Wonderful discovery of the green Band Box fastpitch jacket

Written by Bob on September 21st, 2017

Over the 53 years I’ve been involved with fastpitch softball as a player, writer and photographer, I’ve collected a sizeable number of jackets. These are my favorites. From left, the photographer jacket the ISC issued me in 1996; the St. James, Minn. Band Box jacket I received in 1976 when I pitched for the team; the 1996 ISC commissioner’s jacket, my Yucaipa jacket of 1983, and I’m wearing my NAFA apparel from the 2017 World Series. But the green Band Box jacket is my prized fastpitch possession. Photo By NANETTE OTTO

YUCAIPA, Calif. – My wife has been on a cleaning binge of late. She’s pulling boxes off shelves, inspecting the contents, and more often than not tossing most of the things on the pile designated “yard sale stuff.”

Yesterday, she asked me to haul down from the rafters in the garage a large, heavy, blue toter. I followed her orders without complaint. As long as I’m free of decision making, I’m OK with her mission to unclutter our lives.

So I did as I was ordered and set the toter on the garage floor. I didn’t bother to open it. My job was finished.

Well, later in the day after she had opened the toter, she came back into the house and said:

“Bob, you better come and look at this stuff.”

Click to continue reading “Wonderful discovery of the green Band Box fastpitch jacket”

 

USA Men’s National Fastpitch Team putting up impressive stats

Written by Bob on September 21st, 2017

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Team USA has finished pool play in the X WBSC Pan American Fastpitch Championships with a 5-2 record, which gives the Americans
second place in the pool.

It was an important accomplishment, as Team USA secured a double life in the playoffs that begin Sept. 22 and conclude with the championship scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 24.

Many of you fastpitch fans are “stats” conscious, so to check out how our American boys are doing at bat, pitching and fielding, just click on to Team USA Pool Play Statistics

 

USA Clinches Second, Meets Canada In Pan American Fastpitch Playoffs

Written by Bob on September 21st, 2017

With two consecutive victories over Cuba and Puerto Rico, the United States clinched second place in Pool A of the 2017 WBSC X Pan American Fastpitch Championship, Wednesday, Sept. 20. Team USA will now meet Canada, which went undefeated at 7-0 to finish first in Pool B. Courtesy Photo WBSC

World Baseball Softball Confederation press release

SANTO DOMINGO, DR — The round robin has finished at the X Men’s Softball Pan American Championship held in the Dominican Republic and the playoffs were set with the eight teams to compete for the five spots for Lima 2019 Pan American Games.

    USA CLINCHES SECOND

Venezuela ended unbeaten in Pool A and clinch first place in the standings, followed by USA, Cuba and Colombia. These three teams finished with the same record of 5-2, but the US team earned the second place by the tie-breaker criteria.

    CANADA UNDEFEATED MEETS USA

On the other hand, Canada claimed first place in Pool B with no losses, followed by Argentina, Mexico and Guatemala.

This way, the payoffs will begin on Friday with two historic rivalries between Venezuela and Argentina, and Canada versus USA.

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Mancha pitching powers USA over Cuba In Pan American games

Written by Bob on September 20th, 2017

TONY MANCHA seen earlier in his career pitching for Steel of Texas in the NAFA World Series. Photo By BOB OTTO

SANTO DOMINGO, DR – Team USA needed a dominating performance from Tony Mancha if it was going to get past a very good Cuban ball club. And the right-hander responded in splendid fashion in leading the United States to a 5-1 victory in the Pan American Fastpitch Championship Wednesday afternoon.

Cuba’s bats just couldn’t catch up with Mancha’s sharp breaking rise ball, as he fired a two-hitter, along with six strikeouts and just two walks.

This was a much-needed win for the USA as it sat in fourth place in the eight-team Pool A with an uninspiring 3-2 record, while Cuba was firmly planted in second at 5-1. Another loss and any dreams of contending for a Pan Am title could begin fading fast.

After dropping a disappointing 3-2 decision to surprising Colombia a day earlier, Team USA didn’t show any signs of a hangover.

