Pat Bucknell

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The Natural heads into the NAFA Hall of Fame

Saturday, July 30th, 2016


Trevor Knight will be inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame at ceremonies during the 2016 NAFA World Series in North Mankato and Mankato, Minnesota.

OLYMPIA, Wash – Pat Bucknell has managed and coached his share of teams and players over his long career in men’s fastpitch. He has won NAFA World Series championships with some very fine athletes in his stable.

One of the finest? Shortstop and third baseman Trevor Knight of Olympia, Washington.

“He was a natural,” said Bucknell, “one heck of a ball player. If he had chosen, I think he could have played pro ball. He was that good.”

Just how good?

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NAFA’s opening day highlighted by Hall of Fame ceremonies

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

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Matt Palazzo, Josh Johnson and Jeff Jahn were inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame during ceremonies, Wednesday. Photo By BOB OTTO

DES MOINES – NAFA inducted several of its top performers and contributors into the Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the Greater Des Moines Softball Complex, Wednesday night.

Matt Palazzo of Des Moines; Josh Johnson, Brooklyn, Wisc.; Jeff Jahn, Oregon, Wisc.; Eric Steinbeck, Hermann, MO.; Darin Michael, Lacey, Wash., and Mark Miller, Appleton, Wisc. were all inducted.

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Darin Michael, left, was inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame, and presented by Lacey A’s manager and NAFA Founder, Pat Bucknell, Wednesday night. Photo By BOB OTTO

Kegel Black Knights in fastpitch for the long haul

Friday, July 26th, 2013

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2013 Marks the 30th anniversary of Kegel fastpitch in Fargo, North Dakota.

FARGO, N.D. – In men’s fastpitch, some teams stick around about as long as it takes a sprinter to run a 100-yard dash. They come and go in the blink of an eye.

But a few teams, like marathoners, stay the steady course. They’re in it for the long haul.

Count the Kegel Black Knights of Fargo in that class, for 2013 marks the 30-year anniversary that Jon Kegel has been sponsoring teams.

Kegel got into the sport in high school after an announcement came over the intercom to start a team. Just 18 at the time, he wasted no time in not only playing, but starting his own boys’ team – the Kegel Juniors.

“I thought it might be fun and totally fell in love with the sport,” said Kegel, 48, adding that he also talked his dad, David, who owned Kegel Sign into sponsoring a team for the Fargo men’s league. “He loved fastpitch and he loved supporting me.”

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Want to play in TWO national tournaments with a defending champion?

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

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OLYMPIA, Wash. Well, here’s your chance. The Lacey A’s men’s fastpitch team that won the 2012 NAFA AA World Series is looking for an outfielder and middle infielder to play in the NAFA AA-Major and in the ISC World Tournament.

Field Manager Pat Bucknell says the team can take care of the motel, but you must be able to get to Des Moines for the NAFA and the Quad Cities for the ISC.

Contact Pat Bucknell at:
360-791-9121 cell
360-456-1525 home
pat.bucknell@gmail.com

Talented speedster selected to NAFA Hall of Fame

Monday, July 8th, 2013

“He has pinpoint accuracy with his slap bunts and has the speed to match. He has taught me to always be one play ahead of what is happening in the outfield.” – Lacey A’s Pat Sagdal on teammate Darin Michael, Hall of Fame inductee.

OLYMPIA, WA – In 1981, a 14-year-old boy raced on to a softball diamond as a fill-in for his dad’s fastpitch team. Now 33 years later, Darin Michael’s talent and speed have carried him to the highest of honors.

In August, Michael will be inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame during the World Series in Des Moines, Iowa. He joins just 32 players who have been inducted since NAFA’s founding in 1993.

“I am humbled and honored to be selected to the NAFA Hall of Fame,” said the 45-year-old Michael. “Fastpitch has been a way of life for me and I am truly blessed to still compete at the level I do.”

VETERAN BATS LEADOFF
Michael plays the outfield and bats leadoff for the Lacey A’s (WA), a NAFA AA-Major ball club. Remember now, he’s 45. An age when most players are past their prime in running down and diving for line drives.

But time has treated Michael kindly. His skills have remained in tact, says his manager Pat Bucknell, who has known Michael most of his life. Bucknell cites Michael’s ability: a switch-hitting slapper who can also drive the ball from the right side; an outfielder with a strong arm.

But one skill stands out – speed.

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The 2013 NAFA Hall of Famers, an exceptional class

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

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Josh Johnson, an outstanding hitter and pitcher from Wisconsin, who was on the 2013 USA Men’s National Team, will be inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the NAFA World Series in Des Moins, Iowa, Aug. 7-18. Photo By BOB OTTO

NAFA NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS – The North American Fastpitch Association began in 1993. In those 21 years of offering men’s fastpitch national tournaments, hundreds of great sponsors, managers, players, directors and umpires have participated under the NAFA banner.

