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Highly rated family garage a NAFA World Series champion

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

First baseman and manager, Jim Washenberger, admires the first place trophy presented to him after Len’s Automontive of St. Paul, Minn. won the NAFA A Division World Series championship. Photo By ANNE SATTERLEE

ST. PAUL, Minn. – On West 7th Street in St. Paul, there’s a small garage, family owned, called Len’s Automotive.

It’s owned and run by the Washenberger’s – mother Gail and sons Jim and Dave.

An Internet search reveals that Len’s Automotive has a 5.0 out of 5.5 star rating. Pretty impressive and a symbol of excellence.

But Len’s does much more than provide excellent automotive service. They play some pretty good men’s fastpitch softball too.

First a little background.

Brothers Jim and Dave attended Cretin-Derham Hall High School where they played baseball. After graduating, the boys took up softball – the slowpitch variety. (Hold the booing, please.)

All the while, there friends who were playing fastpitch, would stop by the garage and badger them to “give up lob ball,” said Joe Ganther, friend and fellow softball player.

“Finally,” said Ganther, “Paul Buzicky and George “Buzzy” Connors made Jim a late convert to the sport in 2000 when he was already in his mid-30s. After his first game, he was hooked.”

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Ganther stifles Balboa on a two-hitter

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

lens.automotive.ganther.105web Joe Ganther tossed a two-hit shutout in leading Len’s Automotive of Minnesota to a first round win in the NAFA A World Series. Photo By BOB OTTO

URBANDALE – Len’s Automotive of Minnesota got a strong performance in the circle from Joe Ganther as the right-hander shutout the Balboa Fastpitch Club of California, 7-0, Thursday, in the opening day of the NAFA A World Series.

Ganther allowed but two hits and struck out two in going the distance.

Alex Farber belted a three-run homer and Pat Hoban was 3 for 3 to lead Len’s Automotive. For Balboa, Celio Smalling, Jr. had a triple and K.C. Shaw single.