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Shutting Down Ottoinfocus

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

YUCAIPA, Calif. – I want to thank all who have visited and contributed to my blog over the years by sending me story ideas, press releases, tournament and league information, fliers and photos. I humbly thank you for your support.

I have enjoyed writing, photographing and blogging about the great game of men’s fastpitch softball, but other interests on my “bucket list” are demanding attention, so on Dec. 1, I will be shutting down the blog.

However, I encourage my loyal supporters to send your fastpitch news to Al Doran’s
alsfastball.com and Jim Flanagan’s
fastpitchwest.com.

As many of you already know, both websites do a wonderful job of promoting and getting the word out about our great game.

And for Facebook followers, “Those Were The Days (of) Men’s Fastpitch Softball,” does a terrific service in reliving fastpitch days of yore for us oldtimers.

Thank you,
Bob Otto

Casa Trejo Bombers honor late patriarch by taking second in NAFA Masters World Series

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

The Casa Trejo Bombers of Calimesa, Calif. finished second in the 2017 North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) World Series in Carson City, Nevada, Sept. 15. From bottom left, Sergio Marquez, Donovan Reyes, Marlon Campbell, Alberto Ramirez, Eddie Arnal, Albert Garcia and Joaquin Juarez. Top row from left, Leo Saldana, Juan Valencia, Ralph Roybal, Gabriel Marquez, Herlan Yeomans, Shawn Campa, Carlos Vasquez, Randy Clay and Ricardo Valenzuela. Courtesy Casa Trejo Bombers

YUCAIPA, Calif. – Casa Trejo restaurant is known throughout much of Southern California for serving fine Mexican food. Oh, and one other thing: it supports championship caliber men’s fastpitch softball.

Ralph Trejo, Sr., opened the restaurant over 20 years ago and soon after he began sponsoring men’s fastpitch teams. Success was immediate with some pretty lofty accomplishments over the years.

In 2007, the Casa Trejo So. Calif. Bombers finished second in the prestigious International Softball Congress (ISC) World Tournament in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

Now 10 years later, the Bombers once again achieved an incredible accomplishment on the national stage by taking runner-up in the eight-team Silver Division of the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) Masters World Series in Carson City, Nevada on Sept. 15.

SEASON DEVOTED TO PATRIARCH

Ralph Trejo, Sr. sponsored men’s fastpitch softball teams for over 40 years. Trejo passed away in 2016. His Casa Trejo Bombers ball club dedicated the 2017 season to his legacy and finished it superbly by taking second place in the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) Masters World Series in Carson City, Nevada, Sept. 15. Courtesy Photo

But Trejo, the patriarch of the team, died nearly a year ago. However, his passing motivated the Bombers to make this season special in honor of Trejo’s devotion to the sport and to his team.

“Ralph Sr. has sponsored our master’s (age 40-over) team for about ten years,” said manager Ralph Roybal. “We dedicated the season to Ralph. Bringing home some hardware meant everything to us.”

For many teams, once the sponsor is gone, the team folds. But not so with the Bombers. Trejo’s daughter, Ruth Trejo-Garcia, continues running the restaurant, and sponsoring the team. Just as her father would have wanted.

“It’s the love of the game that he had, and wanting to keep it going for him,” said Trejo-Garcia. “My dad would have been excited about the guys winning, but he would have expected it. He always expected the best from his guys.”

Click to continue reading “Casa Trejo Bombers honor late patriarch by taking second in NAFA Masters World Series”

2017 NAFA Wood Bat World Series coming to Las Vegas in October

Tuesday, 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)

    Lindgrin hurls Oregon Cascades to CAN-AM title

    Monday, September 4th, 2017

    By BENJIE HEDGECOCK
    NAFA Executive Director

    NEWBERG, Ore. – Led by the no-hit pitching of Tyler Lindgrin, The Oregon Cascades defeated the Abbotsford Builders, 11-0, in the championship game to go undefeated at 5-0 and claim the CAN-AM Challenge at Newberg’s Darnell Wright Sports Complex, Sept. 2-3.

    Lindgrin won three games and was selected the tournament’s Most Valuable Pitcher, while Craig Snyder was a workhorse for the Builder’s pitching all five games for a 4-1 mark. His outstanding performance earned him the Co-Most Valuable Player award that he shares with the Cascades Luke Bowers.

    Click to continue reading “Lindgrin hurls Oregon Cascades to CAN-AM title”

    Successful season earns Yusef Davis a spot on USA Softball’s Pan American fastpitch team

    Friday, September 1st, 2017

    Possessing speed, quick hands, an aggressive style and commitment to the game, YUSEF DAVIS, JR., 23, of Long Beach, Calif. is well on his way to becoming a star in men’s fastpitch. Here he is seen playing for CR Bartels Farms of Portland, Ore. that won the NAFA AA-Major World Series, Aug. 11, 2017. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series

    LONG BEACH, Calif. – During the week, Yusef Davis, Jr. can be found near his Long Beach home either in the gym, at the batting cages, or engaged in any kind of sweat-filled labor that will help improve his fastpitch softball skills.