The United States took command from the beginning, plating a run in the top of the first on Erick Ochoa’s run-scoring double. Then after Cuba tied the game in the third, Mancha slammed the door shut while his teammates tacked on solo runs in the fourth and sixth, and put the game away in the seventh on Kevin Castillo’s two-run homer deep over the centerfield wall.

KEVIN CASTILLO seen batting in the International Softball Congress World Tournament. His two-run homer gave Team USA some breathing room in its victory over Cuba. Photo By BOB OTTO

Mancha grew stronger as the game went on. He retired Cuba in order in the sixth and seventh, while striking out five-of-six batters. The win improves his record to 2-1 in the tournament.

The offense collected eight hits with Castillo and Jonathan Lynch each going 2-for-4, with Castillo driving in two runs, while Lynch plated one. Nick Mullins also had an RBI in the sixth when his infield out scored Yusef Davis from third base.

Cuba’s Alain Roman Gonzalez went the distance, and though he gave up the five runs, he showed he’s one of the best pitchers in the tournament, striking out 11 USA batters. The right-hander has all the pitches: hard rise ball high and low, while mixing in a drop that dipped sharply on both sides of the plate.

Team USA has little time to celebrate as they take on Puerto Rico in the nightcap.

The game can be watched live at: Internet TV for a $12 subscription fee that covers the entire tournament.

 

Columbia holds off USA in men’s Pan American fastpitch games

Written by Bob on September 19th, 2017

SANTO DOMINGO, DR – On the men’s fastpitch world stage, Columbia isn’t regarded as a top tier team and a favorite to win a world softball championship.

But Columbia’s stock in the sport rose sharply after beating the United States, 3-2, in the Pan American Fastpitch Championship on Tuesday to improve its record to 4-1 in Pool A.

Columbia jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Team USA finally plated a run in the sixth on Erick Ochoa’s solo home run, and pulled within one in the seventh when Derrick Kennedy laced a run-scoring single plating Nick Mullins, who led off the inning with a single down the right-field line.

But Luis Amaya Fuenmayor struck out the next two batters and got a ground out to end the game with tying run on second base. Fuenmayor hurled the final two innings to pick up the save in relief of starter Elkis Chinchilla Prado.

Duane Weiler started for the USA and allowed one earned run on five hits with two strikeouts in three innings before giving way to Tony Mancha, who finished the final four innings, giving up a run on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks.

Team USA collected seven hits led by Kennedy who was 3-for-3 with an RBI, and Mullins, 2-for-3. Both Cameron Schiller and Ochoa had one hit each.

Josimar Cardozo Romero was 3-for-3, and and Eduardo Cuesta Baena was 3-for-4 with two RBI to pace Columbia’s nine-hit attack.

The United States drops to fourth place in the eight-team Pool A with a 3-2 record, and takes on second-place Cuba (5-1) on Wednesday.

    AT A GLANCE

…Team USA is batting a healthy .313 and has scored 34 runs…Derrick Kennedy leads the team with a .500 average (6-for-12), followed by Nick Mullins at .455 (5-for-11) with four RBI…Jeff Nowaczyk has driven in a team-high nine runs while batting .300 with two home runs…Yusef Davis, in his first promotion to Team USA, is No. 3 in batting at .400 (4-for-10) and has scored four runs.

Tony Mancha leads the pitching staff with 17 2/3 innings for a 1-1 record. He has struck out 17 and has a 2.37 ERA…Duane Weiler is 1-1 in seven innings, along with six strikeouts and a 2.00 ERA…and Joel Cooley, enjoying his first assignment with the national team is 1-0 in five innings of work, while striking out seven, and he hasn’t allowed any runs for a perfect 0.00 ERA.

