Alders Continue Long Tradition of Boise Men’s Fastpitch League

Written by Bob on January 4th, 2017

GREG ALDER was inducted into the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) Hall of Fame in 2014 for his many years contributing and giving back to the game. Alder was one of the best pitchers in the country, and after retiring he continues to help revitalize men’s fast pitch in Boise. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2014 NAFA World Series

BOISE, Idaho – If you ask Greg Alder why he works so tirelessly to keep the Treasure Valley Men’s Fastpitch League going, he says that when he was youngster of 15, there were veterans who helped him get started, so now it’s his turn to give back.

But the 65-year-old Alder admits it’s a battle to keep the game alive in Boise – in which the Treasure Valley Men’s Fastpitch League has been in existence for over 50 years, dating back to when his grandfather, Orin Alder, ran the league.

Now it’s Greg and his son Shane’s turn at the wheel. They plan for league play to start the first week of June through July. Though it’s down a little, there will be a league, says Greg Alder.

“Four years ago we had ten teams,” he said. “It’s dropped from that to eight to seven, and it looks like we will have at least six teams this year.”

As with most of the country, the difficult hurdle is either finding or developing enough pitching. “That’s the tough part,” he said.

Games are played at beautiful Ann Morrison Park in downtown Boise. Alder credits the city for willingly providing fields and doing its part in promoting the sport.

“They have tried to make fastpitch a bigger priority,” Alder said. “They are helping us survive now where at one time it was a fight to get a field. Now we are a priority.”

SHANE ALDER helps his father Greg Alder run the Treasure Valley Men’s Fastpitch League in Boise. Shane is also the No. 1 pitcher for the Boise RiverDogs that plays in the NAFA World Series where he has earned All-World status. Photo By BOB OTTO

Though the number of teams are down, a positive sign is that the average age of players has gotten younger, said Alder. Through recruiting and word of mouth, slowpitch players and former baseball players have found fastpitch to their liking.

Alder cites 23-year-old Devon Zenn, a former minor leaguer, as an example.

“He started playing in 2015 and really loves the game,” Alder said, who was inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame in 2014. “He’s fast, left-handed and plays centerfield. Getting a dozen like him would be great.”

The Alders pretty much do everything running the league: collecting entry fees, dispersing players to shorthanded teams, lining up the fields and arranging umpires. Most of the teams are self-sponsored with many players paying their own way.

“It costs each team $700 for ten to 12 games, and that includes the balls, fields and umpires,” Alder said. “Most pay their own way at $60 per person.”

For those interested in joining a league team, or entering a team, contact either Greg or Shane Alder.

Greg Alder 208-869-8667
Shane Alder 208-713-2781

3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Russ Snow says:

    thanks bob for writing this article on Greg. I was privileged to play in that league back in the early 80’s when learning the game against the Alder boys. they loved hitting many bombs off me at Ann Morrison. Greg’s team also played the the North West travel league bringing in many of the great teams of the time, included Seafirst and Jimmy Moore. Great fun!

  2. Johnnie Davus says:

    The Alders are what fastpitch is all about. A great pitcher still, Greg has been a stalwart for the game of fastpitch. Great article. As a fastpitch player with some years under my belt, I can say I’ve been struck out by Greg on numerous occasions and still relish the memories.

  3. Bob says:

    I’ve had a lot of people tell me that back in his day he was among the best. And a great guy too.

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