Otto Speaks Out

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Has the time come for Coed Fastpitch Softball?

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013


Could coed fastpitch softball provide a new avenue for males and females to compete together?
By BOB OTTO

YUCAIPA, CA – There’s no doubt that men’s fastpitch softball has been on the decline throughout the U.S. And in Southern California the fall off of men’s teams has been as great, or greater than any other state in the country.

The Western Softball Congress League that for many years produced International Softball Congress (ISC) World Tournament champions: Gone.

The Pacific Coast Softball League that produced some of the best Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Class “A” teams in the country: Gone.

The Southern California Fastpitch Association that produced top ASA Class A & B teams for years: Gone.

All that’s left in southern Cal is the Southern California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL), which has about a dozen ASA and North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) lower level teams gamely hanging on and keeping the sport alive.

There’s also a smattering of city leagues, but that’s it. Nothing else.

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Senior basketballers celebrate the big guy’s birthday

Thursday, November 29th, 2012


If you’re age 50 and above, you’re eligible for basketball at the University of Loma Linda Drayson Center.

LOMA LINDA (Calif.) DRAYSON CENTER – The big man gets the ball in the paint four feet from the basket. His eyes widen, his body tenses, and then with a whirl to his left, he drives to the basket, finishing with a hook shot that he banks off the glass and falls cleanly through the net.

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Palm Springs SCIFL Tournament wrap up

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010


Photos By BOB OTTO

PALM SPRINGS, CA – It’s been a few years since I’ve covered a men’s fastpitch tournament. It was good to be back. Good to run into some old friends at Demuth Park in Palm Springs last weekend.

But one thing I don’t like. Those garish yellow-neon balls. I’ve covered plenty of high school girl’s games and of course that’s what they use. But those yellow balls seem out of place in the men’s game.

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Kyle Beane gets it

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010


Kyle Beane,left, pictured with his father, Clint. Kyle is the Co-chairperson of the 2010 ISC World Tournament and plays for the Midland Explorers, which is managed by his dad.
Photo By Maddy Flanagan
www.maddysphotos.com

Story By BOB OTTO
botto3@verizon.net

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YUCAIPA, CA – I don’t know what Kyle Beane does for a living. But I suspect it has something to do with sales or marketing.

Beane along with Dave Lach are the Co-chairmen of the 2010 International Softball Congress World Tournament to be held in Midland, Michigan, Aug. 14-21. And I am learning fast that it would be hard to find two finer promoters for the tournament – and the sport of men’s fastpitch softball.

Recently Beane sent an email to several people including myself. He asked for help in promoting the world tournament by writing a series of stories about the 48 teams playing in the tournament.

“…Throughout the course of the ISC, and leading up to it, we’re hoping to do some things that other hosts haven’t done,” Bean said in his email. “One thing is to provide a unique team profile, article, and feature on our website of all 48 teams…. probably starting around May 1st, and adding three to four per week leading up to the beginning of the tournament.”

What a great idea. And one long overdue.

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Follow wealthy folks example and live simpler

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

YUCAIPA, CA – Michelle Singletary’s story, “Quit Pretending To Be Rich,” is well worth the read and good advice for most of us to follow.

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Fear not natives, we come in peace

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010


Story By BOB OTTO
botto3@verizon.net

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YUCAIPA, CA – I’ve signed up to be cryogenically frozen. This sudden inspiration for preservation came about after I read, “Discovery of habitable world seen,” by Seth Borenstein of The Associated Press.

We are close – very close astronomers and scientists say – to discovering Earth-like planets where life exists, or could exist.

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Otto’s Got A-Lotta-Bull

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

HorseManureBus32
Where my new business enterprise starts.

YUCAIPA, CA – I’m starting a new business and I think it’ll be successful for two reasons: My product is in great demand and I’ve got an unending, free supply.

I volunteer at a horse rescue ranch. And all 25 of our horses are fed the finest hay and grain. And of course, what goes in the front end of a horse must come out the back end. And that’s where my business starts.

Yup, I’m going into the horse manure business. Hey, why not? I’ve developed a great rapport with all the horses. And I’m confident they’ll work round-the-clock supplying me with all the horse pooh I can possibly sell.

And to all my customers, I make this promise: My “product” will be the freshest around. In fact, it won’t even touch the ground until it reaches your garden or flowerbed.

All I need is a wheelbarrow and my quick feet. When I see a horse raise its tail, signaling me that the product is about to flow, I’ll race over with my wheelbarrow and push it right under the horse’s tail.

And I’ll hear the sweet sound of “plop, plop.” That’ll be money to my ears.

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Minnesota Vikings exact sweet revenge

Monday, January 18th, 2010

YUCAIPA, CA – Take that Cowboys. How sweet the taste of victory. And even sweeter the taste of revenge.

Minnesota Vikings fans are celebrating – no we’re actually ecstatic about the 34-3 thrashing the Vikings dealt the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in the NFC playoffs.

It’s been a long time coming. Remember the “Hail Mary,” pass?

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Time For the Garcia Women To Start Walking

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

By BOB OTTO
botto3@verizon.net

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YUCAIPA, CA – My wife came home from work yesterday saying that the women of the Garcia Insurance Company have resolved to get in shape. Some have signed up and joined fitness clubs. With unflinching determination they’re committed to dieting, exercising, and losing weight in 2010.

To this I say: “Not very likely.”

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Congress playbook calls for tackling the BCS

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

YUCAIPA, CA – It’s good to know that our elected officials are hard at work fixing America’s problems.

Let’s take a look at what our lawmakers are tackling of late: we’ve got the health care legislation, the troop surge in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, our national debt ($1.42 trillion, fiscal year 2009), millions of unemployed Americans …

And oh yes, college football.

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