Kevin Herlihy

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For the future of USA men’s fastpitch, it’s all about pitching

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

ALAN COLGLAZIER pitched Aurora, IL, Home Savings to the ISC World Tournament championship in 1980. He is but one of four USA born pitchers to win an ISC World Tournament Championship game between 1980 and 1991. Photo By BOB OTTO

NEW ZEALAND – New Zealand is the mecca of men’s fasptich softball. To argue otherwise is just plain nonsense. The results prove the Kiwi’s dominance in fastpitch worldwide.

The Black Sox, the country’s national team, leads the International Softball Federation (now the World Baseball Softball Confederation) world championships with 12 gold, silver and bronze medals since the event started in 1966.

And in the past six championships (1996 to 2015) the Black Sox have taken four-of-six golds and two silvers.

Canada comes a close second with 11 total medals, and did claim the latest world championship in 2015, by pounding the Kiwi’s, 10-5, in the final.

    THIRD NOT GOOD ENOUGH

Bringing up the third spot with nine medals is the United States. Nine sounds like a respectable number, right?

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Those Were The Days: Rex Giberson shares memories of a great bygone era of men’s fastpitch

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

HOUSTON, Tex. – For those who may doubt that fastpitch softball can take a ball player to far places and great heights, Rex Giberson would beg to differ.

Giberson started playing as a teenager in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania Men’s League and went on to enjoy a 29-year career playing in the United States, Canada and New Zealand.

But it was that inauguration in the Lancaster league that jettisoned him on his way.

“I started playing at 15 in (that) tough Lancaster League,” he said. “Many considered it the best league on the East Coast.”

    STRING OF CHAMPIONSHIPS

In 1976, 1980 and 1981, two of the league teams won ASA Class “A” national championships. Millersville, Penn. won the first one, with SH Good taking the last two.

Those times were some of the fondest of his career.

“We went undefeated to win the national tourney in Hamilton, Ohio (1976),” said Giberson. “In 1980 with SH Good we beat Jimmy Moore (ISC Hall of Fame pitcher.) in the finals. Jim, as you know, went on to be one of the all-time greats with Seattle Pay ‘N Pak.”

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Ty Stofflet versus Kevin Herlihy in “The Game” at the 1976 ISF World Championship

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Ty Stofflet.1web
Ty Stofflet, hurled a 20-inning game in which he beat New Zealand’s great Kevin Herlihy in the 1976 ISF World Championship. An encounter remembered for all time as “The Game.”

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – It’s been called “The Game” and the greatest pitching duel in the history of the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championship.

The principals in the circle: Ty Stofflet of the Rising Sun Hotel representing the USA, and Kevin Herlihy pitching for the New Zealand National Team. The two great pitchers hooked up in a pitchers’ marathon in the 1976 ISF World Championship in Lower Hutt, New Zealand.

Many of the 8,000 fans that witnessed The Game, consider it the greatest fastpitch game and pitching classic of all time.

It was a marathon that went 20 innings and lasted four hours and 20 minutes. It was a game in which both pitchers were considered the best in the world from their respective sides – Stofflet the lefty, Herlihy the righty.

In the history of the ISF that started in 1966, it is without question the greatest game ever pitched on the world stage. And when all said and done, Stofflet drove in the winning run.

PITCHER WHO CAN HIT
Stofflet hit a two-out, run scoring single in the top of the 20th to give USA a 1-0 victory.

Though he lost, Herlihy, who died in 2006, was quoted as saying:

“The fact that I was able to play against a guy as great as Ty made it that much more memorable…it is the one game that I will remember more than any other. It had been billed as the best left-hander in the world versus the best right-hander at the time…”

herlihy,kevin.web Kevin Herlihy, perhaps the greatest right-handed pitcher of all-time.

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Softball: Kiwi pitches happily on foreign turf after switcheroo

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

By Chris Rattue / The New Zealand Herald

BRISBANE, AUS – Kere Johanson headed to Australia on a hunch that hit a bullseye.

The Black Sox infielder on four world series teams including two winners always chased the game. Even as a youthful optical technician in Palmerston North, his visions were about being a fulltime softballer.

Shortly after the 2000 world series, the Poneke-Kilbirnie stalwart headed to Perth. Within a decade he had taken charge of the Australian women’s team and assisted men’s head coach Bob Harrow in the historic 2009 world title triumph.

“I came to Australia on a lifestyle decision but thought I might fall into something with the game,” says Johanson, who received a cheeky text from Kiwi great Mark Sorenson “blaming” him for upending the Black Sox in the 2009 final.

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