Stepping back in time with ISC Hall of Fame pitcher Alan Colglazier

Written by Bob on March 6th, 2014

Colglazier97ISC WT Alan Colglazier pitching for the Colorado Ravens of Englewood in the 1997 ISC World Tournament in Victoria, BC, Canada. Photo By BOB OTTO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The storyline goes something like this. A younger brother tags along to watch his older brothers play fastpitch. The team happens to be short a player one night.

“Hey, you want to play?” the younger brother is asked.

Alan Colglazier thought they’d never ask.

And as the saying goes, the rest is all history. And what a history it has been for the 62 year old, right-handed pitcher from Colorado.

“I had two older brothers, Sid a catcher, and Norm a first basemen,” said Colglazier. “I was always going along to watch them play. One day they were short a player and I filled in for them. I played in a junior league during the summers starting around age 14; just neighborhood kids putting a team together.”

From those boyhood days of playing fastpitch with his neighborhood pals, Colglazier skyrocketed to the top of the sport. And in 1970, he pitched in his first International Softball Congress (ISC) World Tournament. His foray in the World Tournament lasted 28 years until his retirement in 1998.

    WHO’S WHO OF GREAT TEAMS

Several of the teams he pitched for rank as some of the greatest of all-time.

It all started with Pepsi Cola in his hometown of Pueblo. From there his fastpitch travels took him to the Tulsa, Oklahoma, Firebirds; Turquoise Kings of Kingman, Ariz.; Southern Truck Raiders of Phoenix; Decatur A’s, Decatur, Ill.; Home Savings and Loan from Aurora, Ill.; Dome Petroleum from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

And there’s more.

Including Alberta Brake and Clutch from Calgary; Aztec Land and Development from Pueblo; Walnut Products from St. Joseph, Mo.; the Pueblo Suns, and Bandits from Pueblo, and finally the Ravens from Denver.

    WHAT A YEAR TO REMEMBER

“Everyone of these teams won either a state or regional tournament and participated in an (ISC) world or (ASA) national tournament,” said Colglazier. “Home Savings (won) the ISC World Tournament in 1980.”

If there is a special year, 1980 may be it.

Colglazier led Home Savings to the ISC World Tournament title by winning three games with a perfect 0.00 ERA. In the championship game, he outdueled Jay Bob Bickford and Seventh Avenue Auto Parts of Phoenix, 2-0, to claim the title. He was named an All-World pitcher – one of three such awards – in his World Tournament career.

1980 was truly an amazing season.

Colglazier finished with a 41-7 record and an ERA of 0.84. (This on the heels of 1979 in which he was also 41-7, according to ISC historical data.) 1980 was a year in which he also won two games in the Olympic Festival, and was named to both the ISC All-World and ASA All-American teams. He became the first player EVER selected to both teams in the same year.

But his singular best season was with St. Joseph Walnut Woods in which he finished a remarkable 77-7.

    GREAT HITTERS, TOUGH OUTS

Along the way, he’s challenged some of the sport’s greatest hitters with his rise, drop and change-up.

“I had the opportunity to face a number of terrific hitters during my career,” he said. “Darryl Day, Jeff Seip, Brian Rothrock, and Barry House stand out,” he said. (Seip and Rothrock are ASA Hall of Famers, and Day will be inducted in 2014.)

But the feeling of respect was mutual from the batter’s box.

    GREAT PITCHER, GREAT TEAMMATE

Paul Rubin of Arizona was both a teammate and an opponent. He remembers facing Colglazier in 1976 when he pitched for the Turquoise Kings.

“Alan threw so hard down and made it look so effortless that I decided then and there that son, you’d better go to the cages and get about 25 feet away and move it up a notch, or find another hobby,” Rubin said. “Luckily, I didn’t have to hit against those guys (especially Alan) every weekend.”

“There were Hall of Famers Gil Aragon, Terry Stapley, Kevin Henderson, John Dawson, Bob Hollender, Jimmy Fowler and so many others in the league at that point. Holy Cow! But to me Alan was ‘numero uno’ and when I got to know him well personally years later I realized that he was an even better guy than a pitcher,” Rubin added.

And from Missouri pitcher Chris Bigelow: “I Faced Al as a youngster when he came to St. Joseph back in 1983 I believe. He turned a lot of heads…I think his record was like 77-4, something like that. He was a great guy, always treating others with respect. He pitched like a robot, just plug him in and let him go.”

Rex Giberson played infield with legendary left-handed pitcher Ty Stofflet in 1985, and then in 1987 with Colglazier in Calgary. He says that Colglazier was a master at hitting the catcher’s glove, making it easier for an infielder to anticipate where the ball might be hit.

“It is a pleasure to be able to say I was a teammate of two of the all-time greats,” Giberson said.

    ONE OF ISC’s BEST

In ISC World Tournament play (1970-1998), Colglazier won 30 games, placing him 21st on the all-time wins list, tied with ISC Hall of Famer, K.G. Fincher and Terry Luster, and one win ahead of two rather distinguished ISC Hall of Famers: Jimmy Moore and Jerry Wells.

He pitched 370.2 innings (No. 12 all-time), allowing just 71 earned runs (No. 23), and 261 hits (No. 9), which all adds up to a 30-25 record, and 1.26 ERA, one of the best in ISC World Tournament history. Colglazier also won 19 games in ASA national tournament competition.

    ENTERING THE HALL

In honor of his many fastpitch achievements in state, regional and national tournaments, Colglazier has been inducted into four Hall of Fames, including the ISC Hall of Fame in 1994.

“Being inducted into the ISC Hall of Fame is my most memorable award,” he said. “It is beyond belief being associated with the greatest softball players of all time. I credit this award to the great teammates that I had the opportunity to play with and the great players that I was privileged to play against.”

(Though retired from playing, Colglazier is still involved teaching pitching through his Planet Fastpitch Softball Academy in Colorado Springs, and he is president and CEO of Shagster, a manufacturer of softball retrievers.)

4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Bob I want to Thankyou again for the tremendous story! It again brings back a lot of fond memories about a game I Love! The friendships that I established throughout my career have lasted a lifetime!!! Thankyou – Alan Colglazier

  2. Bob says:

    You are very welcome Alan. Glad to have written the story.

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