King and His Court

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Pitching great Dwayne Kamphuis returns to center stage

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

DWAYNE KAMPHUIS shows that he still packs the muscle at this past Saturday’s pitching exhibition at the Grandview Church of the Nazarene. Kamphuis talked about his time playing softball and briefly about how religion helped save him during his bout with alcoholism. Photo By Michael Kantian / Daily Sun News

Daily Sun News
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Courtesy of Mark Seward

GRANDVIEW, Wash. – There was a time when many followers of men’s fastpitch softball made the argument that Dwayne Kamphuis had the deadliest arm in the country. Many fans argued Kamphuis’ arm was better than that of legendary softball pitcher Eddie “The King” Feigner.

Regardless of who comes out on top of the argument, make no mistake, Kamphuis was one of the greatest to ever pick up a softball.

Kamphuis, who lives in Grandview, put on a pitching display this past Saturday morning at the Grandview Church of the Nazarene.

Kamphuis, 67, provided some history on softball. He said softball started being played in Chicago in the late 1800s.

Kamphuis said he started pitching in 1945. His family didn’t have much money so he would use palmigranites growing on nearby trees with which to practice.

He started playing ball in California at a young age. At the age of 16, Kamphuis was inducted into the Junior Softball Hall of Fame.

In 1957, Kamphuis was inducted into the military service.

“It was during my time in the service I learned to throw this softball,” he said while palming a ball.

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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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Bayonne native on barnstorming King and His Court softball team: It’s always been my Yankee Stadium

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Patrick Villanova/The Jersey Journal

JERSEY CITY, NJ – Bayonne native Rich Hoppe, a member of the fast-pitch softball team the King and His Court, on the diamond at Memorial Park in Linden last week.

He stands blindfolded, some 40 feet from home plate, gleefully hurling pitch after pitch at weary batters as fans in Linden’s Memorial Park cheer on the peculiar feat.

He is Rich Hoppe – Bayonne native and pitcher for the King and His Court, the iconic four-man barnstorming softball team.

Founded in 1946 by Hoppe’s mentor, “The King” Eddie Feigner, the King and His Court travels the country and globe playing exhibition games, with proceeds often going to charity.

The catch?

Hoppe and his crew only use a pitcher, a catcher, a first baseman and a shortstop, while the opposition uses nine players…

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The King and His Court mark end of Softball Era

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

ESPN Go
By Jim Caple

(Good story about a fastpitch legend and the end of an era; also great video links to the King and His Court.)

The greatest team that ever stepped onto a diamond is playing its last game this weekend. And I’m not talking about the New York Yankees (unfortunately).

Sadly, I’m talking about the King and His Court, the barnstorming softball team started by the late Eddie Feigner some 65 years ago. Feigner died in 2007, but his team has continued on without him… Continue Reading