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First Day of Summer And The Kid Is Playing Hoops

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

120115-BobBasketball.45web Senior or masters basketball has become a popular sport for kids at heart, from baby boomers to those well into their 70s and 80s.

YUCAIPA – I remember as a kid rarely touching a basketball in June. Summers on a Minnesota farm were spent baling hay and cultivating about 220 acres of corn and soybeans from sun up to sun down.

For hardworking farm boys, precious free time for sports was spent in a cow pasture, or freshly baled hay field playing baseball or fast-pitch softball.

Basketball? Not even a thought. It’s a winter sport and in June there’s no snow on the ground.

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Build it, and they will play: In Milroy, amateur baseball holds a special place

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

By Gregg Aamot | 05/13/16

The view from right field at Irish Yard. MinnPost photo by Gregg Aamot

The view from right field at Irish Yard. MinnPost photo by Gregg Aamot

MILROY, Minn. – On the first Sunday in May, the Milroy Irish opened their fifth season of play at Irish Yard, a baseball diamond carved into a soybean field on the outskirts of this southwestern Minnesota town.

About 60 fans showed up – a small weekend crowd by Irish standards, but decent considering the breezy, high-50s weather – to watch the Irish hold on for a 6-5 win over Stark, a tiny township that also fields a team in the state’s Class C amateur baseball division.

“It’s such a relaxing time to come out here and watch baseball,” said Caleb Krause, a college freshman whose family farm sits within view of the ballpark. Krause – home for the weekend and helping his younger brother, Amos, run the 20-foot-high, Green Monster-like scoreboard in left field – said he expected to attend many games this season. “There’s not much else to do in the summer except watch baseball,” he said. “Besides, it’s still America’s pastime, isn’t it?”

Continue reading in Minnpost.com

USA-bound Cooper Grant’s a chip off the old block

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Cooper Grant.1lr

“I’ve played softball most of my life and grew up with Dad (fastball pitcher Marty Grant) playing it,” Cooper Grant said.

By WAYNE MARTIN / www.stuff.co.nz

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND – The apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

He’s the son of three-time world champion Black Sox pitcher Marty Grant and in July, 12-year-old Cooper Grant heads to the United States for an international competition.

But not as a softballer, rather as part of the New Zealand under-13 All Stars baseball team to contest the 2016 Cal Ripken World Series in Maryland from July 29 to August 6.

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For ‘Red’ Simmons, respect, love of the games keeps him going

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

012805-RedSimmons115web Richard ‘Red’ Simmons is an outstanding softball player, but his love for athletics throughout his life led him to become an official, a profession that has become an important part of his life. Photo By BOB OTTO

YUCAIPA, CALIF – Richard ‘Red’ Simmons is the first to admit that he can’t cover the infield like he once did in his 25-, 35-, or even 45-year-old playing days. But the sure-fielding glove, whiplash swing of the bat and love for the sport remain as strong today as in his younger days.

Simmons loves softball, and he punches the playing clock without miss every Tuesday and Thursday in the Valley-Wide senior softball program. But the 75-year-old Simmons is also well traveled outside of the San Jacinto Valley as a member of the Top Gun Gold, a senior slowpitch All-Star team from San Diego.

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Check out Kaiser High School baseball photo gallery

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

FONTANA – The Kaiser Cats clinched at least a share of the Sunkist League by defeating Riverside Norte Vista, 10-0, on May 7 at San Bernardino Arrowhead Credit Union Park.

Check out a photo gallery of the game at the following link:

Click Here For Photo Gallery

Taijuan Walker hurls Yucaipa into CIF baseball semifinals

Saturday, May 29th, 2010


Story and Photos By BOB OTTO
botto3@verizon.net

YUCAIPA, CA – Senior, Taijuan Walker scattered five hits in leading the Yucaipa Thunderbirds to a 3-0 victory over the visiting Santa Barbara Dons in the semi-finals of the CIF-Southern Section Division II Playoffs, Friday.

The win improves Yucaipa’s record to 26-6 and continues its post-season run in the playoffs at 3-0. The Thunderbirds will host El Toro (23-6-1) on Tuesday, June 1, with the winner advancing to the division II championship on June 5th.

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See photos of Fontana and Yucaipa high school baseball action

Saturday, May 15th, 2010


Photos By BOB OTTO

YUCAIPA, CA – The Fontana Steelers and Yucaipa Thunderbirds finished Citrus Belt League play on Friday. Check out both teams in action by visiting the game’s photo gallery.

Click Here For Photo Gallery

Check out photos of Kaiser and Norte Vista baseball game

Monday, May 10th, 2010


Photos By BOB OTTO

SAN BERNARDINO, CA – The Kaiser Cats of Fontana came back in extra innings to defeat the Riverside Norte Vista Braves, 6-5, on Saturday at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.

Check out the Cats and Braves in action by visiting the game’s photo gallery:
Click here to see photos

See photos of Yucaipa Thunderbirds and Fontana A.B. Miller Rebels Baseball

Monday, May 10th, 2010


Photos By BOB OTTO

SAN BERNARDINO, CA – The Yucaipa Thunderbirds knocked off the Fontana A.B. Miller Rebels, 6-2, in a Citrus Belt League game on the strength of Taijuan Walker’s two-hit pitching and 12 strikeouts. Walker also hit a home run, double, and drove in two runs.

See both teams in action on my photo gallery.
Click to enter photo gallery

Remembering the Killer and his tape measure home runs

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Harmon-KillebrewLR
Bob Otto and Harmon Killebrew have their picture taken at Quakes Stadium in Rancho Cucamonga.

YUCAIPA, CA – Late into the night, lying on my bed in my upstairs farmhouse bedroom, I would listen to Twins games on the old Motorola. Listening and hoping the Killer would crush another of his tape measure home runs.

Back in the early 1960s I was a true Minnesota Twins fan. And my favorite ball player was Hall of Famer, Harmon Killebrew.

But we – his loyal fans – preferred to call him Killer.

Killebrew swung a bat harder than anyone in the game. Killebrew didn’t just hit home runs, he crushed them.

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