A step back in time: Cedar Rapids Greets Its ‘Champs’

Written by Bob on April 14th, 2017

WELTY WAY, World Runner-Up: Welty Way of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, finished runner-up in the 1972 World Softball Championship in Manila. The squad members, front row, from left: Manager Jim Caviness, Ed White, Joe Swanson, Mike Pallesen, Ray Sturm, Dale Usher and Steve Andrew. Back row: Ed Williams, Cliff Rice, Rich Stephen, Dick Thenhaus, Gary Morrow, John Muench, Bob Timmons and Doug Havlik. Not pictured is pitcher Dick Brubaker. Photo From The Des Moines Register’s Iowa News Service


By William Simbro / Staff Writer
Des Moines Register
Mar. 15, 1972

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA. – The Welty Way softball team may be the world’s second best, but it got a reception befitting the champions as the squad arrived here from the Philippines Tuesday evening.

Three city council members, some 250 fans and the El Kahir Shrine band welcomed the team as Manager Jim Caviness, 15 players and 10 wives stepped off the plane and onto a red carpet.

“We came back losers,” said a sad-faced Caviness as he shook hands with Roger Welty, president of Welty Way Products, Inc.

    Team of Winners

Welty assured the personable softball veteran that so far as he and all of Cedar Rapids were concerned, it was a team of winners.

Welty Way dropped the championship game Sunday in the International Softball Federation World Softball Championship tourney in Manila to Canada, 1-0.

The frustrations of that game, in which Welty Way outhit the winners, 12-6, were much on Caviness’ mind as he shook hands with well-wishers.

“We did everything but score in that game. We packed the bases but we just couldn’t get a run.”

It was the third game of the day under a hot Manila sun for Welty Way, and only the second for Canada.

But Caviness refused to accept that as an alibi. It was simply a game the team should have won but couldn’t.

Rich Stephen, the durable, 41-year-old pitcher who went 4-1 in the tourney, said he too, was disappointed but promised Welty Way would come back with a good team next year.

    Keep in Shape

The team won the U.S. championship (ASA Men’s Major Fastpitch, 5-0 record) at Springfield, Mo., last September. The players kept in shape over the winter by practicing in the University of Iowa Fieldhouse.

Welty Way won seven of nine games in the round-robin section of the 10-team world tournament and won its first two championship-bracket games before the heartbreaker with Canada.

Mike Pallesen, the slugging right fielder, won the tourney’s runs-batted-in trophy after driving in eight runs during the 12-game, week-long tournament.

Caviness said upwards of 20,000 fans watched some of the games in Manila in sunny weather.

After a chance to rest up from the 12-game grind and the long flight home, the team will be honored at a party here Friday night.

Canada beats Welty Way 2-1 to win the World Softball championship
Carrol Daily Times Herald
Mar. 13, 1972

Manila – Canadian pitcher Richard Hames’ bases-loaded single in the 11th inning broke a scoreless duel Sunday and gave Canada a 1-0 victory over defending champion United States in the final game of the third World Men’s Softball Championship.

The United States, which had won the previous two championships, was represented by Welty Way of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Welty Way had reached the finals with a 4-1 semifinal victory over New Zealand early Sunday behind the two-hit pitching of Dick Brubaker.

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