International Softball Congress (ISC)

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ISC welcomes Greg Nydick and Bill Kunkel as Commissioners-at-Large

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Findlay, OH – Greg Nydick, of Philadelphia, PA, and Bill Kunkel, from Eaton Rapids, MI, are both joining the International Softball Congress (ISC) as Commissioners-at-Large, the ISC announced today.

“In addition to having a passion for the game, each of these individuals have skills that we need in our organization as we continue to support men’s fastpitch softball,” said Larry Fisher, ISC Executive Director.

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ASA Meet May Top the World

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

TY STOFFLET pitched for several national championship teams, including 1979 York (Pa.) Barbells. Photo By BOB OTTO / 1991 ASA Masters National Championship

By Bob McGinn / Green Bay Press-Gazette
Aug. 14, 1979

GREEN BAY, Wisc. – The ISC World Tournament. The fastpitch softball faithful in the Fox Valley speak of it in almost reverential tones.

It conjures up images, always, of a week or two on the West Coast, in places like Sun City, Ariz., Long Beach, or even Bakersfield, Calif., where this summer’s version of the International Softball Congress’s national tournament is scheduled to begin Friday.

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A Step Back In Time: Jason Hanson’s home run ends Green Bay All-Car’s drive

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

All-Car teammates huddle around pitcher Michael White after he tumbled to the ground in the bottom of the seventh inning with an injured leg. White was unable to return and All-Car went on to lose to the Tampa Bay Smokers, 4-2, in the 1996 ISC World Tournament championship game. Photo By BOB OTTO

Tampa Bay claims title with dramatic 4-2 victory in 1996 ISC World Tournament

By Sharon Raboin / Green Bay Press-Gazette
Monday, August 19, 1996

KIMBERLY, Wisc. – Michael White of All-Car of Green Bay crumbled to the ground after pitching to Jason Hanson.

White groaned and grabbed his left leg while his teammates rushed to his side.

The crowd of about 5,000 became silent at Sunset Park.

It was the bottom of the seventh inning Sunday afternoon in the championship of the International Softball Congress World Tournament. All-Car and the Tampa Bay Smokers were tied 2-2

After a couple of minutes, White was helped to his feet. He desperately wanted to continue. He tested his injured leg.

“I just couldn’t,” White said. “There was pain shooting up my leg. I couldn’t put any weight on it at all. There was no way I could push it.”

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A Step Back In Time: ‘Expatriate’ Tolzin stops Jets as St. Paul wins 1976 ISC crown

Monday, January 30th, 2017

ST. PAUL ALL-AMERICAN BAR won the 1976 ISC World Tournament held in Long Beach, Calif. St. Paul became the first and only Minnesota team to win an ISC World Tournament title. Photo / Courtesy ISC Guide Bood

BY DOUG IVES
Staff writer / Long Beach Press-Telegram
Aug. 1976

LONG BEACH, Calif. – A year ago Darwin Tolzin was the pride of the Lakewood Jets’ pitching staff and on his way to stardom.

His all-American (All-World) recognition came early Monday morning, but in an ironic turn of events. The Jets were the victims.

At the close of last season, the 35-year-old right-hander was transferred to Minnesota by the National Weather Service. He had to accept the move or lose a promotion.

Just coming of age as a pitcher – he started when he was 29 – Tolzin hooked up with St. Paul and was the No. 2 pitcher when the team qualified to play in the International Softball Congress World Tournament at Blair Field in Long Beach.

No. 2 became No. 1 Sunday night and Monday morning as Tolzin shut out his former teammates in a doubleheader to give St. Paul its first-ever ISC title, achieved the hard way by winning four games in a 24-hour span.

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Dutch Elbers helped drive St. Paul to fastpitch greatness

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

Ben Maloney, left, Ed Mathias, and Dutch Elbers hold the 1963 ASA Northern Regional Tournament championship trophy.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Strong armed, with a lanky athletic build, Dries (Dutch) Elbers mostly likely could have stared at baseball, but fortunately for fastpitch softball, he never got the chance.

