Midland Explorers Booster Club

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Midland County Sports Hall of Fame: Isenhart’s induction an honor to family, friends, fastpitch

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Midland Daily News
Joel Barnhart
Monday, May 1, 2017
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MIDLAND, Mich. – To those who knew him best, the late Leland “Lee” Isenhart was an unselfish man who loved fastpitch softball and worked tirelessly to grow the game in Midland.

With his upcoming induction into the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame in a May 13 ceremony at Dow Diamond, the humble man who spent his life dedicated to helping others will be honored in a way he never would have asked for, but certainly deserved.

“I think everyone in the softball community around town thinks this is well-deserved,” said Eric Isenhart, one of five children of Lee and the late Mary Jane Isenhart, who were married for 58 years. “My dad did a lot getting fastpitch softball here. He and Lefty (Bartos) did so much for the game to keep it alive in Midland.”

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Midland gearing up for ASA boys’ national championships and ISF World Championship

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015


MIDLAND, Mich. – Midland has long played host to championship tournaments in men and boys’ fastpitch softball. As recently as 2010 and 2012, Midland hosted the International Softball Congress (ISC) World Tournament.

And once again – led by the Midland Explorers Booster Club – the city will roll out the welcome mat, July 30 to Aug. 2, when three Amateur Softball Association (ASA) national championships will be held at Emerson Park for the boys, the young men’s age 23-under, and the Masters 40-older divisions.

“All the divisions promise to be very competitive,” said David Lach of the booster club, who also serves as the tournament director in a press release. “We wanted to provide ‘fastpitch dads’ an opportunity to spend a long weekend playing adjacent to their sons in a national championship.”

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2012 ISC Under-21 World Championship, Aug. 16-18

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

By DAVID LACH / July 27, 2012
Midland Explorers Booster Club

“Fans and team supporters should brace to see a very high level of play during the ISC Under-21 World Championship…around 20 pitchers in the tournament will reach speeds of 70-75 mph or higher” – David Lach

MIDLAND, MI – Planning for the 2012 ISC Under-21 World Championship is almost complete. The tournament is scheduled for Aug 16-18 in Midland, MI, during the final weekend of the ISC World Tournament.

Building upon the success of the 2010 ISC Under-19 event, we have attracted 15 talented teams to this year’s ISC Under-21 World Championship.

Our vision for the ISC development tournaments in 2010 and 2012 was two-fold:

    1. Create a format which attracts strong competition for young players.
    2. Expose young talented players to the best teams and players in the world.

The fundamental goal is to motivate and inspire these young players to become future stars.

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Junior Explorers: New program could produce next generation of Midland Explorers’ players

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

MIDLAND, MI – Young players like Auburn’s Jon Gwizdala are excited to be part of a brand-new program that could produce the next generation of fastpitch softball players for the Midland Explorers.

Gwizdala, 21, is a pitcher for the 21-and-under Midland Junior Explorers, who will play in the International Softball Congress 21U Tournament in Midland in August.

“It’s really exciting to be on the team,” said Gwizdala, who played baseball at Bay City Western and is a student at Delta College. “It’s exciting because it’s something new (on the fastpitch scene) and something new for the younger players.

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Lower level city leagues needed for fastpitch revival

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

YUCAIPA – I read today that the Midland Explorers men’s fastpitch softball team will field a Junior Explorers age 21-Under team for 2012.

From the news release, I gathered the purpose two fold: to have a host team for the Under-21 young men’s tournament that will be a part of the 2012 ISC World Tournament in Midland, and as an effort to help revive a sport that has been in rapid decline since the mid-1990s.

I commend Dave Lach for undertaking the effort as the manager of the Junior Explorers. Persuading boys’, and young men – high school and college ages – to join the fastpitch game during their baseball playing days, or after their hardball careers are over, has been a daunting task.

Many well-intentioned coaches and sponsors have undertaken the tremendous task of starting boys’ and young men’s teams. Some have found success. But many more have failed. Finding the recruiting, training pitchers and players, too difficult and time-consuming a task. Ultimately conceding the sport to the female side in which fastpitch has flourished.

