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Reliving Memories of one of fastpitch softball’s greatest pitchers

Monday, May 15th, 2017

WITH THE GREATEST OF EASE
Roy Burlison of the St. Louis Browns flies through the air before delivering a pitch to the plate in last night’s (June 16, 1973) professional softball game at Koch Park. Burlison tossed his third straight shutout, whipping the Philadelphia Patriots, 8-0. St. Louis Post-Dispatch Photo By W. Thomas Stewart

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. –Roy Burlison was one of the greatest fastpitch pitchers the sport has ever known. When his 27-year playing career came to an end in 1992, he had won over 770 games against the best teams in the world.

In 1997 he was inducted into the Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame for an arm’s length of accomplishments: nine times competing in the ASA national tournament; twice selected Most Valuable Pitcher, and twice leading his teams to runner-up in the national championship.

Burlison was also renowned as a coach, teaching hundreds of girls how to play the game the right way. But sadly on May 11, Burlison, 71, passed away (see Roller Homes obituary).

His fastpitch legacy will live on, however, in the girls he coached, and with the players he both played with and against in his long and distinguished career.

Let’s relive some of Burlison’s prowess with a stroll down memory lane…

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A1 Bombers and J&B Painting merger creates super team with big goal

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

The J&B BOMBERS defeated the Northeast Naturals, 11-0, in the championship game of the 2017 Las Vegas Road Trip X, AA/AA-Major tournament at Sunset Park in las Vegas, Sunday, April 9. The team includes co-sponsors and managers Bob Berger and Jerry Zimmerman; players Eli Salazar, Cameron Schiller, Tyler Dudley, Freddy Carmona, Jorge Segura, Pat Burns, Tony Mancha, Blake Hunter, Tyler McGaughey, Mike Hoadley, Derrick Kennedy, Kris Walushka, Jesse Palacios, Mark Aranda, Gil Saenz, Devon McCullough and Bryan Erwin. Photo By BOB OTTO

LAS VEGAS – Both Jerry Zimmerman and Bob Berger look back with pride on the accomplishments of their respective ball clubs during the 2016 season.

Zimmerman’s A1 Bombers of Saskatoon, SK, CA finished fifth (4-2) in the ISC World Tournament, while Berger’s J&B Painting club of Agoura Hills, Calif. took 11th (2-2). And just a year prior, they finished third and fifth respectively.

Adding to those accolades, the Bombers also took second (5-2) in the 2016 ASA Men’s Major National Championship.

And during the regular season, both teams were ranked in the top-ten by the ISC.

Very good ball clubs? Certainly. Great? Close, but not quite.

While both were competitive, capable of and often beating the best in the game, neither had quite the firepower to grasp the brass rings – which in men’s fastpitch equate to winning the ISC world tournament and ASA major national championship.

So, if you come close but can’t quite win those titles, what can be done? Merge. Exactly what the two men decided to do.

By combining forces, they significantly raise the odds of winning those two coveted championships. And it appears they’ve created a ball club – the J&B Bombers – that must be considered one of the favorites to win it all.

Zimmerman and Berger left no doubt about their expectations.

“We’re going to win the world,” Berger said, “win everything. That’s our goal.”

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ISC Releases Promotional Video to Baseball Coaches

Saturday, February 13th, 2016
Matt Palazzo (Des Moines, Iowa) played college baseball at Iowa State University and then made the full time transition to fastpitch softball. Photo By BOB OTTO

Matt Palazzo (Des Moines, Iowa) played college baseball at Iowa State University and then made the full time transition to fastpitch softball. Photo By BOB OTTO

Findlay, OH – The International Softball Congress is reaching out to high-school and college baseball coaches across the United States with a new recruiting video to entice new players into men’s fastball.

Featuring interviews with many of today’s fastball stars, including, Matt Palazzo, 2015 USA Softball Male Fast Pitch Athlete of the Year.

This new video Invitation To Coaches is now available on the ISC website at www.iscfastpitch.com as well as on the ISC Facebook page www.facebook.com/isc.fastpitch.

Palazzo, who played baseball at Iowa State University, said:

“I immediately fell in love with the game, especially from a baseball background. It’s faster paced, low scoring and tougher to hit …and I just fell in love with it right from day one.”

Palazzo, who is a member of the U.S. men’s national team, plays for the New York Gremlins in ISC play. Continue Reading

Boys of Summer tournament to honor ‘Creature’ Krueger

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Andrew Pekarek, Press-Gazette Media
6:40 p.m. CDT July 10, 2014

Former Circle Tap manager will have No. 38 retired at tournament

DENMARK, Wisc. – Wayne “Creature” Krueger never traveled without his catcher’s gear.

