Start spreading the news about men’s fastpitch

Written by Bob on February 1st, 2013


YUCAIPA, CALIF – Where was the news coverage?

The AAU Men’s International Fastpitch Tournament in Lake Buena Vista, Florida is one of the most popular and prestigious tournaments in all of men’s fastpitch. This year (Jan. 24-27) featured teams from Canada, the U.S., South America, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

When the round robins and playoffs had been sorted out, the Hill United Chiefs of Ontario, Canada, and the Gremlins of New York advanced to the championship game with Hill United taking a 2-0 victory.

However, when I searched for details about the game, I came away disappointed. I found just a very brief report. But not much else. I, like many fastpitch fans, want complete coverage – especially when it comes to a momentous game such as the AAU championship. A game in which two of the top teams in the WORLD of men’s fastpitch are the main attraction in one of the TOP men’s fastpitch tournaments in the WORLD.

But I didn’t get it, and you Mr. and Mrs. Fastpitch fan who couldn’t attend the event, didn’t get it either. In other words, the: “Hear yea, hear yea! Read all about it!” was lacking.

Sure, I found the brackets, the scores, and the results, OK, courtesy of Al’s Fastball But details? Nothing substantial. For example in the Gremlins semi-final, 2-0 victory over Lanceros de Venezuela, I’m curious: Who drove in the runs? When and how did those runs score? Who were the leading hitters? Who made the big plays? And what were the stats on the pitchers- Don Scott for the Gremlins and Maximiliano Montero for the Lanceros?

There was nothing! And this was a big semi-final game. And by all accounts a great game.

Now I understand that providing the who, what, when, where, why, and how for all those games involving 36 teams over four days would be an arduous task and probably unaffordable if statisticians and reporters were to be hired to cover the tourney.

But Sunday’s final big playoff involving four outstanding ball clubs – Team Minnesota and the Lanceros; the Gremlins and Hill United, oh how we fastpitch fans would have liked game coverage. A couple quotes from key players. A manager’s input. AAU Tournament information

And this brings me to another point – actually a gripe. Men’s fastpitch teams are mediocre at best in promoting themselves, and pitiful for the most part. Let me give you an example.

The Casa Trejo So Cal Bombers from Palm Springs (actually the sponsor lives in Yucaipa) was one of the top International Softball Congress teams from about 2003 to 2007. In fact, in ’07 the Bombers finished second in the ISC World Tournament. In its heyday, Casa Trejo hosted a big-time tournament in Palm Springs to kick off the season – in March, I believe.

I subscribe to the Yucaipa News-Mirror, our local newspaper, along with the San Bernardino County SUN and the Riverside Press Enterprise. But not once did I read anything about Casa Trejo in those three papers. Nothing. Not even a brief press release about their tournament.

And astonishingly, nothing about finishing second in the ISC World Tournament to the Farm Tavern of Madison, Wisc. And I feel pretty confident that those three newspapers would have run something about such a lofty achievement.

If sponsors and management staff make the effort and spend the money to assemble world-class ball clubs, why in the world wouldn’t they take a little time to PROMOTE their teams?

And promotion doesn’t just apply to the top teams. This sport needs publicity at all levels within the ISC, ASA, and NAFA organizations. I wonder how many teams out there even bother to contact their local newspapers about their team, leagues and tournaments.

If we want this sport to survive (much less thrive) by attracting new players, potential sponsors, potential cities willing to offer men’s fastpitch city leagues, and of course fans eager to come watch the game being played, then we must do a better job of spreading the word.

6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Bob Parkins says:

    Amen. This horse may already be out of the barn, but communications should nonetheless become Job 1 for the short to medium term.

    (As an aside, I believe there was also a tournament in Florida the week before the AAU which got even less coverage — still don’t know who won).

  2. eric legge says:

    agree fully Bob.If your lucky you get the winning and losing pitchers and nothing else.

  3. Frank Fiore says:

    I’m afraid Fastpitch is on the way out. I played on the East coast from 1988-2008 and it has certainly died here. Don’t think there’s enough interest anymore except for us old diehards….

  4. Wade says:

    Fastpitch died twice, once when there was no influx of young players and the second was when Farm started recruiting bar league players for their tournament teams,thats just humor. But for real the older guys just got old and the younger guys wanted to play coed volleyball, what do you do? The sport was never covered much to begin with, why start now?

  5. Bob says:

    Well, some of us haven’t quite jumped ship. Yet. And with the Internet, news can be distributed fast. But you’re right, it is dying. Nothing much left here in So. Calif.

  6. Bob says:

    Good news today from Michigan. Two fastpitch veterans are starting a new team in Midland named the “Midland Emerson ACes,” comprised of young baseball talent. The Midland Daily News wrote a good article about the team’s formation. Be sure to read it and pass it on; it just may inspire someone else to take the initiative and do the same.

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