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Midland Explorers Booster Club

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

The Midland Explorers Booster Club

“Excellence in Fastpitch Softball since 1987”

MIDLAND, MI – It looks like winter has finally moved out and Spring is on the horizon, which means another summer of Midland Explorers softball. The 2010 season was one of the biggest in the team’s history as the Explorers Booster Club hosted the ISC World Tournament at Emerson Park and Redcoats Complex. The City of Midland and softball fans from all over the country turned out for the tournament and made it one of the best ever. 2010 was the Explorers 25th year of Major-level Fastpitch.

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Momentum building for the ISC World Tournament, thanks in large part to the Booster Club

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

“…the World Tournament is more than just a softball tournament; it’s a community event that will impact various parts of our area…” – Kyle Beane, president of Midland Explorers Booster Club

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MIDLAND, MI – One man with one good idea can bring about profound change.

Lefty Bartos is one such man. In February 1986 Bartos conceived the idea to form a booster club to help support major men’s fastpitch softball in Midland.

And from his idea sprang the Midland Explorers Booster Club. The club recently celebrated its 24th year of existence. And it’s still going strong.

Lefty has retired after many years of service to the club. But he hasn’t been forgotten.

“I’m not sure who was on the original committee that began the process, but Lefty was the driving force behind it,” said Kyle Beane, president of the Booster Club. “It was created to help support a major men’s fastpitch team in Midland that would carry on the tradition of Midland McArdles, Valley Mechanical, and the Dow AC’s.

“But without Lefty there would be no Explorers.”

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Kyle Beane gets it

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Kyle Beane,left, pictured with his father, Clint. Kyle is the Co-chairperson of the 2010 ISC World Tournament and plays for the Midland Explorers, which is managed by his dad.
Photo By Maddy Flanagan


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YUCAIPA, CA – I don’t know what Kyle Beane does for a living. But I suspect it has something to do with sales or marketing.

Beane along with Dave Lach are the Co-chairmen of the 2010 International Softball Congress World Tournament to be held in Midland, Michigan, Aug. 14-21. And I am learning fast that it would be hard to find two finer promoters for the tournament – and the sport of men’s fastpitch softball.

Recently Beane sent an email to several people including myself. He asked for help in promoting the world tournament by writing a series of stories about the 48 teams playing in the tournament.

“…Throughout the course of the ISC, and leading up to it, we’re hoping to do some things that other hosts haven’t done,” Bean said in his email. “One thing is to provide a unique team profile, article, and feature on our website of all 48 teams…. probably starting around May 1st, and adding three to four per week leading up to the beginning of the tournament.”

What a great idea. And one long overdue.

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Fastpitch softball fans, plan now to attend the 2010 ISC World Tournament

Friday, August 28th, 2009

ISC header

MIDLAND, MICHIGAN – The 2010 International Softball Congress (ISC) Men’s Fastpitch Softball World Tournament, along with the ISC II Tournament of Champions is coming to Midland, Aug. 14-21, 2010.

The ISC World Tournament features some of the world’s best teams and players from the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, South and Central Americas, and Europe. While the ISC II Tournament of Champions showcases the top teams from the U.S. and Canada.

Never seen the the male side of fastpitch softball? Then take a look at the 2000 ISC World Tournament that was held in St. Joseph, Missouri. These are the kind of thrills and action you will see when you attend the 2010 ISC World Tournament in Midland, Mich. Aug 14-21.
Photos By BOB OTTO

So fastpitch fans, plan early to attend the eight day event at Midland, a city long steeped in men’s fastpitch softball tradition. In the 2009 ISC World Tournament, the Midland Explorers finished 9th in the 24-team event with a 4-2 record.

The Midland Explorers Booster Club and Host Committee is pleased to announce it’s website for the 2010 ISC World Tournament and ISC II Tournament of Champions at:


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