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Dugout Memorial Weekend Men’s Fastpitch Tournament in Cushing, Wisc.

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

CUSHING, Wisc. – The Dugout men’s fastpitch team is hosting their annual Memorial Weekend Tournament, May 27-29 (and possibly on the 30th if needed).

Dugout FP Tourn.1

K-Club Hosting Men’s Fastpitch Tournament in Moses Lake, Washington

Friday, March 25th, 2016

Bowen vs Rude Pac.39webThe action promises to be fast, intense and competitive at the 5th Annual K-Club Invitational.

MOSES LAKE, Wash. – Fastpitch season is fast approaching again this year and once again we will be hosting the 5th Annual K-Club Invitational in Moses Lake, WA, June 4-5, 2016.

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Old guy passes risky basketball two-for test

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

120115-BobBasketball.45web Bob Otto has been disparaged by many of his former basketball coaches as a poor defender, bad passer, weak rebounder, and so-so shooter. Yet at 67 he ignores their critique and the painful cries of his aging body, and continues to play hoops. The sport he has loved since boyhood.

DRAYSON CENTER, LOMA LINDA, Calif. – Foolish, risky, and what the hell was I thinking? All three assertions applied to my senior basketball venture on Monday at the Drayson Center. I decided a “two-for” was in order. Meaning playing basketball twice in a day – once in the morning from 11:30 – 1:15 and at night, 6 – 7:40.

17 year olds laugh at two-fors. And it’s no challenge even for 27 year olds. But at 67? At 40 years past my prime? It’s like opening the door for injury and saying, “come right in and wreck havoc with my old body.”

All my appendages and muscles (most of which are rapidly deteriorating) from the bottom of my feet to the top of my salt-and-pepper head were put at risk from the physically demanding two-for.

Especially my fragile left ankle. I had just been freed from 10 weeks of a spat of painful tendonitis. But on Sunday the ankle felt great; it turned and torqued and rotated like a frisky colt romping around a corral.

So Monday I decided a test was due. Why test the fragile ankle’s limits of basketball endurance? Why risk a setback from a two-for? See foolish and what-was-I-thinking in my opening line.

When I awoke Tuesday morning, I swung my legs out of bed and gingerly arose to my full 5-feet-9 stature (yes, little guys still play in the land of the giants). I took one step, then two. No pain, no creaking or crackling of the left ankle, or any other joints. What a glorious occasion! For I had just passed the two-for test.

Will I do it again? Once more, please refer to the first line.

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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Mind and body reach compromise: play at old Bill’s pace

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

senior.Bball.web Bob Otto, front row, far left, and his senior basketball playing buddies find it hard to give up the game even with an assortment of nagging and sometimes serious injuries.

YUCAIPA, Calif – I have two parts to my being that sometimes argue over each other’s judgement – my mind and my body.

I play basketball in a senior pick-up league. We’re all a bunch of old guys with the youngest about 52. And way, way on the other side of the age spectrum is “old Bill” as we call him, at 81. I’m in the middle at 64.

But I seem to be the one getting hurt the most: pulled hamstring, strained calf muscles, two elbow shots to the mouth, a bloodied nose, and a sprained ankle along with a sore back.

But nothing too serious to keep me off the court. That is until July 1st.

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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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Seniors love for basketball strong as ever

Thursday, November 29th, 2012


Bill Pittman plays much younger than his 76 years.

YUCAIPA, Calif. – The high, leaping jump shot? The fast break? Not so high, and not so fast anymore.

Their physical skills may have faded over the years, but what remains as strong as ever is their love for the game. And the men who play senior basketball at the Yucaipa Community Center, and the Loma Linda University Drayson Center still have plenty of that.

Their ages range from 50, such as Wallace Frisbey, the youngster of the group, to Bill Pittman, who plays much younger than his 76 years.

The seniors – numbering from 12 to 20 – get together from about noon to 1:30 three days a week to play the game they can’t seem to let go. They play hard and they play to win. But as far as in-your-face defense and win at all costs, that’s a no-no. Their game has become much more social than when they were youngsters tearing up the hardcourt.

“Our camaraderie is great,” said Pittman, who is a deadeye from about the 18-feet range. “I’ve been playing with these guys for about five years, and we’re all friends. But before joining the group, Pittman hadn’t played for about 40 years.

