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Pala Braves perfect in winning 2017 Raymond Angulo Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

By ERNIE MAREZ
2017 Raymond Angulo Memorial
Tournament Director

CORONA, Calif. – The Pala Braves swept through the tournament undefeated, but were forced into the ‘if necessary’ game of the double elimination format by the Beaumont Coyotes after the Braves lost in the first championship game.

The Coyotes came out of the losers bracket and played five games on Sunday to reach the final.

TOP THREE PLACES

1. Pala Braves, Pala Band of Mission Indians, Pala, Calif.
2. Beaumont Coyotes, Beaumont, Calif.
3. Patricia’s Mexican Restaurant, Long Beach, Calif.

In The Spotlight: Corona fastpitch legend, Jim “Chayo” Rodriguez

Monday, September 5th, 2016
FRIENDS - These three gentlemen and fast friends have been around fastpitch for over 60 years each. From left, Jim "Chayo" Rodriguez, Alfonso Lechuga and John Maciel. Photo By BOB OTTO

FRIENDS – These three gentlemen and fast friends have been around fastpitch for over 60 years each. From left, Jim “Chayo” Rodriguez, Alfonso Lechuga and John Maciel. Photo By BOB OTTO

CORONA, Calif. – In 1941, 14-year-old Jim “Chayo” Rodriguez trotted on to a softball field and for nearly 40 years his prolific bat, tenacious defense and fierce desire to win, led his teams to league and tournament victories.

Rodriguez not only played fastpitch softball, but baseball as well on the ball diamonds of Corona, Riverside, Colton and San Bernardino.

Though he loved playing both sports – often five nights a week and in tournaments on the weekend – he finally settled for fastpitch.

    ALL THE SKILLS FOR FASTPITCH

The game required quick feet, a sure-handed glove and fast, accurate throws from his third base spot. And at the plate, Rodriguez’ quick, compact swing was ideally suited for a sport in which the pitcher throws 80-mph rise balls and drops from 46 feet.

Rodriguez played for several top-caliber fastpitch teams including Barto’s Washer, Wink’s Café and Lindy’s Red Devils.

In those days, fastpitch at Corona’s City Park drew hundreds of fans. The competition was fierce with many businesses, restaurants and taverns sponsoring teams.

But finally, the rigors of the game wore down his legs and throwing arm, convincing him it was time to retire. Though his bat argued otherwise.

“I retired at 50 from playing even though I could still hit,” said Rodriguez, who at 86, still loves the game and seldom misses any men or girls’ fastpitch in or around his hometown of Corona.

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