ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex browsing by tag


AAU Men’s International Fastpitch Championship fast approaching

Thursday, October 24th, 2013


ORLANDO, FL – The 2013 AAU International Men’s Fastpitch Championship will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, Jan. 24-27.

Currently, 23 teams are entered coming from throughout North and South America, with 12 teams expressing their intent to play.

“It started 14 years a go with an eight-team tournament and it’s grown to above 40 in some years,” said Ken Hackmeister, AAU Tournament Director. “It’s growing in popularity because of a combination of location, Florida weather in January, and the diversity of teams is a draw …”

For more information about travel directions, competition venues, admission and registration, visit: AAU International Men’s Fastpitch

AAU men’s fastpitch tournament mushrooms into international event

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

The six ball diamonds at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex are considered by many as some of the finest in the sport of men’s fastpitch softball. Contributed photo

ORLANDO, FL – In 1996, Alex Linares decided to start a men’s fastpitch softball tournament in Miami, Florida. Only eight teams took part – all from the Miami area.

Little did he fathom at the time that his small tournament would become a huge international event 17 years later. And arguably the most popular men’s fastpitch tournament in the world today: the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) International Men’s Fastpitch Softball Tournament.

“I called it an international tournament in 1996, but it was all local teams,” Linares said. “When we moved the tournament in 2000 to Orlando (at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World Resort – Lake Buena Vista, FL) it became an event sanctioned by the AAU. Then it began to grow in teams and popularity. I had no idea it would become this popular.”

Just how popular?

This year 48 teams and about 600 players from Canada, the U.S., Puerto Rico, Mexico, South America, Venezuela (15 teams), Argentina – among other countries – will take part in the four-day event that runs from Jan. 26-29.

“It is really now an international event,” Linares said, adding that the tournament brings together players of different cultures and ethnicities.

“It is so beautiful to see all these different people coming together. In the dugout, players of different cultures sit next to each other and (realize) that they are more alike as people than different.”

Click to continue reading “AAU men’s fastpitch tournament mushrooms into international event”