Paul Algar

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Looking forward to the 2016 ISC World Tournament

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016
Wonderful, nostalgic Phil Welch Stadium with its covered wooden bleachers in St. Joseph, Missouri, hosted the 2000 ISC World Tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

Wonderful, nostalgic Phil Welch Stadium with its covered wooden bleachers in St. Joseph, Missouri, hosted the 2000 ISC World Tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

MOLINE, Ill. – It’s been 17 years since I attented an ISC World Tournament, and that was at St. Joseph, Missouri in 2000 where the Decatur (IL) Pride won the championship by defeating the Broken Bow (Neb.) Travelers 2-1 at Phil Welch Stadium.

But after this long hiatus, I’ll be heading to Moline, Ill. and Green Valley Sports Complex to watch the final three days of the tournament as the best club teams the sport has to offer battle from Aug. 13-20 for the 2016 ISC World Championship.

The great Peter Meredith of Salt Lake City Larry Miller Toyota fires a pitch during the 2000 ISC World Tournament at Phil Welch Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri. Meredith's ISC career extended from 1980-2001. He finished No. 2  all-time in world tournament victories with 60. Photo By BOB OTTO

The great Peter Meredith of Salt Lake City Larry Miller Toyota fires a pitch during the 2000 ISC World Tournament at Phil Welch Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri. Meredith’s ISC career extended from 1980-2001. He finished No. 2 all-time in world tournament victories with 60. Photo By BOB OTTO

The players I once photographed have since left the game. No longer do White, Algar, Meredith, Rychcik, Abbot, Sorenson, Martin, Middleton, Boys, Zack, Wahl, Martie, Miljavac, Walford, Tangaroa, Schott, Seaman, Makea, Wallin and Wiebe…and so many other great stars of fastball of a bygone era thrill fans with their amazing talent.

But the current stars, of this new era are every bit as talented as the old guard. Stars such as Folkard, Jones, McCullough, Shailes, Kronk, Zechman, Mata, Cleary, Ellsworth, Ezekiel, Johnson and Mancha…will try with every ounce of their talent and toughness to win a world championship for their teams.

Let the games begin!

At the 2000 ISC World Tournament, a then young Billy Sizemore got St. Joseph Meierhoffer pitcher Chris Bigelow to autograph his softball. Bigelow (2-2, 0.88 ERA) helped St. Joseph finish fourth at 6-2 in the 48 team tournament.  Photo By BOB OTTO

At the 2000 ISC World Tournament, a then young Billy Sizemore got St. Joseph Meierhoffer pitcher Chris Bigelow to autograph his softball. Bigelow (2-2, 0.88 ERA) helped St. Joseph finish fourth at 6-2 in the 48 team tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

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.”

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Rod Peterson and the Farm Tavern’s legacy begins at 1996 ISC World Tournament

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

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Boyd Dahlman drilled a home run that helped the Farm Tavern defeat Broken Bow, Neb. Qualigraph, 5-4, in the quarterfinals of the 1996 ISC World Tournament and is greeted by his teammates as he crosses home plate. Photo By BOB OTTO

KIMBERLY, WISC. – The big question at the 1996 ISC World Tournament: Would this be the year that Rod Peterson and his Farm Tavern ball club of Madison would finally win a world championship?

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Cal-State Builders claim third consecutive NAFA Masters West championship

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

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By Dave Carlton / Owner and Manager, Cal-State Builders

CARSON CITY, NEV – The Cal-State Builders made its annual trip to Carson City, Sept. 13-15, with hopes of retaining the NAFA Masters World Series West 40-Over crown. The same rag-tag group from the previous two years consisted of 12-men (with newcomer Scott Budnick, Bothell, WA, and veteran Mario Pereira, Roseville, CA) who put their skills to the test as tough competition loomed.

The Portland Brewers – narrowly defeated last year at the hands of Cal-State ace Kevin Kammueller (Shakopee, MN) – were hungry to redeem the loss. The Boston Seadogs, eliminated in 2012 by Portland in a dramatic extra-inning walk-off, were similarly eager to avenge the past.

Ten hopefuls entered the NAFA West Masters, with Cal-State, Portland, and Boston opposite each other in separate pools.

    Cal-State 11, SoCal Quakes 0

Rain and heavy wind suspended Friday’s games deep into the night. Game one slated for 8 p.m. finally got started around 10:30. The SoCal Quakes sent veteran Doug Rooney to the mound to face Cal-State’s iconic big-man Kammueller.

