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2014 NAFA World Series book can still be ordered

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

The front cover of 2014 NAFA World Series features, JOSH JOHNSON, left, of the CR Brewers of Portland, Ore., DEVON McCULLOUGH, J&B Painting, So. Calif., and ROCCO RAMSEY, Bowen Fastpitch, Bowen, Ill. Photo By BOB OTTO

(I was asked if I had any books left that I wrote about the 2014 NAFA World Series. Yes! You can order directly by clicking on BLURB Publishing.)

YUCAIPA, Calif. – The North American Fastpitch Association celebrated its 22nd year hosting men’s and young men’s (age 23-Under) championship tournaments in the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois in 2014.

After covering and photographing the World Series, I wrote a book about it entitled, “2014 NAFA Men’s Fastpitch World Series”.

THE BOOK INCLUDES

  • Over 200 photos
  • Championship game stories of the AA-Major, AA, A-Major, A and 23-Under divisions
  • Feature stories of players and managers, who have helped make the game as great as it is.
  • Hall of Fame stories and listing of members from 1997 to 2014
  • NAFA World Series records and amazing accomplishments by incredible players
  • Listing of NAFA 10 and 20-year anniversary players, “the best of the best”
  • Masters World Series results
  • Wood Bat World Series results
  • You can preview the book and if you like what you see, you can order a PDF or a softcover book (8 1/2 x 11) with semigloss pages from the publisher, Blurb (Online only) from the menu below.

    Click on the SHOPPING CART in the menu to visit my Blurb page.

    Men’s Masters Teams Rollout Southern California’s Fastpitch Season

    Monday, February 25th, 2019

    Jesse Ortiz is the president of the So. California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL), and he also pitches for the So. Cal Bandits. Photo By BOB OTTO

    SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. – The Southern California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL) is opening the 2019 season with its Masters Tournament on Sunday, March 10, 2019 at Little Lake Park, Santa Fe Springs, CA.

    Teams interested in participating will need to contact the tournament director, Jesse Ortiz, at scifastpitch (at) gmail.com by email by Monday, February 25, 2019 so the fields can be paid the following day, per the City of Santa Fe Springs permit agreement.

    Once the field rentals have been paid we will not be able to make any adjustments so please make sure you notify Jesse in a timely manner.

    Participating Masters Teams

    1. Budmen 40
    2. Budmen 50
    3. So Cal Knights 60
    4. Patriots
    5. Bandits
    6. Casa Trejo
    7. Quakes
    8. RPM

  • Please let me know, as soon as possible, if I missed any teams or if one needs to drop out.
  • Click to continue reading “Men’s Masters Teams Rollout Southern California’s Fastpitch Season”

    The Rios family’s San Antonio Glowworms steadfast devotion to men’s fastpitch softball

    Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

    The San Antonio Glowworms men’s fast pitch team was started, managed and coached by Heldebrand “Chilolo” Rios, Jr. in 1957. Courtesy Photo By Rios family

    Rios family and their San Antonio Glowworm tournament join forces with the International Softball Congress by hosting a world tournament qualifier

    SAN ANTONIO, Texas – If any team in America, Canada, or for that matter the world, can beat these numbers, speak up.

    For 118 years combined, the Rios family of San Antonio has been firmly entrenched in the men’s fastpitch game. Sixty-two of those years as a team of Rios’ dads, sons, uncles, cousins, grandkids, and 56 years hosting a Rios family run tournament.

    It all began with the patriarch of the family, Heldebrand “Chilolo” Rios, Jr., who after an injury ended his playing career in 1957, started the San Antonio Glowworms with its roster filled with Rios’ names. He steadfastly managed and coached the ball club until his death in 1998.

    Though he’s gone, the Rios family resolutely continues his devotion and love for the game.

    “My grandfather loved this sport,” said grandson David Rios. “It is an honor to carry on his tradition. I am proud to say that there has been a Rios playing men’s fastpitch since the 1930s, from my grandfather to my father and uncles to the grandchildren. We are blessed to carry on his legacy and keep his memory alive.”

    Click to continue reading “The Rios family’s San Antonio Glowworms steadfast devotion to men’s fastpitch softball”

    Men’s National Team training roster announced as 18 athletes selected to represent Team USA

    Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

    KEVIN CASTILLO, left, and JONATHAN LYNCH, have been selected to the 2019 USA Softball Men’s National Training Roster. Photo USA Softball

    JAN. 06, 2019, 8:47 P.M. (ET)
    OKLAHOMA CITY — The training roster for the 2019 USA Softball Men’s National Team (MNT) has been announced today as 18 athletes have been selected following three days of Selection Trials, USA Softball announced.

    Selected by members of the Men’s National Team Selection Committee (MNTSC), these athletes will compete in select tournaments/invitational events before the final 17-player roster for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Men’s World Championship and the 15-player roster for the Pan American Games will be finalized.

    “The players in attendance certainly made our job on the selection committee difficult,” said 2019 MNT Head Coach Gregg Leather (Staten Island, N.Y.). “There were a lot of talented players and the committee has assembled a team that gives the United States a great opportunity to capture Gold this summer at the WBSC World Championship and Pan American Games.”

