Colin Abbott

...now browsing by tag

 
 

A Step Back In Time: Jason Hanson’s home run ends Green Bay All-Car’s drive

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

All-Car teammates huddle around pitcher Michael White after he tumbled to the ground in the bottom of the seventh inning with an injured leg. White was unable to return and All-Car went on to lose to the Tampa Bay Smokers, 4-2, in the 1996 ISC World Tournament championship game. Photo By BOB OTTO

Tampa Bay claims title with dramatic 4-2 victory in 1996 ISC World Tournament

By Sharon Raboin / Green Bay Press-Gazette
Monday, August 19, 1996

KIMBERLY, Wisc. – Michael White of All-Car of Green Bay crumbled to the ground after pitching to Jason Hanson.

White groaned and grabbed his left leg while his teammates rushed to his side.

The crowd of about 5,000 became silent at Sunset Park.

It was the bottom of the seventh inning Sunday afternoon in the championship of the International Softball Congress World Tournament. All-Car and the Tampa Bay Smokers were tied 2-2

After a couple of minutes, White was helped to his feet. He desperately wanted to continue. He tested his injured leg.

“I just couldn’t,” White said. “There was pain shooting up my leg. I couldn’t put any weight on it at all. There was no way I could push it.”

Click to continue reading “A Step Back In Time: Jason Hanson’s home run ends Green Bay All-Car’s drive”

Algar, Sorenson and Abbott Anchor (hypothetical) World-Class Fastpitch Team

Saturday, February 13th, 2016
Paul Algar pitching in the 1997 ISC World Tournament, leading the Farm Tavern of Madison, Wisc. to its first world tournament championship. Photo By BOB OTTO

Paul Algar pitching in the 1997 ISC World Tournament, leading the Farm Tavern of Madison, Wisc. to its first world tournament championship. Photo By BOB OTTO

YUCAIPA, Calif. – Many great players have starred in the International Softball Congress World Tournament. Zack and White, Zimmerman and Stofflet, Paton and Rychcik have become iconic names in the 69 years of the greatest men’s fastpitch tournament in the world.

But if a sponsor and manager were to assemble a world-class ball club capable of winning the World Tournament, could he do any better than drafting these three ball players: Paul Algar, Mark Sorenson and Colin Abbott.

All three have since retired from the sport, but based on their resumes, they deserve status in the most hallowed club in any sport – “Greatest of All-Time.”

Click to continue reading “Algar, Sorenson and Abbott Anchor (hypothetical) World-Class Fastpitch Team”

Someone to know: Dean Holoien, Canadian fastball star

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

holoien.2000.ISC.alb46
Dean Holoien pitching in the 2000 ISC World Tournament for the Edmonton (Alberta) Express had a 4-1 record in 35 1/3 innings with 64 strikeouts and a 1.39 ERA. He led the Express to ninth place in the 48-team tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

“Fastpitch softball was lucky to have him and I was grateful that I got a front row seat for a lot of years.” – Todd Martin about former teammate Dean Holoien

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN – Dean Holoien knows where to give credit for his long and successful fastball career – his father Doug. If not for dad’s insistence that “it’s time to practice,” fastball may not have enjoyed the exploits of one of the sport’s greatest pitchers and hitters.

“I remember pitching in the yard to dad until the moon came out,” Dean Holoien said. “There were many times when I would have rather did other things, but he had me pitching. But I’m sure glad he did.”

Holoien retired after the 2012 season, finishing a 20-year fastball career at the elite level. His talent carried him far – throughout Canada and the United States playing for elite club teams – and on to the worldwide stage, competing in the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championship.

His former teammate and pitcher, Todd Martin, knows Holoien well – since 1993 when they started playing together for the Camrose Merchants. Then they teamed up with the Farm Tavern of Madison, Wisconsin (2002 to 2004), and also played on Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team (1997-2009).

Martin says no one was any tougher or fierce a competitor in the circle than Holoien. His will to win and his hard spinning rise ball elevated him to the top of the sport. But adds Martin, with a bat in his hand, Holoien was a terror in the batter’s box as well.

martin.todd.98isc.mvp.1web
In 1998, Todd Martin, pitching for the Tampa Smokers of Florida was awarded the ISC World Tournament Most Outstanding Pitcher for leading the Smokers to the championship. In his career, Martin has been selected a Most Outstanding Pitcher three times. Photo By BOB OTTO

“He had a ton of huge hits over the course of his career,” said Martin, a three-time Most Valuable Pitcher in the ISC World Tournament. “Not many guys are capable of throwing a shutout and hitting a bomb to win a game 1-0. But that was Deano.”

Click to continue reading “Someone to know: Dean Holoien, Canadian fastball star”

Hitting a high-velocity fastpitch softball; a skill only the great ones possess.

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Abbott.Colin.98 ISCwt
Colin Abbott, three-time ISC World Tournament Most Valuable Player, one of the all-time great fastball hitters.

By BOB OTTO / www.ottoinfocus.com

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – I studied Canadian Brad Ezekiel and Ryan Wolfe. I leaned in closer to my computer screen, zoning in on New Zealand’s Rhys Casley, Donny Hale and Brad Rona.

How do they do it?

How do they hit a softball speeding toward home plate at 80-plus miles per hour from 46 feet away from a pitcher that can make the yellow sphere dive and dance and soar like a Hummingbird on steroids?

And then with the cruel nature of a sadist, the pitcher changes speeds. It’s as if the ball is attached to a string and our righty or lefty (prankster) yanks it back just when the batter starts to swing. Like Lucy pulling the football away from hapless Charlie Brown just as he’s about to kick it.

What special athletic gifts have been bestowed upon fastball’s great hitters, enabling them to hit the riser, the drop, the curve, and the change-up with such proficiency?

MEREDITH, A LASTING IMPRESSION
I remember in 1986 standing behind a backstop watching Kiwi Peter Meredith throw a softball harder than ANY ball I had ever seen thrown. I stood in awe of Meredith’s amazing talent.

Meredith.USA.2
ISC Hall of Fame pitcher, Peter Meredith, who once pitched for TEAM USA.

I wondered: “how can anyone possibly hit his pitches?”

Click to continue reading “Hitting a high-velocity fastpitch softball; a skill only the great ones possess.”