“My dad played baseball, but he steered me into softball,” said Elbers. “I have never played a game of baseball in my life.”

Elbers, who grew up in Steen in southwestern Minnesota, began playing fastpitch in the 4-H League in 1945 as a 15-year-old. It wasn’t long, though, that he graduated from the boys’ league into the Steen men’s league.

Steen might have been small in numbers with its 185 citizens, but they and the farm families surrounding the little village located 25 miles east of Sioux Falls, kept the six team-league healthy with numbers and talent.

“As kids, we wanted to get a uniform and play with the big boys,” Elbers said. Soon enough Elbers would be playing with the ‘big boys’ of fastpitch – worldwide.

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ISC makes second recruitment video available for College & High School baseball coaches

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

ISC Press Release
January 23, 2017

FINDLAY, Ohio – The International Softball Congress continues its outreach to university, college and high school baseball coaches across the United States with a second recruiting video to attract new players into men’s fastpitch softball.

The new video is now available on the ISC website at www.iscfastpitch.com as well as on the ISC Facebook page www.facebook.com/isc.fastpitch.

“As stated in the video, it’s a great tool, but it needs to be shared with as many baseball coaches and players as possible so that we can get new players into the game,” says Larry Fisher, ISC Executive Director. “We encourage all men’s teams to reach out to their local colleges and high schools and spread the word – there’s a significant pool of talent there and we need to tap into it to bring young players into our game.”

“By our unofficial count, there’s nearly 1,300 men’s fastpitch softball teams across North America, so there’s an opportunity out there for those that want to play,” says Fisher.

Tapping into the baseball past of several players on the highly-ranked New York Gremlins team, the video features several top players as well as USA Softball President Warren Jones, who speaks about the opportunities for younger players to be identified for the U.S.A. U19 junior men’s national team.

“We want to let these young kids know that there’s another game out there that they can play,” says Jones.

MATT PALAZZO (Des Moines, Iowa) is a USA National Team player and a fixture in the ISC World Tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

Among the Gremlins, Matt Palazzo talks about the quick pace of play, the ability for one hit to be a big difference in the game and the success he’s had in recruiting athletes in the Des Moines, Iowa area to take up the game.

“Once they try it, just like myself, they fall in love with the game and its pace,” says Palazzo, who played baseball at Iowa State University and, in addition to the Gremlins, stars on the U.S.A. men’s national team and has twice been named the U.S. Male Fastpitch Player of the Year

Aimed at high school and college seniors, the video commentary notes that men’s fastpitch softball offers baseball players the opportunity to utilize all of the skills they’ve developed over a lifetime of playing, and will give them the chance to create 20+ years of new memories.

“I’ve been able to travel around the world and see the best in the world … and it’s been a great challenge and a good experience,” says Nick Mullins, who played baseball at the University of Pittsburgh, and plays for the Gremlins as well as Team U.S.A. “For all of the young kids out there who are playing baseball or just finished playing baseball, [fastpitch softball] is definitely a good game, so get out here and let’s see what you’ve got!”

International stars Zenon Winters and Bryan Abrey also talk about the opportunities and experiences they’ve enjoyed.

Abrey, who is a member of the defending World Champion Canadian men’s national team, played junior college baseball in California before transferring to an NAIA school in Idaho. Abrey talks about the speed of the game and the adjustments that baseball players will need to make.

Winters notes that he’s been playing fastpitch softball for 27 years, starting as a six-year-old in his native Australia, and has been able to travel the world because of the game and highlights the opportunity for American players to do the same thing.

“We think that if baseball players give fastpitch softball a chance, we’re confident that they’re going to fall in love with the game just like Matt Palazzo talks about,” said Larry Fisher, ISC Executive Director.

For more information on the ISC and men’s fastpitch softball, see the ISC website at
www.iscfastpitch.com.

