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This and that in men’s fastpitch

Friday, April 16th, 2010

YUCAIPA, CA – Much of what goes on in men’s fastpitch softball never reaches the eyes and ears of the folks that love this sport. And some of the information I gather during interviews for a story gets cut – just not enough room to include everything.

So here’s some news and tidbits I’ve collected from interviews with folks from the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand.

Mark Sorenson writes about 2010 ISC Hall of Fame inductee (field manager category) John Becker. “As a player I remember the ISC World Tournament in Prince Edward Island in 1994, which was really his crowning moment as a player,” Sorenson said.

“John was our mainstay behind the dish and I think caught almost every inning. But the biggest thing I remember was the clutch hits he came up with at the plate. Hitting in the bottom half of the order he always seemed to be the guy we looked to in crucial situations, and he came through with some ‘big’ hits.

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Hall of Famer keeps managing the game he loves

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

The Eidswold teams of the 1960s. Can you recognize some of the players?
Contributed Photos

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“We asked ourselves, ‘Who’s going to pitch?’” I had pitched an inning here and there, so I was it…” – Dick Taylor

FARMINGTON, MN – Dick Taylor knows this for certain – one less manager means one less team.

“If a manager walks away the whole team folds because nobody wants to take over,” said Taylor.

So year after year the 71-year-old Taylor keeps fielding the Raiders fastpitch softball team. His managerial career started in 1968. Not because he wanted to, but because he had to.

“I got roped into it,” he said with a chuckle.

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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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