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Men’s Fastpitch Softball, What Happened To It???

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

HitmenThirdBasePlay.172web Men’s fastpitch softball has all the action found in baseball: hitting, pitching and defense. The differences are of dimension, the bases are of shorter distance, and the pitching rubber is 60’6″ in baseball versus 46′ in fastpitch. Many young men who once played baseball have turned to fastpitch because the game is quicker and filled with fast-paced action. Photo by BOB OTTO / Beaumont (CA) Coyotes 4th of July Tournament

By Troy Olson / Fastpitch Player’s Essay

I find it very amusing that I tell people I have a softball game and they naturally assume I am playing slow pitch softball. Did you know that there is actually Mens Fastpitch Softball in America? I happen to live in Wisconsin and we have a lot of Fastpitch Teams in our state.

The league I play in is in a small town called Cushing. Our league is consistently between 8-12 teams per year, just depending on who is around for the summer. Most tournaments will once again draw 8-12 teams with several traveling from Minnesota to participate.

At one time men’s fastpitch was a huge sport in this country, in the 1960’s and 70’s it was at its peak.

There was all kinds of hugely talented teams and of course the most famous of them all “The King and His Court.” So what happened to this one time flourishing sport?

In my opinion it’s a combination of several things, first was the evolution of slowpitch softball. Most people aren’t happy going 1 for 3 at the plate, jumping to slowpitch would allow even poor hitters to put the ball in play all the time. It also seems with no practice one can still compete in slowpitch.

Lets be honest if you are going to be successful at Fastpitch you have to put time and practice, you just don’t pick up a bat and hit riseballs out of the park.

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Long Lost Milltown, Wisconsin Men’s Fastpitch Tournament Undergoes A Revival

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016
Men's fastpitch tournaments are held In Canada, Mexico and throughout much of the United States, including once again in Milltown, Wisconsin after a 26 year absence. Photo By BOB OTTO

Men’s fastpitch tournaments are held In Canada, Mexico and throughout much of the United States, including once again in Milltown, Wisconsin after a 26 year absence. Photo By BOB OTTO

MILLTOWN, Wisc. – When Cullen Hanson was six years old the Milltown men’s fastpitch tournament folded. That was 26 years a go. Hanson thought about that long drought and he began wondering: could the tournament be revived?

If he had asked skeptics, they’d have fed him the standard fare – “it’s too late, men’s fastpitch has one foot in the grave and it’s gasping for air. Don’t waste your time trying.”

But that kind of ‘stinkin-thinkin’ isn’t in 32-year-old Hanson’s fastpitch makeup. After all, his dad Scott Hanson played, his uncles played, and he grew to love the game as much as they did.

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Dugout Memorial Weekend Men’s Fastpitch Tournament in Cushing, Wisc.

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

CUSHING, Wisc. – The Dugout men’s fastpitch team is hosting their annual Memorial Weekend Tournament, May 27-29 (and possibly on the 30th if needed).

Dugout FP Tourn.1

Suzy Q’s hosting men’s fastpitch tournament in August

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

CUSHING, Wisc. – Suzy Q’s Men’s Fastpitch Tournament will be held Aug. 21-23 in Cushing, which is located along the Wisconsin and Minnesota border northeast of Minneapolis. The small village is big in men’s fastpitch and is home to four men’s teams. All the tournaments held here are well run and popular, so enter your team while there’s an opening.


Small town Cushing, a hot draw in men’s fastpitch

Thursday, May 28th, 2015
The Dugout team honored their teammate, the late Pete Kelly, during the 12th Annual Dugout Memorial Weekend Tournament in Cushing, Wisconsin. Courtesy Photo

The Dugout team honored their teammate, the late Pete Kelly, during the 12th Annual Dugout Memorial Weekend Tournament in Cushing, Wisconsin. Courtesy Photo

CUSHING, Wisc. – Wisconsin is dotted with many rural, small towns surrounded by farm fields, forests and pastures. One such small town located in this idyllic setting in the northwest part of the state is Cushing.

Cushing folks, numbering about 100 to 150, have quite a few outdoor activities to choose from: they can hike, they can camp, they can boat, and they can hunt and fish.

And for the more competitively inclined, they can play men’s fastpitch softball.

Cushing might be small in population, but it’s big in softball, with no less than four teams – Dugout Bar and Grill, Suzy Q’s, the Tigers, and the Heat – playing fastpitch.


