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Farmersville Haymakers overcome slow start, finish strong with Elkland and NAFA World Series titles

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
2016 FARMERSVILLE HAYMAKERS, 2016 NAFA World Series, AA-Division Champions: The team includes James Gilbert, Dustin Rutt, Fernando Lombardo, Brandon Rutt, Justin Zimmerman, Kliff Zimmerman, Jerlin Rutt, Duane Weiler, Rich Sauder, Phil Zimmerman, Jake Rutt, Logan Rutt, and coach Merlin High. Courtesy Photo

2016 FARMERSVILLE HAYMAKERS, 2016 NAFA World Series, AA-Division Champions: The team includes James Gilbert, Dustin Rutt, Fernando Lombardo, Brandon Rutt, Justin Zimmerman, Kliff Zimmerman, Jerlin Rutt, Duane Weiler, Rich Sauder, Phil Zimmerman, Jake Rutt, Logan Rutt, Matt Sheaffer and coach Merlin High. Courtesy Photo

“The beginning of year it took us awhile to bond as a team and we weren’t playing the best, but by the end of the year we meshed as a team and finished out strong. It was a fun ride!” – Haymakers coach Merlin High

EPHRATA, PA – Average. Ordinary. Mediocre. Not the kind of tags competitive athletes or teams want to be labeled with. It means you’re OK, but you’ve done nothing to distinguish yourself.

That was the kind of season the Farmersville Haymakers were having, hovering around .500, finishing third at 13-12 in the Stevens’ Northend Softball League, third in the league playoffs…you get the picture.

As coach Merlin High said, at the start of the year, “we weren’t playing the best.”

But as the sporting cliché goes: it’s not how you start, but how you finish that counts. And what a finish, what a stunning turnaround the Haymakers pulled off.

    WEILER CLICKS, WINNING STREAK STARTS

And it all started at the NAFA World Series in North Mankato, Minnesota where the Haymakers delivered some big blows to go 5-0 and win the AA-Division championship.

“Things started to click at the start of the NAFA World Series,” said player / pitcher Justin Zimmerman.

And in fastpitch, “to click” starts with pitching. And with Duane Weiler as a late- season addition, the Haymakers fortunes shot upward like a NASA rocket.

Click to continue reading “Farmersville Haymakers overcome slow start, finish strong with Elkland and NAFA World Series titles”

Important links to the 2016 NAFA World Series

Monday, August 15th, 2016
Caswell Park in North Mankato, Minnesota is hosting the 2016 NAFA World Series, Aug. 11-21.

Caswell Park in North Mankato, Minnesota is hosting the 2016 NAFA World Series, Aug. 11-21.

NORTH MANKATO, Minn. – Want to know who’s winning? Who’s leading the tournament in pitching, hitting, and fielding?

    For all things concerning the NAFA World Series at Caswell Park in North Mankato, visit these important links

  • World Series Divisions
  • Playnafa Results and Stats
  • NAFA Website
  • Caswell Park
  • Caswell Park Sports
  • Thank You,
    Benjie Hedgecock
    NAFA Executive Director
    503-559-5398
    Nafafastpitch@gmail.com

    NAFA Announces 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

    Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
    The North American Fastpitch Association offers World Series tournaments for all caliber of players - from age 23-Under to Masters, 65-over. Visit www.nafafastpitch.com for information to register your team.

    The North American Fastpitch Association offers World Series tournaments for all caliber of players – from age 23-Under to Masters, 65-over. Visit www.nafafastpitch.com for information to register your team.

    DAYTON, OR – The North American Fastpitch Association announced that eight individuals – six players, one umpire and a coach / sponsor – will be inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame at ceremonies held at various World Series during the 2016 season.

