6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Dale Plesetz says:

    Never met Lanny but know Ronnie and can see why he is now a HOF member. Great to see all the class act players get their day.

  2. Bob says:

    Bob, this is a great article, and it answers some questions I had about Ed Klecker.

    In the 1973 (Rock Island Ill.) World Tournament the Jets came into the final night through the losers bracket, having to beat Las Vegas, Long Beach, and Manny’s of San Bernadino, just to get to us (only undefeated team) the Clovis Cowboys.

    Back then it was a true double elimination tourney, so they had to beat us twice.

    K.G Fincher started the game against us and in the fifth we got two runs to go ahead 2-1, which seemed like the game was over, but in the top of the sixth K.G. hit a line drive back at the mound and hit our pitcher Herman Duinkerken in the ankle, and he couldn’t continue so we brought in Ralph Salazar (he had dropped a 50-pound jack on the big toe of his right foot, the one he pushes off with, and his doctor told him not to even go to the tourney).

    Ralph hit a batter and walked one, and they scored a run to tie it up. Then Ralph settled down and we went 13 innings tied 2-2.

    When Lakewood went back out, they entered Ed Klecker and he not only shut us out the rest of that game (seven full innings) he shut us out in the final 4-0.

    We had beaten Lakewood in every tourney that year (Long Beach, Lakewood, San Bernadino, Bakersfield), but Ed Klecker didn’t pitch. So my story is simple, Ed Klecker was the best pitcher of that era and the man that recruited him deserves to be in the Hall of Fame with him!

    P.S. Bob Guy, (Nick) Hopkins, and K.G. (Fincher) had all been recruited on that same team.

    – Joe Avila, 2010 ISC Hall of Fame member

  3. dave garcia says:

    lanny was a great coach and the greatest recruiter too.here is a story that is typical lanny..when i was playing for the long beach nitehawks,,i didn”t know this at the time,,butt they were recruiting hice styles to play for them…i had just led the nitehawks in in hitting 2 years in a row and was considered one of the best center fielders in the country with hice and jack johnson.so who do you think told me the news of what was going on behind my back…yep lanny..!!!. was pissed..!!(i knew lanny new that i”d be pissed)..so by the time the nitehawks got to tell me the news that they wanted to move me to left or right..having me and hice in the same outfield..?? by the time i heard the news from the nitehawks,,,lanny already had me sighned to a contract.!!.so i was the new lakewood jet”s center fielder and we went to the world tournement that year…if it wasn”t for lanny rupp,,i would have never,ever, left the long beach nitehawks..now that”s pretty good recruiting..the rest is history..!!..my deepest condolences to the rupp family..i know it was a great loss…if i would have known about the funeral,i would have gone to it no matter what…..dave garcia……….p.s. the last time i saw ronny he looked like a grown up dennis the menace with a uniform on.!!..ha,ha

  4. Steve Cooper says:

    My father Gerald Cooper was the catcher for the Lakewood Jets from approximately 1968-1974 and caught back to back no hitters from K.G. Finch and Ed Klecker in a tournament. They didnt know which pitcher to give the tourney MVP to, so my dad recieved the honor! My dad says Ed Klecker was the best fastpitch pitcher to ever live. Not only for his hard throwing(he said he’s never seen anyone throw as hard as he did ever)but for his accuracy. He says he never threw a ball over the heart of the plate. Ed recruited my dad from LDS church leagues after my dad had 2 hits off him in a game. Ed Klecker didn’t give up 2 hits a game often, let alone to the same guy. So from then on my dad caught Ed for the Lakewood Jets. Dad has an All-America plaque and a World Champions 1973 picture and certificate of congratulations fron the City of Lakewood. My dad would love to contact or hear from anyone that played on those teams including Ronnie Rupp. Gerald Cooper can be reached at oldmancoop@msn.com

  5. Bob says:

    Hi Steve, thanks for taking us down memory lane with your father. Hopefully some of your dad’s former Lakewood Jets teammates will contact him. If you could send photos of your dad with his plaque, and the 1973 ISC World Championship photo, I’ll run it on the front page of “Otto In Focus” and maybe that will stir up some activity. But again, very nice memory that I’m sure many who played back in the great eras of the 60s and 70s will appreciate.

  6. Cary Reese says:

    looking for teamates from the 1969 Camp Pendleton Varsity team, we went 19 and 1 in the 11th Naval District. Also teamates from 1970 Western Congress Tri City Merchants Oceanside ca

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