But there’s a select few who have risen to the top of the sport – we call them the “best of the best.”

Since 1999, NAFA has inducted 46 players, managers, sponsors, umpires and contributors into its Hall of Fame – legendary players such as Todd Malnory (WI) in 2007; manager Leo Blakley (MO) in 2012; sponsors Merna and Elmer Wilber (WI) in ’12; and NAFA founder Pat Bucknell (WA) in 1999.

As in the past, this year’s class is exceptional. All nine will be inducted during the NAFA World Series in Des Moines, Iowa from Aug. 7 to 18.

palazzo.matt.361web Matt Palazzo of Iowa will be inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the NAFA World Series. Palazzo was a 2013 USA Men’s National Team member.

    Meet NAFA’s 2013 Hall of Fame class:
  • Mark Miller, sponsor, Appleton, WI
  • Matt Palazzo, player, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Jeff “Teddy” Jahn, player, Oregon, WI
  • Eric Steinbeck, player, Hermann, MO
  • Josh Johnson, player, Brooklyn, WI
  • Darin Michael, player, Olympia, WA
  • Rick Radloff, player, Madison, WI
  • Ed Gasper, player, Stockton, CA
  • Tadashi Yoshimura, Coach, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
  • SHARE MEMORIES
    Stories and bios about the Hall of Famers will be published until the NAFA World Series starts on August 7. If you have played with or against, or know these gentlemen, please post comments about your memories of them.

    Bucknell Park A’s off to fast start, aiming for NAFA title

    Thursday, June 14th, 2012

    “We’re a solid group that puts up a lot of runs. One through nine, we are tough outs.” – Kasey Knight, A’s infielder

    LACEY, WA – The Bucknell Park A’s have started the season firing on all cylinders in carving out a 12-0 record. But one cylinder in particular has been humming along without a single misfire: pitcher Shawn Koster.

    The 24-year-old from Victoria, BC, Canada owns a perfect 8-0 record with a 0.00 ERA. In 37 innings, the right-hander hasn’t allowed a single earned run, while striking out 91 batters and walking eight.

    “He’s a fairly hard thrower and he’s got all the pitches,” said A’s coach Dave Michalak. “He’s got a great change-up that he’s worked really hard on. He’s very aggressive and goes after hitters.”

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    Pat Bucknell, putting teams and players first

    Wednesday, June 13th, 2012


    Without the inspiration and drive of Pat Bucknell to start NAFA, many players such as these, may not have had the opportunity to compete in a national tournament such as the 2012 NAFA World Series, which will be held in Topeka, KS from Aug. 9 to 19 where nearly 200 teams are expected to compete.

    LACEY, WA – Perhaps the greatest lifetime epitaph one can hope for is “he gave something back.”

    That pretty much summarizes Pat Bucknell’s long tenure with men’s fastpitch. For over 50 years Bucknell has given back to the sport he professes that he just can’t seem to pull himself away from.

    He’s been a player and a manager competing in all the men’s fastpitch national tournaments: the International Softball Congress, the Amateur Softball Association, and the National Softball Association.

    And of course NAFA – the North American Fastpitch Association that he founded 20 years a go in March. With Bucknell leading the way, NAFA opened up a whole new world of fastpitch for the male side of the sport.

    “Pat Bucknell was instrumental in the development of men’s fastpitch at a crucial time in the sport’s history,” said Benjie Hedgecock, NAFA Executive Director. “His thinking was always years ahead; although, he always held to men’s fastpitch traditions. NAFA continues to be the leader by holding those traditions firm, while staying a step ahead by listening to what the teams’ want.”

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    Columbia Basin Invitational draws top teams, scores high marks

    Tuesday, May 29th, 2012


    K-Club finishes third in inaugural Columbia Basin Tournament

    MOSES LAKE, WA – Ryan Welsh couldn’t have hit the ball much better, and in the circle, Rick Kolda was in mid-season form. But their efforts weren’t quite enough as K-Club finished third in its own inaugural Columbia Basin Men’s Fastpitch Invitational, May 12-13, in Moses Lake, Washington.

    Welsh blistered the ball at a 10-for-17 pace (.588 batting average), along with three home runs, and Kolda won three games (3-0), to help K-Club finish third with a 4-1 record.

    Despite coming up short in the title hunt, K-Club manager Mike Kolda deemed the eight-team tournament a huge success.

    “The feedback from the teams and players was that they thought the tournament was outstanding and greatly appreciated,” Kolda said. “All the teams said they were definitely returning next year.”


    Rick Kolda was 3-0 in the tournament.

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