The Builders showed no ill effects from the rain delay as they quickly plated seven runs in the top of the first inning, sending 13 men to the plate. Dean Waltier highlighted a six-hit inning with a two-run blast to the right field corner. Both Randy “The Hammer” Bitterman and Darin Michael posted two hits each, while Mark Summers and Scott Budnick added walks.

Former Builder Mario Pereira, who took a few years off from the team, added a base hit, and Duane Christensen began his path to tournament MVP with a single.

Kammueller began where he left off at the ISC World Tournament (ISC II All-World pitcher) by pounding the strike zone with nasty corners and wicked movement. The Quakes mustered three hits in the mercy-shortened contest but could not score a run off the stingy Builder’s ace.

Former University of Arizona standout Debby Day, the only female pitcher to ever pitch at the men’s event, took over for Rooney in the top of the second and held off the Builders until the fourth, when pinch-hitter Larry Machado got a rally started with a clean single.

kammueller.kevin.246web Kevin Kammueller shows the form that earned him ISC II All-World and NAFA Masters All-World. Photo By BOB OTTO / June 2013 California Classic Fastpitch Tournament

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Still pitching, Lexington’s Algar enters softballl Hall

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Paul Algar, the 1997 ISC World Tournament Most Outstanding Pitcher in Victoria BC Canada. Photo By BOB OTTO

By Randy Kindred / Pantagraph Sports Reporter
rkindred@pantagraph.com

LEXINGTON, IL — Thirty years after making his International Softball Congress debut, Paul Algar was inducted into the ISC Hall of Fame last week in Midland, Mich. The Lexington resident also was pitching for the Quad City Sox in the annual ISC World Tournament.

Closing in on his 48th birthday, Algar may not be done yet. He already has two offers to pitch next summer.

“It’s a possibility,” he said. “It just depends on what my mindset is and how my body feels. I’m not as good as I used to be, but I’m a lot smarter than I used to be.”


Born in New Zealand, Paul Algar came to the U.S. to pitch for American club teams, including the Farm Tavern of Madison, Wisconsin. Photo By BOB OTTO

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Paul Algar still has the fire

Sunday, October 30th, 2011


Paul Algar pitching in the 2011 California Classic. Photo By Bob Otto

LEXINGTON, IL – Some 30 years a go, Paul Algar journeyed from his New Zealand homeland for the fastball-playing shores of the United States. Just 17 at the time in 1982, he was fast making a name for himself as one of the best young pitchers in the world.

But let’s back up for a moment.

Before Paul came along, his older brother Loren was already an established pitcher, and his dad, Ray, was a pretty fair first baseman on the ball diamonds of Wellington and Melrose.

Father and brother had set a path that young Paul eagerly followed. And one that ultimately landed him a seat in the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame.

“Watching my brother pitch, I wanted to follow in his footsteps,” said Algar, 47, adding that Loren is 11 years older. “I would practice on the sidelines while Loren pitched.”

And Paul practiced and practiced, and practiced some more, says his dad, Ray.

“Ever since he was a kid, he practiced hard by himself,” Ray Algar said. “He would gather a whole bunch of balls and throw at targets on a wall. He would spend two to three hours and then come home for a soft drink and then back to his pitching.”

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Todd Budke, from the bleachers to the ISC Hall of Fame

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

LANCASTER, CA – Back in the early 1990s, Todd Budke sat in the bleachers at a Palmdale city league game dressed in attire more befitting a day at the beach than on the ball diamond. Then came the call. A team on the field was short a player.

“You want to play?” the manager asked him.

Budke thought, hey, why not.

“They pulled me out of the stands and I was wearing shorts and flip-flops,” Budke says with a chuckle. “The first batter was a slapper and he hit me with the ball. I had three at bats and did put the ball in play, so they asked me back.”

From that less than stellar start, Budke went on to become one of the most feared and respected hitters in International Softball Congress (ISC) World Tournament history.

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Paul “poster boy” Algar

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Sharing a memory of Paul Algar
By David Spring

Quad Cities, IL – My wife had no time at all for our game, and cut me loose, much to my advantage, whenever I expressed a compulsion to attend the next fastpitch tourney wherever and whenever it landed.

This lasted until one fine Saturday morning at the absolute best of all fastpitch tournies, Neil Fennell’s Perth Shootout. I’d dragged her there and Paul Algar was in the circle for the first game of the day. I’d told her little, and when he walked to the rubber, she said to me:

“My God, are they all like this?” And when, some hours later, she answered her own question, she said to me, “You know David, that man is the absolute poster boy for fastpitch softball.”

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