Larry Fisher
ISC Executive Director
iscfastpitch@gmail.com

Bouley and Davis learning fastpitch the New Zealand way

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

TYLER BOULEY, left, and YUSEF DAVIS are playing fastpitch in New Zealand with the goal to improve their games for the upcoming 2017 North American fastpitch season. Courtesy Photo

NEW ZEALAND – It’s the off season for North American fastpitch and for most players, they’ve switched uniforms for a winter sport like basketball or hockey. Or they’re pumping iron at a fitness center muscling-up for the coming season.

Hitting, pitching, fielding? Not for a few months yet.

But not so for Yusef Davis and Tyler Bouley. These two young and budding stars – Davis, 22, and Bouley, 21 – shunned taking the winter off and instead boarded a plane for New Zealand.

All with the purpose of improving and pushing themselves to reach new heights in the sport they profess to love. As the saying goes, “to be the best you can be.”

Fastpitch is a pitcher’s game. Talented ones typically dominate hitters. So where better to improve one’s hitting than in pitching-rich New Zealand.

    TOUCH CHUCKERS

Bouley got a good feel for just how good these Kiwi hurlers are almost as soon as he landed.

“It has really helped my game because you don’t have to travel to (face) a quality pitcher,” said Bouley, who plays for Northcote Softball Club. “Every premiere team has a pitcher that either has competed at the (International Softball Congress World Tournament) or is capable of competing at the ISC. Two of the best I’ve faced so far are Bailey Hoani and Josh Pettett.”

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For the future of USA men’s fastpitch, it’s all about pitching

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

ALAN COLGLAZIER pitched Aurora, IL, Home Savings to the ISC World Tournament championship in 1980. He is but one of four USA born pitchers to win an ISC World Tournament Championship game between 1980 and 1991. Photo By BOB OTTO

NEW ZEALAND – New Zealand is the mecca of men’s fasptich softball. To argue otherwise is just plain nonsense. The results prove the Kiwi’s dominance in fastpitch worldwide.

The Black Sox, the country’s national team, leads the International Softball Federation (now the World Baseball Softball Confederation) world championships with 12 gold, silver and bronze medals since the event started in 1966.

And in the past six championships (1996 to 2015) the Black Sox have taken four-of-six golds and two silvers.

Canada comes a close second with 11 total medals, and did claim the latest world championship in 2015, by pounding the Kiwi’s, 10-5, in the final.

    THIRD NOT GOOD ENOUGH

Bringing up the third spot with nine medals is the United States. Nine sounds like a respectable number, right?

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Reminiscing about one of California’s revered fastpitch ballparks: Mayfair Park in Lakewood

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

MAYFAIR PARK, once the home of the Lakewood Jets, played host to many of the elite men’s fastpitch teams in the country. If it could talk, oh the stories it would tell. Photo By BOB OTTO

LAKEWOOD, Calif. – For at least three decades, Mayfair Park was hallowed ground for men’s fastpitch. It ranked at the top of Southern California ball diamonds along with Joe Rodgers Field in Long Beach as two venues where the best teams in the sport battled for league and tournament supremacy.

Though long past its time in hosting men’s fastpitch games, Mayfair evokes many fond memories for the players that once played there.

“I pitched in 1976 for the Camarillo Kings. George Kinder was the manager. I wasn’t there long, but I did all of the pitching while I was there. Jackie Newman was our other pitcher, but he didn’t pitch a game. I did beat the Lakewood Jets two games on a sunny Sunday afternoon (at Mayfair) a few weeks into the season of the Western Softball Congress. Hice Stiles sat out the second game that afternoon. I think he hurt himself swinging at my change-up. I also pitched a pre-season game in Lakewood, after driving from Illinois. I got a room after midnight and was woken up early in the morning to pitch a game in Lakewood. We won about 8-3…,”

Doug Noble

“Played here many times. Once hit three home runs in a men’s fastpitch rec league here. Park is still immaculate. I live 10 minutes from it,” – Fred Hanker

“I played many, many times there. I remember a play there by Dennis Stilwell (pitcher), my teammate from Phoenix who fielded a bunt off Bobby Vandeburg’s team near third base and threw it behind his back to first to get a speedster. Saved the game. Great Yard….some good times there and some tough ones…,”
Paul Rubin