And for over 20 years, Cushing has drawn teams from near and far for its Memorial weekend tournament. The past 12 years Dugout has hosted the tournament, led by tournament directors Steve Loney and Les Dietmeier.

This year’s tourney – the 12th Annual Dugout Memorial Weekend Tournament – drew nine teams from Wisconsin and Minnesota, with Tin Cup of St. Paul, Minnesota taking the title over instate-rival Ostrander.

So how has Cushing preserved its fastpitch roots, while the sport fades away in many larger towns and cities throughout the country?

“We all grew up playing fastpitch, or the younger kids dad’s played, or they are still playing,” said Dietmeier, who plays for Dugout.

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12th Annual Dugout Fastpitch Tournament

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015


CUSHING, Wisc. – Mark your calendar and plan to enter your team in the Dugout Memorial Weekend Tournament in Cushing, Wisconsin
2015 Dugout Tournament.1lr

Plan For Dugout Memorial Weekend Men’s Fast Pitch Tournament in Cushing, Wisconsin

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014


CUSHING, Wisc. – For 10 years the small town of Cushing, located in northwest Wisconsin and bordering Minnesota, has hosted a men’s fastpitch tournament. And every year it appears to get better and more popular.

The tournament will return once again in 2014 through the efforts of the Dugout Men’s Fastpitch team and tournament directors Steve Loney and Les Dietmeier. The men hope to expand the tournament just a bit.

“We are getting ready to host The 11th annual Dugout Memorial Day Weekend (May 23-25 with the 26th a possible added day) Tournament,” Dietmeier said through email. “This year we are looking to add a few new teams coming from St Paul, Minnesota.”

St. Paul is located about 60 miles south of Cushing and is one of the remaining enclaves in Minnesota where the sport has retained some of its popularity.

The travel appears to be an easy commute for fastpitch players and fans from the Twin Cities area.

When: May 23, 24, 25 and possibly the 26th
Where: Cushing, Wisc.
Entry Fee: $225 (game balls furnished)
Additional Details: Concession and beer stand at the ball park (no carry on coolers allowed), and camping available

Contact Information:

Steve Lonney at 715-483-3057;
Les Dietmeier at 715-483-3749;

Dugout Men’s Fastpitch reaching a memorial milestone

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013


CUSHING, WISC – Men’s fastpitch softball tournaments are getting harder to find in many parts of the U.S. But in Cushing, Wisconsin, a long-standing tradition continues: The 10th Annual Dugout Fastpitch Memorial Weekend Tournament.

And tournament organizers Les Dietmeier and Steve Loney want not only to keep the tradition alive in Cushing, but to make it bigger, better and more exciting. So there have been some enhancements that should appeal to ball clubs this year.

“There is no team limit, the more the better,” said Dietmeier. “last year we had nine teams. Hopefully this year we can get 10 or more. Something new this year is we are trying to have a band playing on Saturday night after the games.”

Though this will be the 10th year of a Memorial Weekend tourney in Cushing, the town (Pop. about 200) has been hosting men’s fastpitch tournaments for over 20 years. So there’s a strong commitment in keeping fastpitch alive in these parts.

Take your cuts in Cushing on Memorial Day Weekend.

Cushing is located about 65 miles northeast of Minneapolis and St. Paul; near the western border of Wisconsin. It’s a small town with small town charm, but nearby are four hotels and for those who like to camp, there are beautiful lakes and campgrounds nearby.

The tournament will be held May 25-27, with the 28th set aside if needed to provide for additional teams entering the competition.

Teams eligible must be rated NAFA AA and lower, or ASA Class B or lower.

And the entry fee? Just $200. What a bargain.

For more information, contact Les Dietmeier at 715-483-3749 or Steve Loney, 715-483-3057.

The Olson’s carry on family fastpitch tradition

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

The Grantsburg Lumber team of Grantsburg, Wisc. consisted of the eight Olson brothers, and this photo taken in the early 1970s was after they won a men’s fastpitch tournament; possibly in Stillwater, Minn. Front row from left, Jim Olson, Marvin Olson, Rich Olson and Dean Tyberg. Second row from left, Bob Gustafson (cousin), Mike Herrick, Jerry Olson, Donnie Olson, Chris Olson and Darrell Olson. Photo, courtesy of Troy Olson.

CUSHING, WI – In Cushing and Grantsburg, Wisconsin, and into Minnesota, when softball fans fan the flames of “remember when,” the Olson name frequently pops up.

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