    Click to continue reading “Men’s National Team training roster announced as 18 athletes selected to represent Team USA”

    Hennager men’s fastpitch softball team repeats as Minnesota state champs

    Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

    The Hennager Plumbing and Heating Men’s Fastpitch Softball Team repeated as Minnesota Class A Men’s  Fastpitch State Softball Champions, going 4-0 in last weekend’s tournament in Blaine, Minn. Team members include, front row, from left: Chris Bambenek, Minneapolis; Tyler Eickhoff, Fountain; Jake Dalton, Lake Crystal; Spencer Yackel, Rochester; Brent Meshke, Lake Crystal; and David Dewitz, Good Thunder. Back from, from left, is: Coach Blake Meshke, Lake Crystal; Brett Scheevel, Rochester; Ryan Scheevel, Rochester; Brandon Friedrichs, Lake Crystal; Derek Meshke, Brookings, S.D.; Josh Schroeder, Lake Crystal; and Robert Petersen, Pipestone. Photo By Sheryl Doering Meshke

    Walk-off home run wins repeat title for Lake Crystal ball club

    By Sheryl Doering Meshke
    Reporter / Photographer
    Aug. 5, 2018

    BLAINE, Minn. – The Hennager Plumbing and Heating Men’s Fastpitch Softball Team repeated as Minnesota Sports Federation Class A Men’s Fastpitch State Champions, going 4-0 this weekend at Aquatore Park in Blaine, Minn.

    As defending champs, the Hennager team — “Plumbers” — received a first-round bye. In the opening game, the hometown team defeated the Bombers of Fargo, N.D., 6-2. Brent Meshke of Lake Crystal, Minn., took the win, with five strikeouts. Collecting base hits were Jake Dalton, Lake Crystal, and Robert Petersen, Pipestone, Minn. Brent Meshke added a solo homer.

    Brent Meshke helped Hennager Plumbing and Heating of Lake Crystal win the 2018 Minnesota Men’s Class A State Fastpitch Championship, Aug. 5 in Blaine, Minn. Photo By Sheryl Doering Meshke

    Facing the St. Paul Pawns of St. Paul, Minn., the Hennager men won in a slugfest, 15-9. Brent Meshke and Ryan Scheevel, Rochester, Minn., shared duties on the mound. Collecting multiple hits for the Plumbers were Dalton; Brent Meshke; Petersen; Brandon Friedrichs, Lake Crystal; and Josh Schroeder, Lake Crystal. Petersen and Schroeder delivered home runs.

    Following a sixth-inning home run to tie the championship game, Josh Schroeder receives accolades from team members Jake Dalton, center, and Brent Meshke. Photo By Sheryl Doering Meshke

    To reach the championship game, the Plumbers defeated Minnesota Computers, St. Paul, 3-1, with Scheevel taking the win. He gave up six hits and struck out one. Dalton and Scheevel went two for four at the plate, with Scheevel securing a solo home run.

    In the championship game, the Plumbers defeated Striker’s Lanes of Baldwin, Wis., 6-4. Brent Meshke started in the circle. In the top of the first inning, the Strikers scored three runs. The Plumbers answered with three runs in the bottom of the first. Strikers scored again in the top of the fifth, to take a one-run lead.

    Scheevel relieved Brent Meshke in the sixth inning. In the bottom of the sixth, Schroeder hit a solo home run to tie the game, 4-4. With a final chance for the win in the bottom of the seventh inning, lead-off batter Dalton bunted for a single. Brent Meshke, in the third spot, hit a walk-off home run to win the title. Scheevel picked up the win.

    As Brent Meshke rounds third base, coach Blake Meshke gives a high five for the walk-off home run to win the state men’s fastpitch softball championship. Photo By Sheryl Doering Meshke

    Ryan Scheevel of Rochester, Minn. fires a pitch during the 2018 Minnesota Class A Men’s State Fastpitch Softball Tournament. Scheevel picked up the win in the championship game in a 6-4 victory over Striker’s Lanes. Photo By Sheryl Doering Meshke

    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.”

    Click to continue reading “Sprucing up Pierce Field to revitalize Aurora fastpitch league”

    Shaina’s Challenge is a summer fastpitch mainstay in Havre, Montana

    Friday, June 23rd, 2017

    2017 Shaina’s Challenge bracket includes nine teams, the highest number to play in the tournament since it started five years a go. Courtesy Photo

    By CHRIS PETERSON
    Havre Daily News

    HAVRE, Mont. – There are a lot of great summer sports traditions in Havre, but one of the finest is undoubtedly becoming the Shaina’s Challenge Men’s Fastpitch Tournament.

    Shaina’s Challenge, which was started five years ago, gets set for another incarnation of the tournament this weekend at the Sixth Avenue Memorial Field. The festivities will get underway Friday night with the Blue Pony Alumni Softball game set to start at 6.