    During most weekends, however, he’s anywhere but home.

    A search could find him in fastpitch havens such as Wisconsin, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania or Michigan competing in high-caliber fastpitch tournaments.

    Only 23 and in his fourth year playing fastpitch, the demand for his talents just keeps on growing.

      TWO GREAT TOURNAMENTS

    Prime examples: During the NAFA World Series, he was in Fargo, North Dakota helping CR Bartel Farms, Portland, Ore. win the AA-Major World Series.

    And soon after the championship game ended, he was off to Grand Rapids, Michigan to join his Bear Bottom Haymakers of Ephrata, Penn. for the most exclusive of open-caliber tournaments – the International Softball Congress World Tournament.

    Those two tournaments were exhilarating for Davis, who possesses great speed both in the outfield and at the plate, and who is rapidly becoming recognized as one of the up-and-coming young stars of the game.

    “The experience playing in the ISC and NAFA was breathtaking,” said Davis, who throws and bats left-sided. “Once you realize you’re on the same ballfield as some of the best players in the world, you just can’t help but be proud and humbled.”

    CR Bartels swept through the NAFA AA-Major undefeated at 5-0, and the Bear Bottom Haymakers finished ninth in the 24-team ISC World Tournament at 4-2.

    Bear Bottom Haymakers manager, Merlin High, was pleased how Davis played the entire year and at the ISC World Tournament for his squad.

    “He’s a great defensive player, one of the best who ever played for me,” said High. “His speed is unmatched by anyone in the game, and he’s a good hitter too with some of those hits coming from his speed beating out ground balls. He’s a great teammate, upbeat and positive. I’m hoping he comes back with us next year.”

      SWEAT & TOIL TO BE BETTER

    Though he played well and had a successful season, Davis acknowledges that there are areas that need improvement.

    “If I could improve in two areas, it would be pitch selection when I’m in the batter’s box,” he said, “and getting even better jumps on the ball in the outfield. During the off season, I’m going to hit the batting cages even more and work on the fundamentals of hitting, and keep working on my slapping and bunting.”

    But the off-season workouts will have to wait for he has one very important and prestigious tournament remaining: The World Baseball Softball Confederation X Pan American Fastpitch Championship in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sept. 15-24.

      PROUD FATHER, SEASONED MENTOR

    When Davis got the word that he had been selected to the 15-man roster, he was ecstatic, and he called the one person he knew would be delighted about this honor.

    “I called my dad and told him I had made the team,” Davis said. “I know it meant a lot to him. And it means so much for me to represent my country in the sport I have so much passion about.”

    Leading up to the Pan Am games, Davis will be consulting with a veteran of USA Softball: Kevin Castillo, who is a teammate of Davis on Those Guys and Patricia’s Mexican restaurant ball clubs from Long Beach.

    Castillo, and his father, Paul Castillo, were instrumental in bringing Davis into the sport and nurturing his development.

    “Kevin’s always pushing me to be better,” Davis said, “I’ve gotten a lot of help from him on hitting lessons and strategy on defense. Just the confidence he gives me to play at my best is what’s so meaningful.”

      REACHING HIGH, SETTING GOALS

    Though he’s still learning, growing, and going through the trials and successes that the sport both challenges and rewards, Davis has set some short-range and long-range goals as well.

    In the immediate future, he wants to help USA Softball win the Pan American games, and then if it can be arranged, he would like to take a second trip to New Zealand for a season of “down-under” fastpitch with the Waitakere Bears.

    And as for long-range?

    “I would love to run softball clinics and coach kids and work with outfielders,” Davis said. “I would like to travel the world playing ball and make as many memories and impact as many young athletes to take the right path as I can – teach one, reach one.”

    2017 USA SOFTBALL PAN AMERICAN ROSTER
    Kevin Castillo
    Jenner Christenson
    Joel Cooley
    Yusef Davis
    Tyler Dudley
    Derrick Kennedy
    Jonathan Lynch
    Tony Mancha
    Nick Mullins
    Travis Nevin
    Jeff Nowacyzk
    Erick Ochoa
    Cameron Schiller
    Chase Turner
    Duane Weiler

    COACHING STAFF
    Gregg Leather, Head Coach
    Greg Hicks, Assistant Coach
    Nick McCurry
    Assistant Coach

    NAFA holds annual meeting at World Series in Fargo

    Friday, August 25th, 2017

    FARGO – During the 2017 North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) World Series, the organization held its national meeting with Executive Director Benjie Hedgecock calling the meeting to order.

    Clark Evans took minutes and lunch was served by the Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau.

