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Wrapping up the 2013 California Classic Men’s Fastpitch Tournament

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

SANTEE, CA – If you’re a men’s fastpitch fan living in southern California, there’s not much in the way of top-flight tournaments to watch. Except the California Classic. It’s the only big-time tourney being offered south of Santa Barbara where Clyde Bennett hosts the Best of The West.

Now concluding its fourth consecutive year, the Classic offers good competition. This year the Sooke Loggers of British Columbia, CA stopped the California A’s from claiming its fourth consecutive title with a 9-6 victory on Sunday.

Some thought California was heavily favored. That the A’s – loaded with international stars – were a superior team. Especially with Argentine and ISC All-World pitcher Lucas Mata toeing the rubber.

Schellenberg.Kevin.CalifA's.430web Shortstop Kevin Schellenberg is one of several international stars who play for the California A’s. He’s been a member of Team Canada that finished fifth in the 2013 ISF World Championships.

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The readers weigh in

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

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YUCAIPA, CA – Digging through the email, I’ve found some interesting thoughts, comments, and memories of the grand old game from readers of Otto-In-Focus. With that it’s time to share.

The Darren Zack story “Darren Zack enters the 2010 ISC Hall of Fame” drew a lot of comments.

…Larry Lynch says that in 1993 when the Toronto Gators burst onto the fastball scene with a Napoleonic surge, the Waterloo Twins played them in practically every tournament around, and regularly in the ISC Travel League.

“We lost to Toronto 13 times that season, and Darren was on the mound for 12 of them. Our club had some pretty good hitters but the best of them came back to the bench just shaking their heads saying, ‘that guy is unhittable.’”

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Mr. Softball enters the ISC Hall of Fame

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

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“Denny got the ISC travel league going. He ran it, and he took good care of it.” – Don Rotert, former St. James men’s fastpitch catcher.

ST. JAMES, MN – Dennis Johnson went 3 for 5 in his first fastpitch softball game as an 18-year-old in 1959. The excited teenager thought he had found a sport he could really excel at.

Johnson excelled all right. But not quite the way he planned.

That 3 for 5? It became his shinning moment on a softball diamond. Soon other players came along with stronger arms, better gloves, and more powerful bats. And the lanky first baseman and outfielder found himself riding the bench.

But in the larger scheme of things, that was the best thing that ever happened to the sport in Minnesota. And for the International Softball Congress.

“As a player it was all downhill from there,” said the 69-year-old Johnson with a laugh. “Finally, there were nine players better than me, so I grabbed the scorebook and filled in when needed.”

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