12 Comments so far ↓

  1. eric Legge says:

    Yes,and been that way forever.The sport that does not support itself.
    Teams pulling out of tournaments at
    the last minute, star players that
    are no shows at major tournaments
    are two other problems.

  2. foti says:

    problem with fastball was four five teams in the usa and one or two in canada would buy a team…pay big bucks for pitchers and nz and aussie players…thus leaving all but maybe three teams able to compete….and now none of these teams play in a league…they show up for the world tournament and play four or five big tournaments…the fans have very little good ball to watch every week like we did in the 80s and early 90s…where are they now the pencors the county material teams….money runs out..but now the standard to pay big bucks for the pitchers and top elite few has dried out…bad economy and a lack of interest…parity is the best for fastball not two or three stacked teams sponsored by a few millionaires..

  3. Richard Leopold says:

    With all do respect Mr. Otto, I think you are the one who is missing the point on this one. In reality, there is very little interest in men’s fastpitch and the ISC for countless reasons, many of which have very little to do with the promotion of the sport. Millionaire sponsors who pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for players, are a major reason why the sport is dying. Why would anyone want to start and build a team, knowing that they can’t compete with teams like Kitchener, Jarvis, and the aforementioned Bombers of Yucaipa. The argument that “you want to play against the best players in the world” just doesn’t seem vaild when the opposing pitcher is making $50,000 for the summer, while you had to leave work early on Friday afternoon, say goodbye to the wife and kid, drive for three hours, to lose 8-0 in 5 innings. Games like that could be advertised in the New York Times and yet I guarantee the same 3 dozen fans would still be in the stands – no more, no less. The point is, regardless of how teams choose to promote themselves on the World Tournment website, when it is all said and done, the ones looking at that website are those same 3 dozen who you would see at the ballpark anyway. We all need to come to the realization that men’s fastpitch will never be what it was 20 or 30 years ago. Our focus now should be on making sure those 3 dozen fans keep coming back to the ballpark.

  4. Bob says:

    In reference to “3 dozen fans,” if you’re speaking about the ISC World Tournament, you’re way off on the numbers. This annual event draws thousands each year…Granted interest in men’s fastpitch has fallen, but does that mean we chuck the sport and say oh, well it was great while it lasted? And bemoan our fate? I say no. We find ways to fix it. You’re right on the fact that buying ISC World Tournament championships by loading rosters with the world’s best, with but a few teams actually contending for the title has to stop. That’s a no brainer and most would agree with your premise. But not completing a team profile, and not letting fans…the 3 dozen left…doesn’t cut it with me. If I’m one of those three dozen fans attending the World Tournament, I want to know who you have on you’re team, where you’re from, what you’ve done. And who knows, I just may become your biggest fan.

  5. James R. Johnson says:

    Bob…I wish I could do it for free, but if there was a job to research all the teams, I’d do it. I live in Grand Forks, N.D., and as a fan, I ache for the days when Canadian teams would come down to North Dakota for tournaments in Grand Forks, Minot and Fargo. During a recent ISC qualifier in Fargo, there was no gate, no concessions. (The Minnesota Angels won the tournament and just claimed the Boys of Summer. I wonder if their people know?) Now, sites like Kimberly and Eau Claire, Wisconsin, are removed from the ISC World Tournament rotation. I heard positive comments about Quad Cities and will hopefully get down there, but if the teams, towns and cities don’t promote fastpitch in their hometown papers plus radio and TV sports, they miss out on the opportunity to host World Tournaments, draw tourism dollars and promote community pride. I hope that someday, fastpitch cities like Mankato or Sioux Falls, SD, get a chance and make the most of it. As for “wealthy teams,” it was a privilege in 2008 to see Kitchener and Aspen Interiors leave it all out on the field in Kimberly. I’ve been to five World Tournaments since 2001, and I’ve seen teams dominate more with the bats than in the circle. The players take pride for what they’re paid, and it’s been great to meet so many and talk about the game with them. Is the day coming when the ISC will divide the World into eight regions with the top 2 qualifying for double elimination (no longer one title game) at the World site…or would that still be more costly? Teams want to play for pride, but there’s little from being shut out. I pray a lot for the sport and I’m thankful for more than 35 years of memories. I wish I could do more to promote it, but your point that it needs to start first in the community is spot on.

  6. Joe Avila says:

    Bob did you get my update on my profile?

