Dolan & Murphy Shamrocks carry on Aurora men’s fabled fastpitch tradition

Written by Bob on May 27th, 2018

JOHN SCHWEIGHART of Camargo, Ill. plays the outfield for the Dolan & Murphy Shamrocks of Aurora, Ill. Photo Courtesy Dolan & Murphy Shamrocks


AURORA, Ill
. – Men’s fastpitch tradition is a fabled one in Aurora, rivaling that of any city, state or nation. The names are legendary: Sealmasters, Home Savings, Coors Silver Bullets, Allsteel Steelers and Creative DJ’s.

Those teams both inspired admiration and struck fear in many a visiting ball club to Aurora’s Stevens-Adamson Field where they once played.

International Softball Congress World Championships? Amateur Softball Association titles? International Softball Federation championships? More than a few, including Stealmasters (formed in 1943) ASA national titles in 1959, 1961, 1965 and 1967. And the list could go on.

As with most things in life, there comes an end. And the great teams that once graced Stevens-Adamson Field have long since disbanded. But not so with the Aurora fastpitch tradition. The Dolan & Murphy Shamrocks have kept that accord very much alive.

For 32 years, the Shamrocks have been a competitive staple in ISC and ASA competition, traveling the Midwest and beyond competing against the best teams in North America.

Kyle Pittman, 27, began playing in a local league at 15 and now patrols the outfield for the Shamrocks. He’s come to know the history of Aurora fastpitch very well.

“Once I started getting into it I started finding out more about the history and legacy of the game in Aurora,” said Pittman. “It seemed like everyone I talked to who was from here new about the game back in its prime. I never got to go watch a game at Stevens-Adamson Field where you could watch the best players in the world compete; it’s something I regret.”

  • Pittman agreed to share his knowledge of the past and the present of Aurora men’s fastpitch including Dolan & Murphy.
  • Q: Dolan & Murphy has been around for so long, what milestones and accomplishments are you proud of that the team has accomplished?
    A: We started in 1988, and basically the same team was sponsored by Creative DJ’s six years before that. We have been to 25 ISC World Tournaments, which I believe may be a record, or close to it. And we’ve been to dozens of ASA national tournaments over the years as well. Our best finish in the ASA was 12th in 2001, and 17th in the ISC in 2007.

    Q: Many teams import almost their entire lineup. How many Dolan & Murphy players come from the Aurora area?
    A: Six of us, Robert Reder, Dave Schuett, Mike Drew, Coop Carson, Dave Perkins and myself are all Aurora locals.

    Q: How has the legacy of Aurora teams such as the Sealmasters and Home Savings influenced Dolan & Murphy to carry on the great Aurora tradition?
    A: I think everyone who has been involved over the years wants to see the tradition continue. Our manager Robin Reder’s father, Bob, played and coached for the Sealmasters. Robin, himself, played for Home Savings, and his son Robert plays for Dolan & Murphy today and is the third generation of being involved in the game.

    Q: You mentioned Bob Reder has a fighting-spirit type of nickname. Explain.
    A: His nickname was Bulldog, and he lives on at every single Dolan & Murphy game to this day as we have a Bulldog logo on the back of our hats.

    Q: Like the Reder’s, you also come from a long line of fastpitch players, right?
    A: My dad and all my uncles on both sides of my family played in our local league at some point or another. My grandfather did as well. And now my brother and I both are playing. He plays in the local league and for the DeKalb Hogs on the weekends. So my family has been involved in the game for three generations.

    Q: In trying to reinvigorate Aurora fastpitch, what is being done?
    A: We hope to expand our following through our web page, aurorafastpitch.org, and through social media pages, which in my opinion are keys to keeping the game alive and in the public’s eye in this day and age. We are also investing a lot of time and effort to revitalize our local league (at Pierce Field) for the 2018 season and beyond.

    Q: Tell us about Pierce Field and the league.
    A: We own and operate our own field. While this has its advantages, it means we are responsible for all the utilities and maintenance 365 days a year, not just during the season. It’s been around since 1931 and has hosted a local league there every season since. We will play a 12 game schedule with a double elimination playoffs at the end of the season. We are also doing a BBQ fundraiser at the field this year on Friday, June 8th that we are excited about.

    Q: Who are the members of your 2018 team (2018 ISC roster) and what positions do they play?
    A: (1) Mike Baker, SS, Davenport, Iowa; (2) Coop Carson, 2B, Aurora; (3) Ryan Cartee, OF, Davenport, Iowa; (4) Mike Drew, DH/1B, Aurora; (5) Jared Hauraki, P, Auckland, NZ; (6) Hannon Hoani, P, Auckland, NZ; (7) Michael Jamieson, P, Paraparaumu, NZ; (8) Trent Kress, UTIL, Bettendorf, Iowa; (9) Dave Perkins, IF, Aurora; (10) Kyle Pittman, OF, Aurora; (11) Robert Reder, C, Aurora; (12) Jason Schounick, 3B, Davenport, Iowa; (13) Dave Schuett, 1B, Aurora; (14) John Schweighart, OF, Camargo, Ill.

    Q: What’s your schedule look like?
    A: We’ll play 10 tournaments in Dekalk, Ill, May 11-13; Walcott, Iowa, May 26-27; Kimberly, Wisc., June 1-3; Walcott, Iowa, June 16-17; LaCrosse, Wisc., June 22-24; Bloomington, Ill., June 29-July 1; Denmark, Wisc., July 6-8; Lexington, Ill., July 14-15; St. Paul, Minn., July 27-29, and Kitchener, Ontario, CA, Aug. 10-17 for the ISC World Tournament.

    * The Shamrocks won the DeKalb Icebreaker Tournament, May 13, with a 5-0 record, defeating the Reapers 6-1 in the championship.

    Q: What are the team goals?
    A: Our goals are to play a full, competitive schedule and finish as high as we possibly can at the ISC World Tournament at the end of the season. And of course, have fun along the way.

    ***In honor of their long-standing sponsorship and commitment to fastpich softball, the International Softball Congress inducted the Daniel D. Dolan Family into its Hall of Fame sponsor category in 2016.***

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