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Castle Rock’s Sunday surge stars in Hollywood

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

The Castle Rock men’s fastpitch team of Castle Rock, Minn. Photo courtesy of Ken Schonning.

CASTLE ROCK, Minn. – On Saturday the results weren’t favorable, but come Sunday Castle Rock did a complete turnaround to win the Class C Division of the 10th Annual Hollywood Days Tournament.

Held at the Hollywood Sports Complex near Watertown, the tournament had 10 teams entered. After finishing 1-2 on Saturday and scoring just seven runs, Castle Rock qualified for Sunday’s C Division playoffs.

And that’s when the bats started heating up. Castle Rock outscored three opponents by a 32-14 margin starting with a 7-0 victory over Hollywood; followed by knocking off a tough Minnesota Computers / Scandia Fastpitch team, 11-5.

That set up a championship matchup with St. Paul Pawns, who beat Dawson 8-1 to advance. Castle Rock didn’t let their hot bats cool off, and erupted for a 14-9 win that improves the team’s record to 10-6.

The key to the ball club’s success, said manager and catcher Ken Schonning, is getting all his ball players together. When he’s got a full squad, they can cause some damage.

“We had all our players at the tournament,” said Schonning, who has managed the team for 36 of its 49 years. “We needed our sticks because we knew the Pawns are a good hitting team.”

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Paul Harrington keeps the Farmington Men’s League running

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Older and younger players alike have been playing in the Farmington Men’s League for over 50 years.
Photos By BOB OTTO / Summer of 2006

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“…I’ll keep running the league as long as there are teams that want to play.” – Paul Harrington

FARMINGTON, MINNESOTA – The emergency call went out for a league director and Paul Harrington said, “I’ll do it.”

Back in 1975 the director of the Farmington Men’s Fastpitch League up and quit in the middle of the season. And if someone didn’t take over, the league would surely fold.

And Harrington wasn’t about to let that happen. But here’s the catch: He was just 19 years old at the time. Just a year removed from his high school graduation. Now 35 years later, he’s still running the league with no plans to step down.

After all, the Farmington league has a hallowed history to uphold. It’s been around for over 50 years.

“It’s one of the older leagues in the state,” said Harrington. “It was the only game in town at one time. There wasn’t any town team baseball or slowpitch.”

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