      ROLL CALL

    Executive Committee members present were Benjie Hedgecock, Loren Lathrop, Mike Watson (by telephone), Jon kegel, Mike Oehlke, Rich Quigley, Kris Russom and Clark Evans.

    Click to continue reading “NAFA holds annual meeting at World Series in Fargo”

    Masters Tourney Wraps Up SCIFL Season

    Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

    By Jesse Ortiz
    SCIFL President / Commissioner
    661-510-8928

    SANTA FE Srings, Calif. – The So. Calif. Independent Fastpitch League will be hosting its final Masters Tournament (40-over) of the year on August 26-27, 2017 at Little Lake Park, Santa Fe Springs, CA.

    *** Click on SCIFL Masters Tournament to see the ten tournament teams ***

    This tournament will simulate the format used at the World Series in Carson City, but it will be modified just a bit. It will start off with a two-game round robin followed by the beginning of the tournament where the winner will go into the Gold bracket and the team who lost will go into the silver bracket.

    The entry fee will be $330.

    Teams interested in participating in the event need to contact the tournament director, Jesse Ortiz, at scifastpitch@gmail.com by Saturday, August 12, 2017 so the fields can be paid on Monday, August 14, 2017, per the City of Santa Fe Springs.

    Click to continue reading “Masters Tourney Wraps Up SCIFL Season”

    Setbacks can’t keep Lon Andersen off the fastpitch field

    Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

    Long-time South Dakota fastpitch sponsor, manager and player will be inducted into the North America Fastpitch Association Hall of Fame during the NAFA World Series in Fargo, North Dakota

    SIOUX FALLS, So. Dak. – It takes mental and physical toughness and a deep desire to continue pursuing a sporting passion when your body hurts and your doctor orders, “give it up.”

    Lon Andersen has battled cancer that nearly claimed his life, he’s undergone two hip replacements, he was in a coma for four days. Yet despite these debilitating setbacks that would sideline those of a weaker constitution, Anderson stubbornly refuses to give up fastpitch softball.

    “My doctor told me it’s time to quit,” said the 62-year-old Andersen. “I can’t play basketball anymore, but I’ve kept on playing fastpitch against his advice.”

    Click to continue reading “Setbacks can’t keep Lon Andersen off the fastpitch field”

    Tony Aresco earns NAFA Hall of Fame honor

    Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

    Father Tony Aresco and son Anthony, 21, will bring a men’s team and an age 23-under team to the 2017 NAFA World Series in Fargo, No. Dak. Aug. 9-20. A highlight of the trip will be Tony Aresco’s induction into the NAFA Hall of Fame. Courtesy Photo By Tony Aresco

    STONEHAM, Mass. – Some give a little, some give a fair share, and a few give a lot to men’s fastpitch softball.

    And then there’s Tony Aresco. You’ve heard of the 110-percenters? Well, Tony leaves them in his dust.

    For over 30 years his contributions to the game – and to the North American Fastpitch Association in particular – are remarkable.

    Aresco of Stoneham, Massachusetts, plays, manages, sponsors, recruits, teaches, promotes…You get the idea: he’s a man of many hats, many talents.

    NAFA LOYAL, NAFA WINNER

    He’s been bringing teams to the NAFA World Series for 11 years. In that time, he’s won championships at nearly every level – Masters, 21-Under, and an assortment of other men’s divisional championships – six in all.

    With his Boston-area ball club, the Sea Dogs, Aresco has been selected Most Valuable Player once and All-World five teams, his most recent in the 2016 A World Series. This at the age of 51. As a catcher.

    No doubt he has earned the respect and the admiration of all who have ever played with or against him. And what he has accomplished with NAFA is now being rewarded.

    THE HALLOWED HALL

    Aresco will receive the highest honor the game can offer back – a beautiful plaque and jacket – and membership in one of the sport’s most exclusive clubs: The NAFA Hall of Fame.

    Aresco will be inducted during ceremonies in Fargo at the World Series.

    “It’s an unbelievable feeling to be inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame,” said Aresco, who is also a Massachusetts ASA Hall of Famer. “There’s a lot of great players and managers in the Hall of Fame and now to be included with them is an amazing feeling. I attribute a lot of this to my players. Without them I wouldn’t get this recognition. They are reason we are successful.”

    Click to continue reading “Tony Aresco earns NAFA Hall of Fame honor”

    Final SCIFL Tournament for 2017

    Monday, August 7th, 2017

    SANTA ANA, Calif. – The So. Calif. Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL) will host its final Masters Tournament of the year on August 26-27, 2017 at Little Lake Park, Santa Fe Springs, CA.

    This tournament will simulate the World Series in Carson City format but it will be modified just a bit. It will start off with a two-game round robin followed by the beginning of the tournament where the winner will go into the Gold bracket and the team who lost will go into the silver bracket.

    Click to continue reading “Final SCIFL Tournament for 2017”