Oregon’s Shayne Arndt fills leadership role as NAFA Director

Written by Bob on April 20th, 2018

The Northwest Braves finished third in the 2017 NAFA World Series, 23-Under division in Fargo, No. Dak. From bottom left, Dre Davis, Lane Kurtz, Jason Carr, Jack Rennie, Kendrick Martin. Back row from left, Shayne Arndt, Kaleb Arndt, Chase Shortly, Kyle Frye, Richard Carson, Fisher Solberg. Courtesy Photo / Shayne Arndt

HERMISTON, Ore. – Two years a go Shayne Arndt jumped into a leadership role with the North American Fastpitch Association when he agreed to become NAFA Director of the Northwest Region, a territory that includes Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.

That’s a huge swath of fastpitch country in which to try and expand a sport that, as in much of the country, has been declining for the past 30 years.

Arndt doesn’t claim to be a miracle worker and he does’t promise sudden explosive growth. His plan is more pragmatic.

“I want to build relationships with other teams,” said Arndt, 40. “We compete on the field, but we must cooperate off it to build more teams, leagues and regional tournaments. There was a rich history of fastpitch in Oregon, but right now it’s dormant. Two years a go I saw a need for leadership to get the ball rolling again. I love the game, that’s why I do it.”

Arndt, pitches and plays some first base for the Northwest Braves. The ball club competes in the NAFA World Series and is comprised of a mix of veterans and younger players. One of the youngest is his son Kaleb,14.

Once upon a time, fathers and sons were common on the rosters of teams in small towns and city leagues across the U.S. He would like to see a return to that tradition.

“Kaleb travels with me, plays together with me, and even went to Fargo (NAFA World Series) last year and played in the 23-under tournament,” Arndt said. “The idea is to encourage the aspect of father-and-son (teams). Back in the day, families and friends played together. I want to get back to that.”

Kaleb Arndt, 14, plays for this father, Shayne Arndt’s men’s and 23-Under teams. He got his first hit in a men’s tournament in Missoula, Mont. and, “most definitely likes fastpitch,” said Shayne Arndt. Courtesy Photo / Shayne Arndt

Satero Ramos, a 60-year-old infielder with the Braves, supports Arndt’s efforts. He realizes that unless young players are brought into the game, the Northwest will continue to see a decline.

Ramos runs a training school for baseball and girls’ fastpitch. His recruiter’s eye is always on the lookout for talented young men to introduce to fastpitch.

“We need to get the young guys who want a challenge,” said Ramos. “At my school, I invite the young guys to come over and hit off the fastpitch machine, to take a few hacks. The guys say, ‘wow, this is pretty cool.’ Sometimes they grab on to (the sport), sometimes they don’t. We need to get those 16, 17, 18, 19 year-old guys who are done playing baseball; that’s how I approach it.”

Ramos, who will help manage the Braves when the need arises, has gotten to know Arndt pretty well over the past several years.

“Guys like Shane believe in getting involved one way or the other,” Ramos said, “and are trying to bring young players in like he did with his son. He’s giving them an avenue to try fastpitch and see how fast, fun and challenging it is.”

The Northwest Braves men’s team includes from bottom row left, Kaleb Arndt, Matt Wedmore (Vancouver, Wash.), Taylor Weldin (California), Jeremy Nathan (Ontario, CA) Jeff Lane (Florida). Top row, from left, Dre Davis, Satero Ramos (Yakima, Wash.), Andrew Barthel (Hermiston Ore.), Austin Lord (Michigan), Shayne Arndt, Jeff Hannan (Centralia, Wash.) Courtesy Photo / Shayne Arndt

One of several of Arndt’s goals for 2018 include the Second Annual President Hoover Men’s Fastpitch Tournament in Newberg, Ore., May 26-27. The tourney is geared for NAFA A to AA division teams.

A second objective is to return his Braves ball clubs to the NAFA World Series in Fargo, No. Dak. where in 2017 the 23-Under team placed third, while the men’s team competed in the both the A-Major and AA-Major divisions.

“We will be gearing up for that,” Arndt said, who was named to the All-World team as a first baseman.

Shayne Arndt is a NAFA Director for the Northwest Region and also a talented pitcher and player. In 2017 he was selected to the NAFA All-World team at the NAFA World Series in Fargo, No. Dak. Courtesy Photo / Shayne Arndt

Additional goals include supporting other fastpitch leaders such as Mark Seward in Yakima, who is promoting a wood-bat league; Frank Hendrix III and Dusty St. John in Missoula, Mont. who have created a competitive league and tournament, and Greg and Shane Alder of Boise, Idaho, who run a league and tirelessly recruit young players.

“I appreciate what they are doing,” he said. “They put in a lot of time. It takes people like that to keep this great game going.”

***For information about the 2018 Second Annual President Hoover Men’s Fastpitch Tournament, or other fastpitch concerns, contact Shayne Arndt at 541-561-1613, or email at shaynearndt18@gmail.com***

2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Benjie says:

    Great story Bob. Thank you so much.

  2. Bob says:

    Thanks Benjie. I really enjoyed talking with Shayne and Satero. Good men doing their part to revive the game.

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