2010 Midland ISC World Tournament

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Teams we know so little about

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

YUCAIPA, CA – There once was a pretty good ball club called the Bombers that carried the Yucaipa name. The team played at the ISC level and did well. But the thing that puzzled me is this.

Why didn’t the Bombers play any home games? And why didn’t they turn in any news to the local newspaper, the Yucaipa News Mirror? Which I’m sure would have published the Bombers’ schedule, along with game and tournament results.

The end result?

Few knew about the Bombers. Few heard about the Bombers. And yet, the Bombers (which alternately listed its home base as either Yucaipa or Palm Springs) were successful – finishing second in the ISC World Tournament in 2007, sixth in 2008, and ninth in 2006.

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Exceptional fastpitch men to know

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Jon Gwizdala, 19, on the pitching rubber. He’s a product of the Vassar League and its commitment to develop young pitchers.
Courtesy Photo

“Fastpitch here is making a comeback, we’ve developed quite a few pitchers.” – Andy Wadsworth


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REESE, MI – What shape would fastpitch softball be in without the “fastpitch doers?” I think we all know the answer to that.

Recently, I found out about some remarkable men, who live in or about the small towns of Reese, Vassar, Frankenmuth, and Munger, Michigan.

Most of you like myself probably never heard of Don Petro. Del Benson. Pete Bouvy. Ryan Truemner. Andy Wadsworth. Or Eric Rupprecht.

Mark Gwizdala gets congratulated after hitting a home run by Don Petro during a Vassar League game.

These guys are doers. They don’t just talk about reviving the game of men’s fastpitch softball. They go out and get the job done.

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The Vassar League plants the fastpitch seed

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

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“We split off several times in the next five years to create more teams and more pitchers. We weren’t looking to just grab a veteran, we wanted to develop young pitchers instead.” – Don Petro

REESE, MI –Don Petro was worried. In the mid-1990s, the Vassar League was down to three teams. And the outlook looked dim for the survival of the league that had been around for over 25 years.

But for those who know Petro, they know he’s a doer. And he doesn’t give up easily.

Jump forward to 2010. When the Vassar League opened its season on Tuesday night (June 22nd), it had 10 teams in its fold.

So what created this phenomenal 15-year turnaround? Recruiting, developing, and splitting, said the 54-year-old Petro.

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