“What better way to go out than as ISC World Champions and ISC Legends Champions,” said Mr. Fireman, who has been involved as the Gators sponsor for most of the last 25 years. “I want to thank all of the players, the coaches and the support staff as well as the families, friends and fans who cheered on the Gators.”
Pat Sagdal had a great game against the Kegel Black Knights of Fargo, ND in the 2016 ISC World Tournament in Moline, IL. He went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI, and also scored twice in leading the A’s to a 6-0 victory. Photo By BOB OTTO
MOLINE, IL – Pat Sagdal has played fastpitch softball on many levels, starting locally in his home state of Washington.
From the lower divisions his talent quickly jettisoned him to the highest: As a member of Team USA since 2014 representing the United States in the World Baseball Softball Confederation.
One of his highlights on Team USA was hitting a home run against Mexico to advance the team in the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario, CA.
On the club level he has played for some of the highest ranked teams by the International Softball Congress in its World Tournament. This season he was with the No. 5 ranked Vancouver BC A’s.
Sagdal helped the A’s finish fourth (5-2), Aug. 20, in Moline, IL. He is known for his abiltiy to drive the ball to all fields, for his speed in the outfield and on the base paths.
Sagdal was also selected an ASA All-American and was the batting champion for helping the Cal-State Builders / Eventhelper win the 2013 ASA Class A National Championship in Salem, OR.
And in the 2012 NAFA World Series at Topeka, KS, Sagdal helped the Bucknell Park A’s of Washington win the AA-Division championship, and was chosen an All-World player.
Success has found Sagdal, and he will no doubt experience more of it in the future.
Minnesota Computers / Coasters Beer Garden of St. Paul / Minneapolis turned around a sluggish season with an exceptional perforance at the 2016 NAFA A-Division World Series at Caswell Park in North Mankato, to finish second in the 50-team tournament with a 6-2 record. Courtesy Photo / Matt Fitzenberger
ST. PAUL / Minneapolis – If manager Richard Quigley were to grade his ball club for the regular season, he’d probably hand out a big red F. But in post-season play, he would surely have to swap it for a big shiny A+. Maybe even hand out some gold stars.
The Minnesota Computers / Coasters Beer Garden men’s fastpitch team plodded through the regular season with a so-so record. They finished fourth in the 12-team Dunning League at 6-4-2.
And in tournament play, they took third at Milltown, Wisconsin (3-2), and had a dismal weekend at the Hollywood tournament, going 0-4.
It’s the kind of results that will have opponents thinking we’ll crush these patsies. But pity the team with this thought in the post-season.
For MN Computers woke from its slumber to have an outstanding NAFA A-Division World Series at North Mankato, Aug. 19-21, at Caswell Park.
CATCH FIRE AT WORLD SERIES
Quigley is as puzzled as anyone about how his team can suddenly turn mediocrity into excellence, like flipping a light switch from off to on.
“We’re a veteran team that was horrible until state (tournament) and NAFA World Series,” said Quigley. “But both seasons (2015, 2016) at the end were huge successes.”
MOLINE, IL. – Cozied up and sitting just inches from the chain link fence that surrounds home plate on field five at the ISC World Tournament sat Bebe Garcia in his lawn chair. His eyes rarely strayed from the ball diamond.
This is an 81-year-old man who has devoted a good share of his life to boys’ and men’s fastpitch. Loves the game? You bet he does.
Garcia is spry, fit, and gregarious as ever. He talks fastpitch with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face as long as anyone will listen. And his history in the sport is pretty incredible.
It all began as a kid back in the 1940s in Texas. First as a player, then a pitcher. Good? Yes he was.
But his athletic skills pale in comparison to his leadership skills, his people skills, his marketing skills. In the business world, Garcia would be applauded as a “mover and a shaker.”
The man gets things done for fastpitch in Texas. Baytown and Houston in particular.
He has formed teams, run tournaments, recruited players – mostly young and looking for someone to give them a chance. Garcia gave them that chance.
“I started a team of sandlot players, 16, 17, 18 years old,” said Garcia. “I did that for about 25 years. Then went to organized ball, and moved to Open ball.”
MOLINE, IL – One can hit, the other can pitch. In the world of top-caliber men’s fastpitch softball, Kyle Ezekiel of the New York Gremlins and Toronto Gators’ right-hander Sean Cleary are two of the best.
In 2015, Cleary was a Second-Team, All-World pick for helping the Toronto Gators finished second to Hill United Chiefs in the ISC World Tournament.
But this year, he uped his production. And what a difference it made for the Gators.
In a return match-up, Cleary reversed the order and beat his counterpart, Adam Folkard, in leading the Gators to a 6-3 victory in the 2016 70th ISC World Tournament championship game.
Will the Gators return and repeat in 2017? Or will the Chiefs avenge their loss and regain top billing? Time will tell.
MOLINE, IL – When New Zealand native Brad Rona squares up on a softball with his powerful swing, it will go a long, long way.
Rona hit a home run off New York Gremlins Andrew Kirkpatrick that flew over the fence in left-centerfield about 300 feet that led to the Toronto Gators, 3-1, victory, moving the Gators into the winner’s bracket final.
The Gators went on to win the World Tournament by dethroning two-time defending champion Hill United Chiefs of Ontario, Canada.
And Rona was named first-team All-World and selected the Cleo Goyette Most Valuable Player for his .385 average (5-for-13), 3 home runs and 5 RBI.
Rona has been selected All-World seven times (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016), but 2016 marks the first time he received the MVP honor.
MOLINE, IL – The New Hamburg Mustangs were down and about out. But then came the big break that turned the game around in their favor: miscues.
Trailing 7-1 in the sixth inning, the Mustangs seized upon two errors, a passed ball and a walk, coupled with five hits to rally and beat the Alvinston Jr. Indians, 8-7, and claim the ISC Under-21 World Tournament Championship, at Green Valley Sports Complex, Saturday.
The Mustangs of New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada finished 5-0 in the four-team tournament. The Indians from Alvinston, Ontario, Canada took second at 3-2, with the Mariners of East Rapids, Mich. taking third, and Richville, Mich. fourth.
QUAD CITIES, IA/IL – If the Tin Cup men’s fastpitch team feels a little sore and tired, they really can’t be blamed.
In the past nine days (Aug. 13-21) the St. Paul, Minnesota squad has played eight games – three in the ISC World Tournament and five in the NAFA AA-Major Division World Series in the Quad Cities.
But for manager / designated hitter, Dave Marchio, it’s really not a big deal. His team is used to playing a lot of fastpitch.
“We’ve played about 65 games this year,” said Marchio at the NAFA AA-Major in Rock Island, Illinois. “We’re used to a lot of games.”