Kyle Pittman

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Sprucing up Pierce Field to revitalize Aurora fastpitch league

Sunday, May 27th, 2018


AURORA, Ill
. – It’s old, it’s got an odd-ball configured outfield, and frankly, many a modern-era ball player would most likely prefer newer digs.

But not Kyle Pittman.

He has a fondness for 88-year-old Pierce Field in Aurora. Understandably so. The 27-year-old outfielder grew up learning the fastpitch softball game at Pierce. He’s played league games there since his introduction to the sport at 15.

And he gets to pitch to his heart’s desire in the Pierce Field city league. Not so much with the open-level Dolan & Murphy Shamrocks traveling squad where he primarily patrols the outfield.

But he does admit that Pierce has its peculiarities. Most notably, an outfield fence that starts out normal enough at 245-feet in left-field, but then begins angling out to 261’ in dead center, before cutting sharply back in to 196’ in right.

Odd dimensions, certainly, but none-the-less, Pittman loves the old park with its aging wooden bleachers behind home plate; and being tucked snugly in a residential and industrial area of Aurora only adds to its homeyness.

“Just about every ballpark you play in now everywhere is in a ‘cookie-cuter’ style complex with three to four fields,” said Pittman. “While those places are nice, I love being able to play in this old park a couple times a week.”

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Dolan & Murphy Shamrocks carry on Aurora men’s fabled fastpitch tradition

Sunday, May 27th, 2018

JOHN SCHWEIGHART of Camargo, Ill. plays the outfield for the Dolan & Murphy Shamrocks of Aurora, Ill. Photo Courtesy Dolan & Murphy Shamrocks


AURORA, Ill
. – Men’s fastpitch tradition is a fabled one in Aurora, rivaling that of any city, state or nation. The names are legendary: Sealmasters, Home Savings, Coors Silver Bullets, Allsteel Steelers and Creative DJ’s.

Those teams both inspired admiration and struck fear in many a visiting ball club to Aurora’s Stevens-Adamson Field where they once played.

International Softball Congress World Championships? Amateur Softball Association titles? International Softball Federation championships? More than a few, including Stealmasters (formed in 1943) ASA national titles in 1959, 1961, 1965 and 1967. And the list could go on.

As with most things in life, there comes an end. And the great teams that once graced Stevens-Adamson Field have long since disbanded. But not so with the Aurora fastpitch tradition. The Dolan & Murphy Shamrocks have kept that accord very much alive.

For 32 years, the Shamrocks have been a competitive staple in ISC and ASA competition, traveling the Midwest and beyond competing against the best teams in North America.

Kyle Pittman, 27, began playing in a local league at 15 and now patrols the outfield for the Shamrocks. He’s come to know the history of Aurora fastpitch very well.

“Once I started getting into it I started finding out more about the history and legacy of the game in Aurora,” said Pittman. “It seemed like everyone I talked to who was from here new about the game back in its prime. I never got to go watch a game at Stevens-Adamson Field where you could watch the best players in the world compete; it’s something I regret.”

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