October, 2018

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Some of the greatest in Minnesota fastpitch history to receive the sport’s highest honor

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

Meet the 2018 Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame class: Of these 19 slowpitch, modified and fastpitch inductees, 13 starred in the fastpitch game as either players, umpires, managers and coaches, promoters, sponsors, administrators, or in some cases, were involved in every facet of the game. Photo courtesy of Perry Coonce / Executive Director of the Minnesota Softball Federation

SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn. – Some like the late Walter Nelson were great fastpitch pitchers in leading their teams to state and regional championships. Others like Tom Niederkorn, Bill Olson and Dan Lee could belt the riser, drop and change-up as well as any hitter to ever step into the batter’s box.

And still others, made their mark in the sport in nearly every conceivable way possible. Including Jim Langowski and Jack Norman, who first excelled as players and then remained in the sport for years volunteering, managing, promoting and serving in any capacity needed in continuing the great legacy of Minnesota men’s fastpitch softball.

For the following 13 men, whose time in the game stretches as far back as six and seven decades, they will receive the highest honor possible in Minnesota softball lore: induction into the Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame during a ceremony banquet at the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center, Nov. 2nd, under the direction of the Minnesota Sports Federation.

    Meet The Outstanding 2018 Hall of Fame Fastpitch Class
  • Wayne Dahl, player, from Dawson
  • Gary “Meatball” Holtz, player, Hutchinson
  • Dick Erickson, player, Dawson
  • Dan Huisman, player, Ellsworth
  • Charlie Johnson, umpire / meritorious service, Detroit Lakes & Hitterdahl
  • Jim Langowski, player, manager, promoter, meritorious service, Winona
  • Dan Lee, player, Dawson
  • Dick McNally, player, St. Charles & Ridgeway
  • *Walter Nelson, player, Hastings & St. Paul
  • Tom “Weed” Niederkorn, player, Hastings & St. Paul
  • Jack Norman, volunteer, organizer, meritorious service, Mankato & Lake Crystal
  • Bill Olson, player, Duluth
  • Jim Prestholdt, player, sponsor, manager, meritorious service, Dawson
  • Many superlatives were spoken about the inductees, including this accolade from Wayne Dahl and Ken Club, who led the nomination of Jim Prestholdt.

    “In his career as a pitcher, Jim won over 450 games,” said Dahl. “(He) was always organizing fastpitch leagues, teams and games at his own time and expense! He started a four-team league in Dawson (pop. 1,600). He would implore players to participate, and they would. Jim raised $20,000 in a week for a new concessions stand at Prestholdt Fields in Dawson…Jim also coached and mentored many developing players in the local league, particularly pitchers.”

    And this from Stan Knopick, who nominated Jim Langowski, who starred as a pitcher for 15 years in Minnesota and five in Northern California.

    “Jim was a great pitcher and fine hitter,” said Knopick. “But Jim was very active off the softball field also. He arranged tournaments, started the Winona Softball Association and was a manager for over 15 years in Minnesota and five in California. Jim organized tournaments, hired the umpires, took care of the media work, selected volunteers to help at games and tournaments, helped prepare the fields, and used his knowledge to mentor young softball players, both boys and girls.”

    And the tributes for the others are just as inspiring.

    Men’s Fastpitch Tournament Returning to Yakima, Washington

    Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

    YAKIMA, Wash. – For way to long Yakima – once a hotbed for men’s fastpitch softball – has gone without a men’s fastpitch tournament. But that is going to change in 2019 as Yakima resident, player, coach and manager, Satero Ramos, has taken the initiative to restart the tournament scene, along with the support of the Yakima Parks & Recreation Department.

    “I am having a men’s tournament here in Yakima next year, May 4th and 5th, for the first time in over six years,” said Ramos. “Yakima has a rich history of men’s Fastpitch and I’m trying to bring it back. I’ve been playing the game since 1975. It’s a NAFA affiliated tournament. Benjie Hedgecock (NAFA Executive Director) and Jim Williamson (NAFA founding member and Washington state director) are helping with the logistics.”

    The tournament not only benefit’s the men’s game but it helps Yakima youth as well. Ramos said the tournament will help fundraise for the non-profit baseball and softball facility, Baseball Advantage Yakima Dirt Dawgs youth age divisions 10-under and 16-under. Ramos is a 10-year board member of the organization.

    THE DETAILS

  • Tournament Name: Cinco de Mayo Men’s Fastpitch Tournament
  • Dates: May 4-5, 2019
  • Entry Fee: $400
  • Monetary Award: $500 for 1st place
  • Affiliation: NAFA (North American Fastpitch Association)
  • NAFA Awards: 1st, 2nd, 3rd place team trophies; All-Tournament plaques, and Most Valuable Pitcher and Player plaques
  • Tournament Format: Round Robin with single elimination (4-game guarantee)
  • ENTRY FEE DETAILS

  • Make entry fee payable to Satero Ramos and mail to P.O Box 621, Moxee, WA 98936
  • CONTACT INFORMATION
    Satero Ramos
    509-961-4693
    ramosfam3@wabroadband.com
    ***Be sure to request hotel information***