Top fastpitch teams coming to Erie

Written by Bob on July 22nd, 2013

hillhouse.bill.1webFastpitch softball pitcher and Ed McCormick Fastpitch Tournament Director Bill Hillhouse. ROB ENGELHARDT//ERIE TIMES-NEWS

FROM STAFF REPORTS, Erie Times-News

ERIE, Penn – Four of the world’s elite fastpitch softball teams will collide July 27-28 in the fourth annual Ed McCormick Fastpitch Tournament, to be played at 11th and Hess.

And while four teams might not seem like a lot, it’s actually twice as many teams as currently exist in Erie’s once-thriving men’s City Rec fastpitch softball league.

That’s a far cry from the 1980s and ’90s, according to Bill Hillhouse, a world-class pitcher who has competed internationally since 1990 and who plays for the New York Gremlins, the world’s No. 1-ranked team and one of the clubs locked and loaded for the McCormick Tournament.

Fastpitch softball, Hillhouse said, used to be the game in town.

So many men wanted to play that the city had a morning league for those who worked third shift.

Now, he said, it’s a struggle to find 18 players to fill out two teams for the City Rec’s informal Tuesday evening fastpitch league.

“People used to go down to the ballpark to watch games on Tuesdays and Thursdays — that was their form of entertainment,” Hillhouse said. “But now they can stay home and watch the Indians on TV every night.

“And it’s just not softball that’s suffering. Drive by any city park and you don’t see kids outside playing. Every sport is suffering. But we don’t have the numbers to make up the difference like the other sports have.” Continue reading

Leave a Comment