Remembering Chubb Tangaroa in the 1996 ISC World Tournament

Written by Bob on November 13th, 2013

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WHAT A RISE BALL: Late in the night under the lights, Chubb Tangaroa throws his fabled high rise ball by a North Mankato, Minn., Junker’s Bar batter during the 1996 ISC World Tournament in which Tangaroa pitched the Decatur, Ill. Pride to a 1-0 victory on a three-hitter. Photo By BOB OTTO

KIMBERLY, WISC. – One of the greatest pitchers I’ve had the pleasure of photographing was Robert “Chubb” Tangaroa pitching for the Decatur (Ill) Pride in the 1996 ISC World Tournament in Kimberly, Wisc.

Chubb didn’t finish with the best of records at 1-2, but he pitched well. In 20 1/3 innings, he allowed just four earned runs on 19 hits, no walks and struck out 24 hitters. And his ERA of 1.38 was one of the best in the tournament.

But this wasn’t one of Decatur’s best World Tournaments, finishing a disappointing 19th in the 48-team double elimination event that was won by the Tampa Smokers, 4-2, over Green Bay All-Car.

Tangaroa, who had one of the fastest and sharpest-breaking rise balls ever seen in men’s fastpitch, will go down in history as one of the sport’s greatest international stars.

96.ISC.tangaroa.2web Robert “Chubb” Tangaroa, one of the all-time great international men’s fastpitch pitchers. Photo By BOB OTTO / 1996 ISC World Tournament

The right-hander pitched for the New Zealand Black Sox for almost a decade and won two International Softball Federation (ISF) men’s world championship gold medals (1988 & 1996) and one silver (1992). Tangaroa was inducted into the ISF Hall of Fame in 2011.

He posted a won-lost record of 12-1 over those three events. In addition he played in at least 40 more international games. Chubb later would serve as New Zealand’s pitching coach (retiring after the 2013 world championship) and was inducted into the Softball New Zealand Hall of Fame in 2004.

In the ISC World Tournament, Tangaroa has one no-hit game in 1990 for Guanella Brothers of Rohnert Park, Calif.; once struck out 32 batters in a 15-inning game; struck out 98 batters in 51 innings to lead all pitchers in the 1989 World Tournament for Guanella Brothers; and has 25 wins over his World Tournament career from 1984 to 1997 to place him No. 31 on the ISC all-time Most Wins list.

1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Dale Westmoreland says:

    Played with Chubb on the Denton Kings.Also roomed with Chubb on road trips. Best I ever saw and a wonderful guy to be around.Played SS and I had the best fielding percentages I ever had because I rarely got a ball hit to me . He struck out most of the hitters .He always called me Dill.Loved the guy and so glad to hear he did so well.

    Dale Westmoreland
    SS- Denton Kings

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