It was a habit the Denmark native developed as a teenager when he started playing fastpitch softball at Greenleaf’s Way-Morr County Park in the 1960s. And it came in handy when he transitioned to manager of the Circle Tap team in the mid-1990s and was occasionally needed to fill in behind in the plate.

But pitcher Jeff Umentum remembers one time when Krueger forgot a very important piece of equipment.

“He didn’t have a cup for protection, so he used a French fries basket from inside the bar,” Umentum said. “We threw it out afterwards. But he wanted a little protection because I was known for throwing some in the dirt.”

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ASA Fast Pitch Player ratings

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

ASA.usa

OKLAHOMA CITY – As a fastpitch player, are you curious about your rating with the Amateur Softball Association?

Then check it out at ASA Fast Pitch Player Information

Has the time come for Coed Fastpitch Softball?

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013


Could coed fastpitch softball provide a new avenue for males and females to compete together?
By BOB OTTO

YUCAIPA, CA – There’s no doubt that men’s fastpitch softball has been on the decline throughout the U.S. And in Southern California the fall off of men’s teams has been as great, or greater than any other state in the country.

The Western Softball Congress League that for many years produced International Softball Congress (ISC) World Tournament champions: Gone.

The Pacific Coast Softball League that produced some of the best Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Class “A” teams in the country: Gone.

The Southern California Fastpitch Association that produced top ASA Class A & B teams for years: Gone.

All that’s left in southern Cal is the Southern California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL), which has about a dozen ASA and North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) lower level teams gamely hanging on and keeping the sport alive.

There’s also a smattering of city leagues, but that’s it. Nothing else.

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Don’t miss the 2nd Annual Columbia Basin Men’s Fastpitch Invitational

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

MOSES LAKE, WASH – K-Club Men’s Fastpitch manager Mike Kolda is helping to revive men’s fastpitch in the great Northwest by hosting the ball club’s second annual tournament.

    All THE DETAILS TO ENTER

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Ty Stofflet versus Kevin Herlihy in “The Game” at the 1976 ISF World Championship

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Ty Stofflet.1web
Ty Stofflet, hurled a 20-inning game in which he beat New Zealand’s great Kevin Herlihy in the 1976 ISF World Championship. An encounter remembered for all time as “The Game.”

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – It’s been called “The Game” and the greatest pitching duel in the history of the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championship.

The principals in the circle: Ty Stofflet of the Rising Sun Hotel representing the USA, and Kevin Herlihy pitching for the New Zealand National Team. The two great pitchers hooked up in a pitchers’ marathon in the 1976 ISF World Championship in Lower Hutt, New Zealand.

Many of the 8,000 fans that witnessed The Game, consider it the greatest fastpitch game and pitching classic of all time.

It was a marathon that went 20 innings and lasted four hours and 20 minutes. It was a game in which both pitchers were considered the best in the world from their respective sides – Stofflet the lefty, Herlihy the righty.

In the history of the ISF that started in 1966, it is without question the greatest game ever pitched on the world stage. And when all said and done, Stofflet drove in the winning run.

PITCHER WHO CAN HIT
Stofflet hit a two-out, run scoring single in the top of the 20th to give USA a 1-0 victory.

Though he lost, Herlihy, who died in 2006, was quoted as saying:

“The fact that I was able to play against a guy as great as Ty made it that much more memorable…it is the one game that I will remember more than any other. It had been billed as the best left-hander in the world versus the best right-hander at the time…”

herlihy,kevin.web Kevin Herlihy, perhaps the greatest right-handed pitcher of all-time.

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USA Softball hosts training camp for junior men’s pitchers and catchers

Friday, January 25th, 2013

ASA.usa

OKLAHOMA CITY — Sixteen athletes in the USA Softball Junior Men’s Fast Pitch National Team program See official USA SOFTBALL website will participate in a training camp starting today at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.

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USA Softball National Coaching School coming to Cypress, Calif.

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Three cities scheduled to host USA Softball National Coaching Schools

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today that three cities will host USA Softball National Coaching Schools presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance in the coming months.

The schools, which feature instruction from current and former USA Softball Women’s National Team coaches, will take place in Reynoldsburg, Ohio Sept. 7-9, 2012, Cypress, Calif. Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, 2012, and Houston, Texas Jan. 4-6, 2013.

Click the links below for event flyers and brochures.

The schools feature first-hand instruction from members of the USA Softball Women’s National Team coaching staff including Head Coach Ken Eriksen (University of South Florida) and assistant Mike White (University of Oregon).

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