    The tournament begins after that with Bear Paw Credit Union taking on Master Sports at 7:30, followed by Havre Ford against Missoula/Valley Furniture at 9 p.m. The final game Friday night will start at 10:30.

    The tournament was started five years ago in memory of Shania Evans and back then, it started with six teams, five of which came from Havre. But this weekend, nine teams will be in attendance, making Shaina’s Challenge the largest fastpitch tournament in the state over the past five years according to tournament organizer Patch Wirtzberger. The proceeds go to Havre Girls Fastpitch and the Shaina’s Challenge Scholarship.

    “It says a lot about the support we get from the community of Havre,” Wirtzberger said. “This couldn’t happen without all of our local sponsors, and the support of the fastpitch fans in our community. The last couple of years the interest from out of town teams has grown and that helps as well. Back when we started this tournament it was six teams with five of them being filled with local guys. Now it’s grown to nine teams with six of them being from out of Havre so it’s been quite the jump.”

    Click on this link to continue reading in the Havre Daily News.

    Reliving Memories of one of fastpitch softball’s greatest pitchers

    Monday, May 15th, 2017

    WITH THE GREATEST OF EASE
    Roy Burlison of the St. Louis Browns flies through the air before delivering a pitch to the plate in last night’s (June 16, 1973) professional softball game at Koch Park. Burlison tossed his third straight shutout, whipping the Philadelphia Patriots, 8-0. St. Louis Post-Dispatch Photo By W. Thomas Stewart

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. –Roy Burlison was one of the greatest fastpitch pitchers the sport has ever known. When his 27-year playing career came to an end in 1992, he had won over 770 games against the best teams in the world.

    In 1997 he was inducted into the Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame for an arm’s length of accomplishments: nine times competing in the ASA national tournament; twice selected Most Valuable Pitcher, and twice leading his teams to runner-up in the national championship.

    Burlison was also renowned as a coach, teaching hundreds of girls how to play the game the right way. But sadly on May 11, Burlison, 71, passed away (see Roller Homes obituary).

    His fastpitch legacy will live on, however, in the girls he coached, and with the players he both played with and against in his long and distinguished career.

    Let’s relive some of Burlison’s prowess with a stroll down memory lane…

    Click to continue reading “Reliving Memories of one of fastpitch softball’s greatest pitchers”

    Jack Grafmeier Men’s Fastpitch Tournament Features Eight Strong Teams

    Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

    Tin Cup’s Joel Cooley pitched Tin Cup of St. Paul, Minn. to the 2016 Jack Grafmeier Memorial Fastpitch Tournament championship. He returns with Tin Cup to seek back-to-back titles, June 2-4, in Kimberly. Photo By BOB OTTO

    KIMBERLY, Wisc. – The field is set with eight talented teams competing for the prestigious Jack Grafmeier Memorial Tournament championship at Sunset Park’s upper and lower diamonds in Kimberly, June 3-5.

    Tin Cup of St. Paul, Minn. returns as defending champion after defeating Dolan and Murphy (IL), 6-4, in the final.

    THE TEAMS

    Pool A

  • Circle Tap Lumberjacks, Denmark, WI
  • Hitters, Kimberly
  • Tin Cup, St. Paul, MN
  • Rice Lake Orangemen, Rice Lake, WI
  • Pool B

  • Stoneyard, Appleton, WI
  • Bar Buzz, Appleton, WI
  • Hustle Hogs, DeKalb, IL
  • Optimum Crush, Kenosha, WI
  • TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
    Click to view or download: 2017 Grafmeier Tournament

    TOURNAMENT INFORMATION
    Kimberly Recreation Association
    Justin Columbo
    jcolombo@humana.com
    bossdj32@yahoo.com
    Rainout number: 920-687-7890

    2017 George L. Cournoyer Sr. Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament

    Saturday, April 15th, 2017

    Expect plenty of fast-paced and exciting fastpitch action at the George L. Cournoyer Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

    WAGNER, So. Dak. – The 20th Annual George L. Cournoyer Sr. Men’s Fastpitch Tournament will be held in Wagner, South Dakota, June 16-18.

    For serious fastpitch teams, take note of the payout. It is impressive!

    TOURNAMENT DETAILS

  • Dates: June 16, 17, 18
  • Location: Wagner, So. Dak. (Two hour drive west of Sioux Falls.)
  • Entry Fee: $400 plus one softball
  • Deadline: June 1, 2017
  • PAYOUT
    1st place $3,000 and Hoodies
    2nd place $2,000 and Hoodies
    3rd place $1,500 and Sweatshirts
    4th place $1,000 and Sweatshirts
    *All prize money is guaranteed*

    AWARDS

  • Most Valuable Player: Hoodie and Star Quilt
  • Second Base: Bat, Bag and Star Quilt
  • Ten All-Tournament Sweaters
  • CONTACT INFORMATION
    Nick Cournoyer (605) 469-5336
    Krystle Cournoyer (605) 481-2764
    Joey Cournoyer Sr. (605) 384-3068
    On Facebook: George Cournoyer Memorial Tournament