“It’s been a while since I played there. The Western Softball congress has been done for 20 years. – Mark Bennett

“I played there 1986 with Albuquerque. I’m not sure, but the (Lancaster, Calif.) Chameleons were in the tournament. I’m thinking they played out of Lakewood that year,” – Rex Giberson

“That’s Mayfair Park home of the Lakewood Jets. I played many games there and at Joe Rodgers park. Roy Burlison, The Western Softball Congress league was the toughest league I ever played in, lots of great talent in that league. And UCLA also hosted an NCAA regional there,”
Thomas C. Mclauchlin

CIF championships were held there for years…I won a couple and coached a couple,” – Tracy Compton Davis

“Tuck Bedford Jackie Newman, Pete Carlson, K.G. Fincher, Buck Brown, Jim Cheeseman, Ted Brown, Don Sarno, Art Bungee, McGinnis and several others… Las Vegas hAd the weakest pitching but strongest hitting,”

Roy Burlison

“Simon pitched and moved the team to Lakewood and kind of replaced the Jets. I came back with The King and His Court in 2000 against the Long Beach Nighthawks on Eddie’s (Feigner) birthday, Rosie Black and nine former court members played. An amazing night somewhere on tape. That was when fastball was King – Rich Hoppe

“I was fortunate to have a try out there. I was 19 years old . Greg / Brian Harper and I were in the outfield. I was in center he was in left. Fond memories. My first ISC World Tournament was in 1971 in Tulsa. I was fresh out of high school and played with La Tapatia Tamale Kings from El Paso. That was where I met legendary Red Mears, Don Sarno, etc. I closed my eyes and hit a grand slam off K.G. Fischer. I didn’t know who he was at the time. We finished second in the ISC World Tournament that year. That meant we were there all week and the rest is history. I got hooked on fastpitch softball. Great memories,” – Frank Del Toro

“Mayfair Park was our home field with Lanny Rupp and the Lakewood Jets from 1988-’94. Also the Lakewood Brewers from 1985-’87. Good times,”

Kenny Schwartz

“Very cool park. Our Arizona teams loved playing there. Note: I didn’t say winning there, but we got in a few,” – Steve Betts

Step Back In Time: The San Bernardino Stars (1979-1986)

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

MAC TANGAROA of New Zealand delivers a pitch for the San Bernardino Stars during the 1986 Cinco de Mayo Invitational Fastpitch Softball Tournament at Encanto Park in San Bernardino. LARRY ROSE / The SUN

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – It’s 1981 and three San Bernardino fastpitch leaders, Joe Baca, Andy Najar and Ted Dominguez, decided to take a local team and throw them in the ring with some of the nation’s best fastpitch teams that played in the Western Softball Congress.

The WSC featured such powerhouse ball clubs as the Long Beach Nitehawks, ten-time International Softball Congress World Tournament champions. Along with the Lakewood Jets, Oceanside, Camarillo, Burbank, Vista, California Don’s, and Athletes In Action.

But the San Bernardino Stars were no patsies. They had been around since 1979 and were one of Southern California’s stronger teams.

    STRONG LINEUP

But in joining the powerful WSC, Baca, the Stars general manager and catcher, upgraded the roster by adding brothers Harry and Rick Munoz, Frank Fraire, Mike Turnbull, Frank Jimenez, Alex Reid, Mike Mendoza, Pat Dominguez, Dave Henry, Nick Medrano, along with Dominguez and Najar. That roster proved solid with the gloves and potent with the bats.

But winning fastpitch requires stalwart pitching, and the Stars had that in veterans Dave Gray, Barry Roberts, Jim Knott and Jim Stupin.

“Our team has the attitude that we can step on the field and compete against anyone,” Baca said in a San Bernardino SUN newspaper story. “We don’t rely on one player to pull our team. Man-for-man, some teams have better ball players than we do, but they aren’t a better unit.”

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