Midland Explorers Men’s Fastpitch Softball

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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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