2017 NAFA World Series

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So. Calif. Independent Fastpitch League hosting men’s masters tournament

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

GS, Calif.

    To All Managers:

The next Master tournament is scheduled for June 4, 2017 at Little Lake Park, Santa Fe Springs, CA. Teams interested in participating will need to contact the tournament director, Jesse Ortiz, at scifastpitch@gmail.com by Wednesday, May 24, 2017 because the field rentals need to be paid on Thursday, May 25, 2017. Once the field rentals have been paid we will not be able to make any adjustments.

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Bill Hopeman put Hingham, Wisc. on the fastpitch map

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Since the late 1930s, hundreds of softball players have played fastpitch at the Hingham ballfields. Courtesy Photo

“I have skipped class reunions and some marriages because of ball. It was probably wrong, but nothing was more important than playing ball. I just loved the game.” – Bill Hopeman

HINGHAM, Wisc. – When he was six years old, Bill Hopeman got his first taste of fastpitch softball on Hingham’s grade school playground.

Swinging a bat, catching and throwing a softball soon became a passion. His favorite position?

“Anywhere they would let me play,” said Hopeman, who was younger than many of the school kids back in the early 1950s. “But mostly I played third base, shortstop and some first base.”

But over the ensuing years, “let me play,” became a plea of sorts to “please pitch for us,” as Hopeman switched from infielder to pitcher. An outstanding one at that – who many claim the best to hurl a softball in the Hingham fastpitch league.

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Bud Olson, Wisconsin NAFA Manager of The Year

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Bud Olson, left, was inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame in 2014 and was presented by NAFA Vice President Mike Watson (2015 NAFA Hall of Famer). Photo By BOB OTTO

LA CROSSE, Wisc. – Most managers are quick to down play their contribution when their team has a winning season.

They usually spin it like, “I was fortunate to have great players,” or “we played well together,” or “we had good leadership on the field,” or “everybody knew their job and went out and did it.”

You get the point. Taking credit for winning is not in most manager’s character. And that includes Bud Olson of La Crosse Animal House, who was selected Wisconsin NAFA 2016 Manager of The Year.

“Over the years, I’ve learned managing is easier when you get runs and your pitcher shuts them down,” said Olson, 72. “It takes good players and I’ve been very fortunate to have players that have stayed around a long time.”

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TJ Nereng selected Wisconsin’s player of the year

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

2016 NAFA WOPLD SERIES, A Division All-World selections from Animal House of La Crosse are, from left, Brian Leonhard, Ethan Ringlien and TJ Nereng. The three award winners helped Animal House finish third in the A Division with a 7-2 record. After losing its opener, Animal House won seven games straight before falling in the losers bracket final. Courtesy Photo.

“T.J. could have jumped ship and played with stronger teams, but chose to stay and help us grow.” – Animal House Manger Bud Olson

LA CROSSE, Wisc. – To make Bud Olson’s ball club takes more than just talent. His measuring stick extends yards beyond just physical skills into what lies within the heart, soul and mind of any player wishing to wear the Animal House uniform.

Mention the name T.J. Nearing and a smile spreads across Olson’s face. He has known T.J. – now in his 30s – since he was a youngster. He watched him evolve into a good athlete in football, basketball and finally fastpitch softball.

“T.J. is the totally consulate unselfish player,” said Olson. “He is willing to play where we have our greatest need. We value character, too, because it plays a huge role in the overall success of any team.”

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2017 Cinquo De Mayo men’s fastpitch tournament

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Ray Foster inducted into NAFA WoodBat Hall of Fame

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

NAFA WoodBat Hall of Fame member Ray Foster with Jeff Tarwater, left, and Dave Parker, NAFA WoodBat Commissioner. right. Courtesy Photo

By DON CAMERON

Missouri ace savors NAFA WoodBat Hall of Fame induction

ST. JOSEPH, MO – “It’s the way the game should be played.”

That’s how Ray Foster, the pride of St. Joseph’s, Missouri, describes the game of wood-bat fastpitch. It also aptly reveals Foster’s approach to the game of fastpitch itself, an approach founded in competitiveness, passion and sportsmanship.

“Softball has been my life, my blood supply,” said Foster, 58, the newest member of the NAFA WoodBat Hall of Fame.

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Annual Rice Lake Invitational in Rice Lake, Wisconsin

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

By RONN KOPP
NAFA President

RICE LAKE, Wisc. – The 39th Annual Rice Lake Invitational Men’s Fastpitch Tournament will be held June 9-11 at Fred Tate Memorial Park in Rice Lake.

    TOURNAMENT DETAILS
  • Team Classifications: NAFA “AA,” “A-Major,” and “A”
  • Tournament Size: 12 Teams (The first 12 to submit complete entries, including roster)
  • Tournament Format: NAFA 3-game guarantee
  • Entry Fee: $225 payable to Rice Lake Orangemen Fastpitch
  • **Send separate check for $35 to “Wisconsin NAFA” if year 2017 NAFA team registration is desired. This is not required for Invitational entry.**

  • Rosters: Teams may list a maximum of 18 players on their roster. Rosters MUST be on the attached form and completely filled out, and MUST be submitted along with the tournament entry fee for entry to be accepted.
  • AWARDS (Based on 12 team field)

    • 1st place $600 sponsor’s expense money plus trophy
    • 2nd $450 sponsor’s expense money plus trophy
    • 3rd $300 sponsor’s expense money plus trophy
    • 4th $150 sponsor’s expense money plus trophy
    • Individual trophies to tournament MVP and All-Tournament team selections
    • MAIL CHECKS TO

      Rice Lake Orangemen
      Post Office Box 202
      Rice Lake, WI 54868

      2017 TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR
      Loren Lathrop, Phone 608-422-5781 or 608-228-2430)

    2017 Midwest Men’s Fastpitch Tournament Schedule

    Saturday, April 15th, 2017

    Checkout 2017 men’s fastpitch tournaments in the Midwest provided by Richard Quigley and Ostrander Fastpitch of Minnesota.

    Animal House of LaCrosse plans busy fastpitch season

    Thursday, April 13th, 2017

    LaCrosse, Wisc. – From May to August, Animal House ball players had best set aside most of their weekends. Because they will be playing a lot of fastpitch softball.

    BUD OLSON has arranged a busy schedule with 12 tournaments slated – highlighted by a grand finale come August in the NAFA World Series.

    Animal House will be traveling a bit to neighboring Minnesota and Illinois. Why the out-of-state excursions?

    “Fastpitch has gotten to the point that neighboring states need to come together to make quality tournaments happen,” said Olson, 71. “simply put, ‘if we expect to take, we better be ready to give.'”

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    Someone to know: Bob Rockwood of the 2017 Maccabi USA fastpitch team

    Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

    BOB ROCKWOOD pitching for MACCABI USA, began his fastpitch career as a shortstop for the Prescott (AZ) Mustangs, but took up pitching at age 39. Now he’s being relied on to help lead the USA Maccabi Masters team (35-older) to a gold medal in the 20th MACCABIAH GAMES to be held in Israel in July.

    Rockwood along with a pitching staff that included Russ Snow, helped the ball club finish third (4-2) in the 16-team, A-Major Division in the 2017 Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament, April 7-9 at Sunset Park in Las Vegas. Photo By BOB OTTO