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A Legendary Run For The Hometown Team

Monday, May 9th, 2016
Victoria Legends manager Rocky Vitale sends Kevin Bobroske home after he hit a home run in the 1997 ISC World Tournament in Victoria, BC, Canada. Photo By BOB OTTO

Victoria Legends manager Rocky Vitale sends Kevin Bobroske home after he hit a home run in the 1997 ISC World Tournament in Victoria, BC, Canada. Photo By BOB OTTO

VICTORIA, BC – The Victoria Legends thrilled thousands of fastball fans with an incredible run in the 1997 ISC World Tournament at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria, BC, Canada, by finishing second with an 8-2 record.

One of the many stars on the No. 4 ranked Legends was KEVIN BOBROSKE, who led the tournament with 11 RBI, and had three, 3-RBI games. The right-side batting infielder was named First-Team All-World along with pitcher KORREY GAREAU, who earned the title “workhorse” for his seven games in which he was 5-2 in 38 innings with a 2.95 ERA, along with 64 strikeouts.


Also earning All-World honors was infielder KEITH MACKINTOSH (.483 avg., 13-of-30, 3 RBI, and 8 runs), and outfielder DARRELL SANDBACK (.394 avg., 13-of-33, 10 runs).

Not to be overlooked was Second-Team All-World catcher DOUG CHASE, who batted .300 (9-of-30), had 9 RBI, 2 home runs, and 10 runs; and infielder DAVE BADOVINIAC, who belted the best pitching in the world for a .538 avg. (7-of-13), with 3 RBI, a home run, and 3 runs. BADOVINIAC had the fourth-best average in the tournament with Decatur Pride’s TERRY WALLIN tops at .600 (9-of-15)

Also earning Second-Team All-World was outfielder RICK ELIAS with a .313 avg. (10-of-32) 7 RBI and 5 runs.


The Legends opened with a 9-2 victory over the Royal Kings of St. Paul, MN, followed by beating Jack & Do’s, Findley, OH, 10-2, and Larry Miller Toyota of Salt Lake City, 5-4, to set up a match with the Farm Tavern of Madison, Wisc. in the quarterfinals.

The Legends lost to ROD PETERSON’S team and eventual champion, 7-6, but the Legends then began a march to the championship game by beating the Heflin Builders, of New York, 4-1, then shutout Canadian rivals Fast As Flite, 7-0, and the Tiremen, 3-2, followed by a narrow, 3-2, win over the Tampa Bay Smokers to reach the losers bracket final with All-Car of Green Bay, Wisc.

The Legends bats heated up with an 11-2 romp, to set up a rematch with the Farm Tavern. But the Legends incredible run came to an end in a 11-2 loss that gave PETERSON his first ISC world championship.

But amongst knowledgeable Canadian fastball fans (who numbered nearly 7,000 in the finale), the Legends 10-game run in the 1997 ISC World Tournament hasn’t been forgotten.

Fond memories of the Hollywood Store

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

WATERTOWN, Minn. – The name may have changed to Hollywood Sports Complex, but for many old timers it will forever be known as the Hollywood “Store.” Back in the 1960s and ‘70s, some of the fiercest men’s fastpitch battles in Minnesota were fought on the two ball diamonds at the Store, located near Watertown and about 40 miles west of Minneapolis.

In 1974 the Store underwent a name change to the Hollywood Sports Complex. And in 2008 this historic fastpitch site reached a rare milestone, celebrating its 50th anniversary of hosting men’s fastpitch softball leagues and tournaments.

The fastpitch tradition began in 1959 when Melvin and Esther Littel, who owned the Hollywood Store, started a team and joined a traveling league. And for many years, the Store hosted three league games every Sunday.

“The Store was a beacon for fastpitch on Sunday afternoons,” said Bruce Johnson, 58, who grew up in the area and began playing on the Store ball diamond as a 16-year-old. Johnson retired in the mid 1990s at age 44, but fond memories of the little ball diamond play on.

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Wrapping up the 2013 California Classic Men’s Fastpitch Tournament

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

SANTEE, CA – If you’re a men’s fastpitch fan living in southern California, there’s not much in the way of top-flight tournaments to watch. Except the California Classic. It’s the only big-time tourney being offered south of Santa Barbara where Clyde Bennett hosts the Best of The West.

Now concluding its fourth consecutive year, the Classic offers good competition. This year the Sooke Loggers of British Columbia, CA stopped the California A’s from claiming its fourth consecutive title with a 9-6 victory on Sunday.

Some thought California was heavily favored. That the A’s – loaded with international stars – were a superior team. Especially with Argentine and ISC All-World pitcher Lucas Mata toeing the rubber.

Schellenberg.Kevin.CalifA's.430web Shortstop Kevin Schellenberg is one of several international stars who play for the California A’s. He’s been a member of Team Canada that finished fifth in the 2013 ISF World Championships.

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Start spreading the news about men’s fastpitch

Friday, 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.

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Put 2012 Preston (Minn) Fastpitch Tournament on Your Schedule

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

PRESTON, MN – We are starting to plan for this year’s Preston Men’s Fast Pitch Tournament and we would like to extend an invitation to your team. The 8th Annual Preston Men’s Fast Pitch Tournament will be held on July 28-29 this year.

Let us know as soon as you know if we can put your team in our bracket.

