A Step Back In Time: St. Paul Stroh’s Gatsby’s Tournament features life in the fast land

Written by Bob on January 24th, 2017

BOB MOORE, left, and TOM RUBBELKE of the 1987 St. Paul Stroh’s Gatsby’s team as they prepare for the Stroh’s Gatsby’s Invitational, organized by manager Jim Rubbelke. Several of the nation’s top-ten ranked teams participated including Penn Corp, Sioux City, Iowa; Farm Tavern, Madison, Wisc.; Teleconnect, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and All-Car, Antigo, Wisc.

By Perry Coonce / Minnesota Sports Federation State Commissioner
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Aug. 2, 1987

ST. PAUL, Minn. – World class fastpitch talent will be on display today at St. Paul’s Dunning Complex for the Stroh’s Gatsby’s Invitational.

The quantity of men’s fastpitch teams in Minnesota has diminished in recent years, but the quality hasn’t, according to tournament organizer Jim Rubbelke.

“We have some of the finest players in the world in Minnesota and are only hurt by the lack of pitchers, and the fact that very few are being developed,” said Rubbelke.

Rubbelke manages Stroh’s Gatsby’s (formerly All-American Bar and Whitaker Buick) and like many other nationally ranked teams has been forced to recruit pitchers from Canada and New Zealand to competitive. In those countries where very little baseball is played, fastpitch is the big sport.

Gatsby’s recently won a berth in the International Softball Congress World Tournament at the Gordie Howe Softball Complex in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, edging Mankato Happy Chef, 6-5, in a league playoff game.

Gatsby’s has compiled an impressive 44-15 mark largely behind the pitching of 49-year-old Bobby Moore and New Zealander Jim Seaman.

The team has a rich tradition of strong pitching, having had two of the best during the 1960s and ‘70s in Al DeWall and Dutch Elbers. Both are Minnesota Softball Hall of Famer members, and Elbers was inducted into the ISC Hall of Fame in 1988.

Playing in today’s tournament are several out-of-state teams ranked in the nation’s top 10. Included are Penn Corp, Sioux City, Iowa; Madison, Wisc. Farm Tavern; Teleconnect, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and All-Car, Antigo, Wisc.

Stroh’s Gatsby’s finished fifth in the 1987 ISC World Tournament with a 5-2 record. Outfielder Steve Lanier was named to the All-World squad and teammate Jim Seaman, who pitched all seven games for Stroh’s, made the second team.

Teleconnect of Cedar Rapids won the ISC World Tournament with Decatur, IL, Pride taking second.

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