2013 NAFA

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Last chance for “We Play it Fast”

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013


YUCAIPA, CALIF – In 2011 I wrote a men’s and boys’ fastpitch book entitled, “We Play It Fast.”

It contains stories about the players, managers, sponsors, contributors and teams who have made the sport as great as it is.

It also contains stories – games and features – centering around the 2010 North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) World Series and International Softball Congress (ISC) World Tournament.

It contains 167 entries and about 200 photos of some of the players and teams who have played the sport.

I have 12 books left for sale. Once they are sold there will be no second edition.

(My wife and I are cleaning house. She’s agreed to part with some of her junk – I mean stuff. And I’ve agreed to part with my valuable, prized and collectable possessions. And that includes these books, along with photos that have outgrown any demand they once had.)

If there is no interest for the final 12 books then they are going in the recycling bin.

So if you have thought about buying a book, now is the time to place your order. I’ve set a deadline of Oct. 1.

The price per book is $23 if shipped within the U.S., and $27 Canada. The prices include shipping and handling.

If you have any questions, just send me an email.

Send your check or money order to:

Bob Otto
35147 Cedar Ave.
Yucaipa, CA 92399

Thank You,

St. Joseph planning early for 2014 ASA Boys’ National Tournament

Monday, September 16th, 2013

ASA Tournament 2014

ST. JOSEPH, MO – The 2013 fastpitch season is winding down, but the start of the 2014 season – specifically the ASA boys’ national tournaments – is already underway.

Recreation Programs and Facilities Manager for the City of St. Joseph, Chuck Kempf, is deep in the planning stages for hosting the 2014 ASA Boys’ National Tournament. A tournament with several division from 10-Under to 18-Under and even 23-Under.

If you have a boys’ team, or want to start a boys’ team for the tournament, please contact Chuck Kempf. If you know of someone or some organization that wants to become involved in the boys’ side of fastpitch softball, give them a flier ASA Tournament 2014.

Chuck Kempf
Recreation Programs & Facilities Manager
St. Joseph Parks, Recreation, & Civic Facilities Department
Work: 816-271-5500

John Salsman and Wilber Lime, forever linked in Wisconsin fastpitch lore

Friday, September 13th, 2013

“He was intense, a perfectionist, and very disciplined. I chose Wilber because it was fun to play for John…” – Wilber Lime retired pitcher Allan Lundberg speaking about John Salsman.

GALESVILLE, WISC. – Allan Lundberg had his opportunities to leave for higher-caliber teams, and so did Jeff Moore. But both fastpitch pitchers – two of the best ever in Wisconsin state history – wouldn’t have dreamed of leaving the man they enjoyed playing for.

The man? John “Sporty” Salsman. His team? Wilber Lime of Galesville, Wisconsin.

“Without a doubt, he was the best manager I ever played for,” said Moore, 54, of Eau Claire. “He was honest and straight forward. He was a winner and commanded respect. That Wilber team was him.”

Click to continue reading “John Salsman and Wilber Lime, forever linked in Wisconsin fastpitch lore”

Cal-State Builders / Eventhelper put it all together to win ASA National Championship

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

antonio.mancha.44 Antonio “Tony” Mancha of El Paso, Texas, led the Cal-State Builders / Eventhelper.com to the ASA Class A National Championship with his arm and his bat. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2010 NAFA World Series

SALEM, ORE – The hitting was clutch, the defense solid, and the pitching superb. And in fastpitch softball that is a recipe for success.

Often in a big way.

For the Cal-State Builders / Eventhelper.com, none was bigger than winning the 2013 ASA Class A Men’s Fastpitch National Championship at Wallace Marine Park in Salem, Oregon, Sept. 1.

Eventhelper (4-0) swept through the six-team national tournament undefeated, capping their run with a 5-3 victory over the Portland Columbia River Brewers (3-2) in the title game.


Brandon Peck and Antonio “Tony” Mancha combined to hold off the Brewers through seven tough innings, with Peck picking up the win and Mancha getting the save, along with belting a home run.

“Tony Mancha really brought confidence to this team and awesome leadership,” said first baseman Donovan Chilton III, who was selected an ASA All-American. “And Brandon is a big 6-foot-4 kid from Canada and only 21 years old, who threw just as good as any pitcher out there with lots of movement.”

Click to continue reading “Cal-State Builders / Eventhelper put it all together to win ASA National Championship”

Must see 2013 ISC World Tournament video

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Check out ISC World Tournament video highlights – fastball fans will love it!

The film is edited and produced by the ISC Network’s Lance Winn. The theme for the lead video revolves around the action throughout the week, including plenty of clips from the thrilling 2013 ISC Championship Game, and also features great footage of the terrific ISC fan base.

NAFA Masters West & East brackets posted

Sunday, September 8th, 2013


Check out NAFA Masters Brackets for the east and west tournament information.

Old guys rule this weekend in NAFA Masters World Series

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

BOWLING GREEN, WISC. – NAFA brackets are posted for Masters East World Series.