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Girls showcase their talents in pursuit of a college scholarship

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

HEMET, CA – The cost of a college education is soaring with many of the top schools hovering around the $50,000 mark or more per year. But if a young girl has the talent to catch and throw, pitch and hit a softball, well, she just might land herself an athletic scholarship. And that would no doubt please her parents.

Don and Sue Long smiled when asked: “Did your daughter get a softball scholarship?” Yes she did. Their daughter, McKenzie Long, 16, has verbally committed to Michigan State University.

The cost-savings for the Long’s?

“It’s a $40,000 a year school,” said Sue Long.

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“We Play It Fast” selling fast, place your order now

Sunday, January 1st, 2012


Front cover, Stew Sabiston of the Winnipeg Bullets pitching in the 2010 NAFA World Series. Back cover top, Trent Rubley; middle, Shane Alder and Chase Turner.

YUCAIPA, CA – I received my order of 150 books entitled “We Play It Fast” and I’m ready to ship to those who may be interested.

This is going to be a “one time, limited edition book” so if you want one, you should order before the supply runs out.

THE BASICS:

• Size, 8 ½ x 11. Soft cover.
• 76 stories – including features on some of the sports’ great players: Zack, Sorenson, White, Peterson…
• 208 photos. Many never printed or seen before!
• About half NAFA and ISC related stories.
• Stories extend from my early writing to present day, from 2010 NAFA World Series “A” division level to the ISC level of play.
• Several stories from contributing writers such as Milt Stark, Kyle Beane, Marc Gillis, Glen Cook, Joe Avila, Bill Hillhouse, Brian Groehler…
• Book’s writing style: documentary and memoir.

COSTS, INCLUDING SHIPPING CHARGES:

• In U.S. $23; Canada $27; New Zealand $35. (Other countries, price to be determined based on shipping charges).

BOOKS AVAILABLE:

• Only 135 to be sold! So this may become a ‘limited edition’ book.
• I’ve set aside books for those who have said they want to buy one – such as the contributing writers. (If you’ve changed your mind, please let me know.)
• If there’s a demand, I can have more books printed, but must place a minimum order of 100 books.

ORDING INFO:

• Payable (U.S. $$) to:
Bob Otto
35147 Cedar Ave.
Yucaipa, CA 92399
botto3@verizon.net

WHAT THE READERS HAVE BEEN SAYING

Bob, received my copy of the book. Thanks so much. I love the book even though it doesn’t have color on the inside… MS

I received my copy in the mail today, a “must have” for fastpitch fans. I am honored to have the story I wrote about Dave Blackburn, “Game Changer” included as the second to last chapter in the book. Get yours before that headline says “Sold Out” (it’s a limited edition at this point) – JF

I got the book and it is fantastic. I will be reading it cover to cover. – DM

…I thought it was pretty good reading and flowed very well. There is a wide variety of topics regarding some current and some older time players. It is truly a coffee table book – MB

It looks great, congratulations, I know the work that goes into something like that – KB

Bob, great book. Great history and information. Lots of good photos… a lot of some friends – Rico Garcia, Todd Kensler, Hector Garcia Guillen, Tony N Denise Trujillo Mancha, Joe Hineline and more. Good stories from the old days and good info on today’s young players… – MC

Please send a copy of your book. Your interest in the game has been rewarding for many. Thank you – JB

Bob got the book, awesome, made me remember what a great game this is and what a great time I was lucky enough to play it in. It made me sad at times and made me almost smell the wet grass of a early morning game and the excitement of the competition. – GA

Bob, always enjoy reading your articles. Hope to read them for many more years. – AC

Great book! – ML

Got the copy of We Play It Fast last week. Was rushed for time, so I picked it up for a minute to flip through some pages … and ended up reading about half of the book. Great read, and I will recommend it to others. – Cheers, DM,

Lady Eagles soaring to top

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

MT. SAN JACINTO COLLEGE – If California’s community college women’s golf coaches are glancing nervously in the direction of Mt. San Jacinto College, they’ve got good reason.

In two short years, MSJC women’s golf has become one of the state’s premier programs.

MSJC launched women’s golf in 2009 by hiring head coach Gene Stillman. But the start was low in numbers. Only two golfers…
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