Santa Dan Delivers Early Christmas Present For Ball Cap Bob

Written by Bob on December 9th, 2018

DAN NESSLER sent me eight fastpitch softball and baseball caps, including front row, left to right, a Mankato Bethany Lutheran College Lancers softball cap, a Happy Chef cap, WBSC Jr. Men’s Softball World Championship cap, along with my Farm Tavern cap. The second row includes Dan’s gifts of which the MSU cap is from the 2012 Mavericks baseball team that finished third in the NCAA Div. II baseball national championships. On the top row is another BLC cap sandwiched by my 1995 ISC World Tournament cap, left, and 2017 NAFA World Series cap.

YUCAIPA, Calif. – I’m a sucker for caps. Doesn’t matter if it’s softball, baseball, football – any kind of stylish ball cap will hook me into reaching for my wallet.

In the back window of my car, there’s perched a Chicago Bears’ cap. I’m not a Bears fan, so why’s it there? I just like the way the “C” is prominently displayed on the crown. And if I forget one of my caps when I leave the house, “Da Bears” is my backup.

I’ve also got NASCAR hats, my son’s Tyree Oil cap, my grandson Cam’s Spirit Aerosystems cap, Case, Farmall and John Deere hats, three Marine Corps caps…

And a bunch of softball caps – 33 in all, and of course, only of the fastpitch variety.

There’s my Farm Tavern cap with the world-famous pig from the Madison, Wisc. squad that won three ISC world championships; three NAFA caps from World Series championships; along with my Yucaipa A’s caps from the 1980s, and many more that sit atop a shelf in my man cave.

And now I have even more.

Saturday the Fed-Ex driver delivered a Christmas-come-early-package sent to me by DAN NESSLER of North Mankato, Minn.

I knew Dan was sending me a cap or two. But when I opened the box, I reacted like a thrilled 7-year-old on Christmas morning. For inside the box were seven ball caps of great meaning for a fastpitch and baseball fan.

Dan sent me a Mankato Happy Chef cap from the team that was one of the all-time best in the state and region, winning several championships, and also one of the finest in ISC world tournament and ASA national championship play – finishing in the top-10 during the glorious history of this outstanding team.

It’s the same Happy Chef that won the 1995 ASA Class A national title. A team that Dan played for and managed.

Now, if that’s the one and only cap he had given me, I’d be as happy as a clam.

But Dan also sent me a World Baseball Softball Confederation cap from the 2016 Jr. Men’s World Championship held in Midland, Mich. in which Dan coached and his son Steven played.

How does it get any better than that? Well, it does.

For Dan included a Minnesota State University cap from the Mavericks team that finished third in the 2012 NCAA Div. II baseball national championship. MSU is my alma mater (1973-77), so I was pleased to receive it too.

Dan, who grew up in nearby St. James, was inducted into the St. James High School Hall of Fame (2018); MSU Hall of Fame (2017) where he played baseball from 1982 to ’85; ISC Hall of Fame (2009), and Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame (2016).

And in 2016, Dan was appointed head coach of the Mankato Bethany Lutheran College Lancers softball team. Included in my surprise Fed-Ex delivery were several stylish BLC caps of outstanding quality.

Yet, there’s still more.

USA Softball pin from the 2016 WSBC Jr. Men’s World Championship that was held in Midland, Mich.

Dan also sent me a pin from the 2016 WSBC Jr. Men’s World Championship. I’m not sure how many people have this pin in the world of fastpitch softball, but I’m betting not too many.

Dan’s collection is now seated in my assortment of “Hall of Fame” headwear. Right along with the Farm Tavern cap, ISC and NAFA caps, caps I’ve worn during my playing days, my reporter’s caps from when I covered California Interscholastic Federation championships, and my USA Softball cap.

Dan, I humbly thank you for your generosity. You have given “Ball Cap Bob” a gift he will long remember.

Read Dan Nessler ISC Hall of Fame story.

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