The tournament for age groups 35-Plus, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60-Plus, is being held at the Bowling Green Sports Complex in Middleton, Wisc., Friday through Sunday, Sept. 6-8.

Remembering Gareau, Sorenson and Piechnik, legends of the ISC World Tournament

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

2013-Gareau.Piechnik.Sorenson.ISC.6web Photo By BOB OTTO

When fastpitch fans of the International Softball Congress start talking about “who were some of the best of all-time to play in the World Tournament,” three names are sure to surface – Canadian pitchers Korrey Gareau, left, Mike Piechnik, and New Zealand catcher and first baseman Mark Sorenson.

All three – now retired – had stellar careers in the ISC and in their native countries. Let’s learn a little about them. (And fans are welcome to weigh in with their comments.)


Let’s start with Sorenson. The right-side hitting and throwing New Zealander, who was recently named Head Coach of the New Zealand Black Sox National Team, was selected ISC All-World 16 times, placing him No. 2 on the all-time list behind Cleo Goyette with 16.

Sorenson also helped his teams win four ISC World Tournament championships, while being named the Most Valuable Player and RBI leader in 1988. Sorenson was inducted into the ISC Hall of Fame in 2010.


Korrey Gareau surged into the ISC World Tournament spotlight as a 24-year-old in 1997 when he hurled the Victoria BC Legends to second place in the world tournament in Victoria. From ’97 to 2008, Gareau went on to pitch for several outstanding U.S. ball clubs including the Tampa, Florida Smokers, Nebraska Travelers and Farm Tavern of Madison, Wisc.

Gareau helped the Farm win the World Tournament in 2007 and was selected the LeRoy Zimmerman Memorial Outstanding Pitcher.

In 1997, Gareau earned his first of six All-World honors with the Victoria Legends for his world tournament 5-2 record, 38 innings, 39 hits, 16 earned runs, 64 strikeouts and 2.95 ERA. Gareau’s six all-world selections ties him with nine other players, including the likes of Todd Budke (ISC Hall of Fame 2012), Dean Holoien, and Richie Stephen (ISC Hall of Fame 1979).

Gareau will surely be up for Hall of Fame nomination when he becomes eligible.


In an International Softball Congress career spanning 1985 to 2000, left-handed flame throwing Mike Piechnik – known for a great rise ball – earned ISC World Tournament All-World honors nine times. That puts him in a class with other great pitchers, including Canadians Todd Martin and Darren Zack (ISC Hall of Fame 2010).

Piechnik, who was inducted into the ISC Hall of Fame in 2009, has some incredible performances on his pitching resume: In the ISC World Tournament, he threw four perfect games (1985, 1993, 1998, 2002), along with six no-hitters.

In 1993, he became the first pitcher to throw perfect games at the ISC World Tournament, the Canadian Championships, and the ASA Major National Championship in a three week span.

  • As a player, did you ever play with or against these three men?
  • As fan, did you ever see them play?
  • Can you recall some memories that stand out about their performances?
  • If so, we invite you to share them with your fellow fastpitch fans?
  • Hot bats and solid pitching lead Boise RiverDogs to ASA national title

    Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

    Shane Alder, seen here pitching in the 2010 NAFA World Series, pitched all four games in leading the Boise, Idaho RiverDogs to the 2013 ASA Class C West Men’s Fastpitch National Championship, Sept. 1, in Salem, Oregon. Photo By BOB OTTO

    SALEM, Ore – Cody Brubaker homered, Shane Alder allowed just one run, and the RiverDogs of Boise, Idaho claimed the 2013 ASA Class C West Men’s Fastpitch National Championship by defeating the Roseville (Calif.) Eagles 8-1, Sept. 1 at Wallace Marine Park in Salem, Ore.

    Brubaker blasted a three-run homer in the first inning that gave the RiverDogs a 4-0 advantage. And two runs each in the second and third proved too much for Roseville to overcome.

    Click to continue reading “Hot bats and solid pitching lead Boise RiverDogs to ASA national title”

    Bruckert named head coach for men’s fastpitch

    Friday, August 30th, 2013

    FASTPITCH-DECATUR-BRUCKERT Denny Bruckert, long recognized as one of the premiere coaches in men’s fastpitch softball has been selected as the head coach of USA Men’s Fastpitch National Team. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2000 ISC World Tournament

    BY CODI WARREN | AUG 30, 2013, 12:00 AM ET

    OKLAHOMA CITY – The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today the selection of Denny Bruckert (Gillespie, Ill.) as the head coach of the USA Softball Men’s Fast Pitch National Team for the 2013-16 seasons.

    Bruckert has previous USA Softball coaching experience, serving as an assistant coach at the 1996 International Softball Federation (ISF) Men’s World Championship (fourth place finish) and at the 1999 Pan American Games, where the team earned a silver medal.

    “I’m very grateful, excited, humbled and honored to be selected as the head coach for the Men’s National Team,” said Bruckert. “I’m looking forward to working with the best of the best in men’s fast pitch softball and bringing the history and tradition of winning back to the Men’s National Team Program. With everyone pulling together, I’m ready to get this program back to the highest level.”

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