    2016 HALL OF FAME MEMBERS

    Umpire

  • Steve Komoroski, Wisc.
  • Coach / Sponsor

  • Doug Smith, New Jersey
  • Players

  • Kyle Goslee, Minn.
  • Chad Osterman, Minn.
  • Colin McKenzie, BC, Canada
  • Trevor Knight, Wash.
  • Duane Clarkson, Manitoba, Canada
  • Mario Pereira, Calif.
  • The 2016 NAFA World Series

  • Open World Series, Fife (Seattle), Wash., July 22-24
  • Boys Youth, Vassar, Mich., July 30-31
  • AA-Major, Quad Cities, IA/IL, Aug. 19-21
  • A-Major, Mankato / North Mankato, Minn., Aug. 11-14
  • Wood Bat Nationals Upper Midwest, Mankato / North Mankato, Aug. 12-14
  • Wood Bat Nationals Lower Midwest, Newton, KS, July 30-31
  • Wood Bat Nationals West, Albuquerque, NM, Aug. 27-28
  • A and AA Divsions, Mankato / North Mankato, Aug. 18-21
  • 23-Under, Mankato / North Mankato, Aug. 19-21
  • Masters East, Niagara Falls, NY, Aug. 26-28
  • Masters Midwest, Quad Cities, Sept. 9-11
  • Masters West, Carson City, NV, Sept. 16-18
  • NAFA CONTACT INFORMATION
    Benjie Hedgecock, Executive Director
    email: Nafafastpitch@gmail.com
    cell: 503-559-5398
    work: 503-864-4487
    fax: 503-864-3939
    P.O. Box 566
    Dayton, OR 97114

    Gluckman edges Cooley in pitchers duel to give Maccabi USA Palm Springs Classic championship

    Monday, March 28th, 2016
    Maccabi USA claimed the 2016 Palm Springs Classic with a 1-0 victory over the So. Calif. Bandits. Courtesy photo

    Maccabi USA claimed the 2016 Palm Springs Classic with a 1-0 victory over the So. Calif. Bandits. Courtesy photo

    By JESSE ORTIZ / President SCIFL

    PALMS SPRINGS, Calif. – The So. Calif. Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL) opened the 2016 season at DeMuth Park in Palm Springs, Mar. 12-13, but it almost didn’t happen because rain threatened the tournament the day before. Luckily the weather cleared up and the tournament was able to proceed. There were six teams that participated in the Palm Springs Classic.

    On Saturday after the Round Robin was complete, the So Cal Bandits took the No. 1 seed going undefeated, followed by Pala, Maccabi USA, Beaumont Coyotes, So Cal Heat, and Team DM.

    Click to continue reading “Gluckman edges Cooley in pitchers duel to give Maccabi USA Palm Springs Classic championship”

    ISC Releases Promotional Video to Baseball Coaches

    Saturday, February 13th, 2016
    Matt Palazzo (Des Moines, Iowa) played college baseball at Iowa State University and then made the full time transition to fastpitch softball. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Matt Palazzo (Des Moines, Iowa) played college baseball at Iowa State University and then made the full time transition to fastpitch softball. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Findlay, OH – The International Softball Congress is reaching out to high-school and college baseball coaches across the United States with a new recruiting video to entice new players into men’s fastball.

    Featuring interviews with many of today’s fastball stars, including, Matt Palazzo, 2015 USA Softball Male Fast Pitch Athlete of the Year.

    This new video Invitation To Coaches is now available on the ISC website at www.iscfastpitch.com as well as on the ISC Facebook page www.facebook.com/isc.fastpitch.

    Palazzo, who played baseball at Iowa State University, said:

    “I immediately fell in love with the game, especially from a baseball background. It’s faster paced, low scoring and tougher to hit …and I just fell in love with it right from day one.”

