A Step Back In Time: Long Beach Nitehawks Kings of Softball

Written by Bob on April 30th, 2017

NITEHAWK HEROES: Stars of the Long Beach Nitehawks’ successful assault on the International Softball Congress World Championship were many, but these men provided the standout performances. From left, Jack Randall, who fired two no-hitters and pitched the title-winning victory. Center, Paul Humiston, who paced the power attack with three homers. And right, Leroy Zimmerman, who turned in a no-hitter and a one-hitter. All three were named to the All-World team. Photo Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram, Sept. 2, 1958

Independent Press-Telegram, Long Beach, Calif.
Sept. 2, 1958

By Jerry Erin
Nitehawks Rout Dinuba in Playoff Game, 8-1

LONG BEACH, Calif. – It took them awhile to do it, but the Long Beach Nitehawks came to life in the second game Monday night after suffering a 2-1 loss, and launched a vicious hitting attack to roll over Dinuba (Calif.) Condors, 8-1, and win their fourth straight International Softball Congress World Tournament crown at Park Ave. Field before and overflow crowd.

Jack Randall limited Dinuba, which was playing its third game of the night, to two hits in recording his third straight tourney win.

Long Beach wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard with a run in the first inning. Cy Phelps led off with a single to center, moved to second on a sacrifice fly and came all the way home on Lou Novikoff’s infield ground out.

The Hawks added two more in the second when Cleo Goyette hit the first pitch of the inning over the left field fence.

Lucky Humiston walked and moved to second on a sacrifice by Red Meairs. Randal beat out an infield hit which moved Humiston to third. Phelps then singled Humiston home.

IN THE THIRD, Novikoff walked and was replaced by Ben Souders. Silvas and Goyette walked to load the bases. Humiston grounded out to bring Souders across. It was Humiston’s ninth RBI to break a tourney record.

Meairs singled to right to bring in two more runs, building the score to 6-0.

Jimmy Jones and Randall delivered back-to-back singles to open the seventh. Phelps then got his fourth hit of the night, an infield bunt, to load the bases. Clint Herron’s sacrifice fly scored Jones and Johnny Fouch’s single brought home Randall.

EVERYTHING READY, THE PARK, THE CITY AND THE CHAMPS. With spruced-up Park Ave. Field as the backdrop, the Long Beach Nitehawks, who will defend their world’s softball championship starting tonight, are pictured. Upper center is manager Joe Rodgers and from left are pitcher Jack Randall, catcher Stan White, first baseman Larry Silvas, second baseman Cleo Goyette, third baseman Clint Herron, Shortstop Jimmy Jones, and outfielders Ted Herder, Lou Novikoff and Lucky Humiston. Photo Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram, Aug. 24, 1958

DINUBA’S 2-1 VICTORY was the first loss of the tournament for Nitehawk pitcher Leroy Zimmerman, who had thrown a no-hitter and one-hitter earlier in the tourney.

Long Beach got its lone run in the seventh when Humiston lined a single off pitcher Bryan Voight’s glove. Ted Herder reached first on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored when Dinuba first baseman Marlon Mills could not come up with Jim Jones’ infield grounder. That was the only serious Nitehawk threat of the game.

VOIGHT WENT THE ROUTE for Dinuba fanning seven as he gave up seven hits. Richie Stephen replaced Zimmerman in the eighth for the Nitehawks.

John Ridley and the spirited Bremerton, Washington Lake Furniture finally ran out of gas in the losers bracket tilt when Dinuba earned the right for a return match with the Hawks by breaking a scoreless tie in the top of the 11th inning for a 1-0 victory.

The game was the fourth extra inning affair of the tournament and the fourth in which Bremerton has appeared.

Al Porto opened the Dinuba 11th with a single to right field. He advanced to second on a sacrifice by Marlon Mills and moved to third on a deep fly to centerfield by Ray Unruh.

Tom Morgan followed with his second hit of the night, a single over second, to bring in the winning run.

Ridley, Washington’s’ iron man of softball, was in trouble on several occasions following the third inning when he injured his arm.

However, he managed to get out of them until the 11th with the aid of several fielding gems by shortstop Swede Moore.

Counting Sunday’s 11-inning stint, Ridly pitched 58 innings in the nine-day tournament winding up with a 6-2 record.

SEVERAL NITEHAWKS, all repeaters, were named to the all-world team in post-game ceremonies.

They were the Hawks’ two pitching aces, Zimmerman and Jack Randall, first baseman Larry Silvas, second baseman Cleo Goyette, third baseman Clint Herron, centerfielder Lucky Humiston and catcher Red Meairs.

ROUNDING OUT THE SELECTIONS were catcher Dick Helmuth of Dinuba; infielder Ben Murray of Bremerton; shortstop Moore of Bremerton; outfielders Jim Aversing of Rock Island, Illinois and Ricky Mendez and Ricky Maris of Mexico, and pitchers Ridley of Bremerton and Bryan Voight of Dinuba.

El Paso, Texas was selected as the best dressed team and McClave, Colorado received the sportsmanship trophy.

Nitehawks…………123 000 2-8 14 0
Dinuba………………000 000 1-1 0 1
Randal and Meairs; Voight, Lampe (2) Ramirez (3) and Helmuth.

**1958 was the first year of the International Softball Congress. Previously, the National Softball Congress operated from 1947 to 1957, and the International Softball League was in existence from 1951 to 1957. Then the two organizations apparently reached an agreement to merge into the ISC which is still going strong today as the leader in men’s open-caliber fastpitch.**

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