 

2017 Pan American (men’s) Fastpitch Championship

Written by Bob on September 19th, 2017

SANTO DOMINGO – For currents scores, standings and more, visit: X Pan American Fastpitch Championship

  • The United States has a 3-1 record, including three consecutive wins after dropping its first game in extra innings.
  • Team USA is scheduled to play Columbia at 1:30 p.m (PT), Tuesday. To follow the game on Game Changer, click on: USA vs. Columbia
  • To watch the game, visit: iTV
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    2017 NAFA Wood Bat World Series coming to Las Vegas in October

    Written by Bob on September 19th, 2017

    LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The NAFA Western Wood Bat World Series will be held Oct. 20-22 in Las Vegas.

    The format is a three-game guarantee with prizes for first through fifth places, along with All-American, Most Valuable Player, and Most Valuable Pitcher awards.

    The entry fee is $375.

      CONTACT INFORMATION
  • Dave Parker at 432-634-6474; email: wyofastpitch@wyoming.com
  • Clark Evans at 575-642-7564; email: zebrasnm06@yahoo.com
    • NAFA WoodBat Nationals — Champions Circle

    2015
    2014
    2013— Rio Grande Alliance(Midland, Texas)
    2012 — Kansas City Indios (Kansas City, Kan.)
    2011 — J-Train (Newton, Kansas)
    2010 — New Image (Monfort, Wisconsin)
    2009 — J-Train (Newton, Kansas)
    2008 — Fort Collins Fastpitch (Fort Collins, Colorado) ***CO-CHAMPS
    Todd’s Trailer Sales (Sutton, Nebraska) ***CO-CHAMPS
    2007 — Dragons (Englewood, Colorado)
    2006 — Fort Collins Fastpitch (Fort Collins, Colorado)

     

    USA Softball men competing in 2017 Pan American Fastpitch Championship

    Written by Bob on September 15th, 2017

    SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Where would I rather be today than in beautiful Southern California?

    Well, at the top of my list would be Santo Domingo for the X Pan American Fastpitch Championship featuring 16 countries that offer some of the very best in men’s fastpitch softball.

    But since I can’t afford the expense that such travel would command, for just $11.95 I can watch the action by webcast, which I intend to do. (See subscriber link below.)

    The championship features two pools of eight teams each. The United States is in Pool A which also includes Aruba, Brazil, Columbia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

    Team USA begins play Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. (PT) against Brazil.

    HELPFUL LINKS TO FOLLOW THE ACTION

  • USA Softball National Team roster
  • Pan American Games Internet TV
  • Live Stats
  •  

    Remembering softball’s glory days in St. Joseph

    Written by Bob on September 10th, 2017

    ST. JOSEPH, MO – Nice summer and fall evenings stir up memories for many St. Joseph residents of the days when fastpitch softball was king in the city.

    On summer evenings during its heyday from the 1950s through the 1980s, places like Walnut Park and Drake Field were packed with fans locally and from abroad.

    They came out to see their local fastpitch stars: Tim Reynolds, Herb “Rumpy” Lucas, Charlie Pusateri, Gilbert “Jeep” Kirby and Bill McKinney.

    Teams were sponsored by businesses like the Morris Plan, Polsky Motors and Walnut Products.

    Ed Christgen remembered when his father, Ken, got the whole family involved in the sport. It was in 1966 when car dealer David Polsky asked his father to sponsor a team.

    “We started then with just one team, and by the early ’70s our family or our company was sponsoring seven teams,” Christgen said.

    Click to continue reading “Remembering softball’s glory days in St. Joseph”

     

    Pala Braves perfect in winning 2017 Raymond Angulo Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament

    Written by Bob on September 10th, 2017

    By ERNIE MAREZ
    2017 Raymond Angulo Memorial
    Tournament Director

    CORONA, Calif. – The Pala Braves swept through the tournament undefeated, but were forced into the ‘if necessary’ game of the double elimination format by the Beaumont Coyotes after the Braves lost in the first championship game.

    The Coyotes came out of the losers bracket and played five games on Sunday to reach the final.

    TOP THREE PLACES

    1. Pala Braves, Pala Band of Mission Indians, Pala, Calif.
    2. Beaumont Coyotes, Beaumont, Calif.
    3. Patricia’s Mexican Restaurant, Long Beach, Calif.

     
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