    Palazzo, who is a member of the U.S. men’s national team, plays for the New York Gremlins in ISC play. Continue Reading

    Algar, Sorenson and Abbott Anchor (hypothetical) World-Class Fastpitch Team

    Saturday, February 13th, 2016
    Paul Algar pitching in the 1997 ISC World Tournament, leading the Farm Tavern of Madison, Wisc. to its first world tournament championship. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Paul Algar pitching in the 1997 ISC World Tournament, leading the Farm Tavern of Madison, Wisc. to its first world tournament championship. Photo By BOB OTTO

    YUCAIPA, Calif. – Many great players have starred in the International Softball Congress World Tournament. Zack and White, Zimmerman and Stofflet, Paton and Rychcik have become iconic names in the 69 years of the greatest men’s fastpitch tournament in the world.

    But if a sponsor and manager were to assemble a world-class ball club capable of winning the World Tournament, could he do any better than drafting these three ball players: Paul Algar, Mark Sorenson and Colin Abbott.

    All three have since retired from the sport, but based on their resumes, they deserve status in the most hallowed club in any sport – “Greatest of All-Time.”

    Click to continue reading “Algar, Sorenson and Abbott Anchor (hypothetical) World-Class Fastpitch Team”

    2014 NAFA World Series Book Ready To Order

    Monday, August 17th, 2015

    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.

    Final stage of 2014 NAFA World Series magazine

    Wednesday, March 4th, 2015
    The front cover, left, and collage page of my soon to be released 2014 NAFA World Series magazine. Photo Illustration By BOB OTTO

    The front cover, left, and collage page of my soon to be released 2014 NAFA World Series magazine. Photo Illustration By BOB OTTO

    YUCAIPA, Calif. – I’ve reached page 93 with about seven left and my magazine (8.5 x 11 inches) about the 2014 NAFA World Series will be finished after four months work.

    Content will include:

  • Championship game stories
  • Feature stories
  • Hall of Fame stories
  • Over 125 action and team photos
  • The magazine will be published and available through Blurb.

    I’ll post as soon as the magazine is available for preview on Blurb.

    Thursday’s Turning Back The Pages: Remembering Brian Paton, one of Canada’s greatest fastpitch players

    Thursday, October 30th, 2014

    Brian Paton ISC HofF.7lr

    Paying tribute to Brian Paton, who was inducted into the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame in 2011. Photo By BOB OTTO / 1995 ISC World Tournament

    Woodstock, Ontario, CA – Brian Paton played in 12 consecutive International Softball Congress World Tournaments and was a member of three ISC championship teams – twice with the Toronto, Ontario Gators (1993-95) and with the Smokers of Tampa Bay, Florida (1998).

    In 1995, he helped to lead the Toronto Gators in their amazing come-back week to capture the ISC title in Sioux City, Iowa. In so doing, Paton established a new record for hits in a tournament (17) and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

    Patrolling centre field, he was one the best at stealing what appeared to be “sure-hits” and limiting base runners to singles. He was not simply a member of great teams – those teams enjoyed their successes in no small part as a result of Brian’s leadership – witness his nine “top-four” finishes in ISC world tournaments.

    Paton has numerous other notable softball accomplishments, including playing for Team Canada (1985-2002) and helping his country win four Pan-Am gold medals and silver and gold in the International Softball Federation World Championship.

  • Information courtesy of the International Softball Congress. For more information about world tournaments, statistics, photos, record-setting achievements, and more, please visit the: ISC website.
  • USA defeats Cuba in IX Pan Am games

    Sunday, October 26th, 2014
    Matt Palazzo (Des Moines, Iowa) drove in two runs to help Team USA defeat Cuba, 4-2, in the Pan American games on Sunday. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Matt Palazzo (Des Moines, Iowa) drove in two runs to help Team USA defeat Cuba, 4-2, in the Pan American games on Sunday. Photo By BOB OTTO

    PARANA, ARGENTINA – The pitching was steady, the hitting sufficient enough, and the USA Men’s National Fastpitch Team defeated Cuba 4-2 in the IX Pan American games, on Sunday.

    Click to continue reading “USA defeats Cuba in IX Pan Am games”