We know it’s pretty early for some of you to commit, but you can just let us know of your intention to consider playing in our tournament and we’ll get you on our list. That way you’ll be sure to get more information when we send it out.

And if you know of a team that would be a good fit for our tournament, please feel free to pass on this invitation.

More tournament information and pictures from previous tournaments are posted on the Preston Merchants Fast Pitch Facebook page. Thanks and looking forward to seeing you at our tournament!

Lynn & Barb Scheevel, Ryan Scheevel, Brett Scheevel
and the Preston Tournament Crew
15547 County 15
Preston, MN 55965
507-765-4948 home
507-696-0646 cell

Preston Facebook & Tournament Photos

2010 California Classic Men’s Fastpitch Softball Tournament

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Photos By BOB OTTO

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SAN DIEGO, CA – Eight teams have committed to play in the 2010 California Classic men’s fastpitch softball tournament that will feature some of the finest teams from the U.S., Canada, and California.

This is a must see event for men’s fastpitch softball fans. So mark your calendar for June 19-20, and plan to attend the 12-team tournament to be held at Sportsplex USA in Santee, Calif. Some of the game’s finest pitchers, hitters, and top-ranked teams will be battling it out for the championship.

Committed Teams To Date:
California A’s
Bakersfield Silverhawks
California Builders
Rude Pac
Portland, Oregon
Vancouver Meralomas (Canada)
Broken Bow, Nebraska

The tournament is filling up fast and looks to be a very competitive tournament on the west coast. Four teams are needed to fill out the 12-team bracket, so for interested managers, please see the contact information listed below.

The California Classic has an added incentive as the highest placing Western Region team playing with an International Softball Congress qualifying roster will receive a berth to the International Softball Congress World Tournament to be held in Midland, Michigan, Aug. 13-21.

Name: 2010 California Classic
What: California Classic Men’s ISC Fastpitch Softball Tournament
Who: Hosted by the California A’s and Bakersfield Silverhawks
When: June 19-20, 2010
Where: SportsplexUSA Complex, 9951 Riverwalk Drive, Santee, CA.
How Much: Entry Fee: $450
Format: Round Robin Single Elimination with a 4 Game Guarantee
Who To Contact: David Weldin:;
Bobby McCormick:;
Chris McGehee:
Click Here For Sportsplex USA Complex
For information on the International Softball Congress
For Fastpitchwest website
For Al Doran’s Fastpitch website

Following In Dad’s Footsteps

Friday, December 18th, 2009

The Hunhoff family of South Dakota and California has a long tradition of men’s fastpitch softball pitching.
Courtesy Photos / Lori Hunhoff

HARRISBURG, SOUTH DAKOTA – If he were to call it quits and chuck his bat, glove and spikes in the closet and say, “I’ve been there and done that,” no one could really blame him.

For after all, Benjamin “BJ” Hunhoff – in the lingo of fastpitch softball – indeed has been there and done that.

He’s played and won at the international, national, and state championship levels. He’s collected a showcase full of most valuable pitcher and player awards.

By now if you’re thinking, let’s let the “old man,” ease back into his recliner and enjoy his well-deserved retirement, here’s the catch:

BJ Hunhoff is just 20-years-old. His fastpitch rocket is nowhere near leveling off, much less coming to a landing.

His thirst to compete, his drive to improve, his love of the game, and his desire to follow in his dad’s footsteps remain as strong as ever.

And it all started with John Hunhoff. BJ’s dad and the man he calls, “my hero.”

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Fastpitch softball, a Hunhoff family tradition

Friday, December 18th, 2009


HARRISBURG, SOUTH DAKOTA – First there was Tony then John. Next came BJ then Andy. And these Hunhoff’s all share something in common. They’re fastpitch softball pitchers.

Tony, 52, who now lives in northern California, started the foray as a 13-year-old back in Sioux Falls, South Dakota pitching in a Tri-County Boy’s Fastpitch League. Then John, his younger brother by four years came along and took up the windmilling trade.

“Our dad wasn’t a softball player,” said Tony Hunhoff. “But softball was so available to us. I remember me and my friends watching the men play and thinking, ‘we can do this.'”

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Zane Smith shares memories of the bygone era of military fastpitch softball

Monday, December 14th, 2009

YUCAIPA, Calif. – It took but one game and Zane Smith was forever hooked on fastpitch softball.

In 1962 Smith was a young Navy Corpsman. And the Naval base he was stationed at had a fastpich team with a key position to fill. So Smith raised his hand.

“The manager asked, ‘can anybody catch?’” said Smith. “I said I could. I didn’t know anything about the game and I used a baseball catcher’s mitt.”

Little did Smith know at the time that warming up on the other side of the diamond was one of the all-time great military and civilian pitchers, Buck Brown.

“I was warming our pitcher up and I heard this Pow! Pow!” Smith said. “I turned and looked and it was Buck Brown warming up. He was really bringing it.”

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Lee’s great but he ain’t no Zack

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Photos of 1995 ISC World Tournament.
By BOB OTTO / Writer & Photographer

YUCAIPA, CA – The Philadelphia Phillies Cliff Lee is a great baseball pitcher. And the number he did on the Yankees in the opening game of the World Series is remarkable: A complete game, six hits allowed along with 10 strikeouts in Philadelphia’s, 6-1, win.

But Lee ain’t no Darren Zack.

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