  7. foti says:

    yes kitchener and jarvis are two of the teams that have the big payroll to sponsor world class team…but my point was years ago…in the late 80s and 90s kitchener(waterloo twins/chymers) were a very good team with yanzi pitching…always played secon fiddle to the tiremen and brad underwood…but in those day pencor and tampa bay bought teams..and recently the patsys county materials and the farm all had high priced pitchers and sluggers….i remember going to see league games in the old inter city league with waterloo and owen sound tiremen and oshawa with baker pitching on a weekly basis..now we have nothing…that is killing the sport…the high priced teams today dont play in a league…they play four to six tournaments when their aussie and new zealanders come to north america for 6 weeks and gone

  8. j larson says:

    Bob,
    Keep writing… we like to read. I think what you do for us and all players now and former who love the Fastball game is priceless! As for our club. We are the boys of summer!
    Cheers,
    jl
    Minnesota Angels

  9. Bob says:

    Thanks jl, your comment is much appreciated. Since I was born and raised, and played fastpitch in Minnesota (1964-1976), my home state has always been important to me. My feet may have taken me to California, but part of my heart refused to leave Minnesota.

  10. Bob says:

    Joe, I never received your profile, or an updated profile. So, if something needs to be changed, or added to your ISC Hall of Fame story, you have to let me know. The information I gathered for your story came through interviews. If the profile has information important to the story that was omitted, you should let me know. Otherwise, I’ll assume my story was accurate. You never responded to my email, so I’m sensing something’s not quite right.

  11. doug noble says:

    Back in the day there were 3 teams with big time sponsors who dominated the sport. Raybestos Brakes in Stradford, Conn., SA Ball Bearings in Aurora, Il., and the Clearwater Bombers sponsered by local merchants. This was the ASA. Teams went thru local and regional tournaments to get to the ASA nationals. Harvey Sterkel took Aurora to 19 staight nationals from the Midwest regionals. That meant teams from Wisconcin,and Indiana didn’t go those 19 years, other than the years Aurora won, which was 3 or 4 times making them automic back to the asa nationals as defending champs. This was from the late 50s thru the late 60s. Clearwater had little competiton and repetedly went to nationals. Stradford had Providence, RI., to contend with and went to nationals over and over to defend their many titles. The ISF worlds were every 4 years and the ASA national winner represented the USA team that following year.
    The ISC was west of the Mississippi River til the early 70s. Teams could only play one of the two asa or isc. ISC was concidered outlaw or counterfit by the asa players.In 67 the circle went around the rubber to speed up the game. In the early 70s pitchers from the ISC west of the Miss. river started pitching asa with the rockinghorse/crowhop/replant. They were leaping out of the circle and umps didn’t know how to react, causing controversy. The hopping and replant was banned in the asa. The ISC used the asa rule book,which was the only rule book, but made their own pitching guidelines allowing anything underhand. In or around 1980 the ASA took the rubber out of the game and went to one foot on. This changed the game for the worst in my opinion.This game is called fastball and is different from the fastpitch game we played in the day. How anybody can compare the two is nuts.The real Hall of Fame, is the ASA one foot oners
    Sterkel,Lynch,Stoflet,… Before “they”, the fastpitch gods made the one foot on rule , someone should have thought of making the pitching rubber a silly 2 INCHES wider. How do you put the ball in play now to make an apeal with the ump on a guy missing a base or a guy who left to soon?

  12. doug noble says:

    Meant to say, the real hall of famer are the asa “two foot oners” that didn’t hop and replant.It makes me sad to watch, on the web,guys leapin two feet off the ground replanting and releasing the ball outside the circle, and it’s ok. that is like comparing the long jumper to the hop skip long jumper. can’t compare asa fastpitch to the isc’s fastball. The day the girls go to one foot on will be sader. Take these millionare sponsers and start a pro league with 6 teams and have at it. There is womens pro fastpitch and it seems to be doing fine. Some girls still have something to shoot for.
    anybody can go to the isc “worlds” by paying an entry fee. All this isc is about, is a one week tournament that really means nothing,except to the same few millionare sponsors every fall.
    What I don’t like about the young girls tournaments, is the time limits on games, to get 16-32 teams money and get the games done in a weekend.This game was not suppost to have a clock involved or the mercy rule. It all amounts to greed. with these tournament directors. No wonder the mens game is next to dead.The isc changes the name to fastball, to make it more manly, and let anything under hand be legal to get more pitchers from dropping out cause they can’t throw with two feet on, without replanting…The art to pitching died in around 1980 and so did the game of fastpitch in the mens world. Go ladies

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