St. James Merchants men’s fastpitch

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Long Lost Fastpitch Friends Reunite

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

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YUCAIPA, Calif. – Reuniting with old friends is such a wonderful feeling. 1995 marks the last time I had seen or heard from Craig Brown. And shortly after the 2000 ISC World Tournament in St. Joseph, MO, Merle Brendeland fell off my radar as well.

But thankfully we three have revived our friendship through a phone call from Craig, and my email to Merle a few years a go.

I found out that a lot had changed in their lives. Not all pleasant. Both had divorced. Both had lost extremely successful careers when the economy tanked, and so on.

But both have bounced back in fine fashion, which hales the toughness of their backbone.

Craig, now remarried, is semi-retired and living in Florida, and Merle is back to his roots, farming in Iowa.

As for fastpitch, Craig is one of the best pitchers in Minnesota history, and maybe the state’s best lefthander all-time. And Merle – like myself – was of average ability, but loves the game like I do.

More importantly, both men are my two best friends.

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