Tadashi Yoshimura

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2014 NAFA World Series magazine sent to the publisher

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Cover of 2014 NAFA World Series magazine

Cover of 2014 NAFA World Series magazine


YUCAIPA, Calif. – I’ve sent my magazine entitled, 2014 NAFA World Series, to the publisher, but waiting for a hard copy to finish the final edit before releasing for purchase.

The magazine’s 112 pages contain dozens of photos, championship game stories and results (AA-Major, AA, A-Major, A, 23-Under, Wood Bat, and Masters East and West), feature stories, NAFA Hall of Fame stories, and a look at past World Series feats & stats of some of the games biggest stars.

Kegel / Minnesota Computers holds off Waseda University of Japan to claim NAFA 23-Under World Series Championship

Monday, August 18th, 2014
BEST 23-UNDER PITCHERS: Jim Hartman, left, of Kegel / Minnesota Computers and Waseda University Maroon's Toshihiro Matsuki, shared the Co-Most Valuable Pitcher award for the NAFA World Series 23-Under Division. Photo By BOB OTTO

BEST 23-UNDER PITCHERS: Jim Hartman, left, of Kegel / Minnesota Computers and Waseda University Maroon’s Toshihiro Matsuki, shared the Co-Most Valuable Pitcher award for the NAFA World Series 23-Under Division. Photo By BOB OTTO

QUAD CITIES, IA/IL – It just seemed the natural order to come down to this. Two evenly matched ball clubs with rosters filled with talent, battling for a championship.

And in the championship playoffs of the NAFA World Series 23-Under Division, that’s exactly what happened.

The game matched two countries that would play each other three times during the tournament.

The United States represented by Kegel / Minnesota Computers was a combined team from Minnesota and North Dakota.

And representing Japan was Waseda University Maroon that traveled by air and land over 6,000 miles from Tokyo to Moline, Illinois to play in the best 23-Under young men’s fastpitch tournament in the world.

The two ball clubs met in earlier pool play, with Waseda blasting Kegel / Minn. Computers 8-0.

    TWO GREAT GAMES

But in the end, Kegel / Minn. Computers would come out on top by taking the championship in two games.

On Sunday afternoon in front of the largest crowd of the World Series, Kegel / Minn. Computers scored its first win on a dramatic walk-off RBI single by Kurtis Tomkins for a 6-5 victory.

The loss was the first for Waseda, which had won five consecutive games in pool play and the playoffs by a 52-1 differential.

Now, with one loss each, a second game would decide the championship.

And again, Kegel / Minn. Computers pulled out a thriller, this time 3-2, to give them its second consecutive 23-Under NAFA World Series championship.

The game was thrilling from the first to last pitch and both managers praised the play of their opponent and of their own team.

“They are a great team,” said Kegel / Minnesota Computers manager Richard Quigley about Waseda University. “This was the most talented team I’ve coached since 1994 (when his Scandia, Minn. team finished fifth in the ASA Class A National Championship).

Click to continue reading “Kegel / Minnesota Computers holds off Waseda University of Japan to claim NAFA 23-Under World Series Championship”

Takumi Oshima’s ball playing career goes from fastpitch softball to professional baseball

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Oshima, Takumi.2 Takumi Oshima getting a good swing at the ball. Contributed photo

Takumi Oshima played fastpitch softball for Waseda University in the 2010 NAFA World Series, helping Waseda win the 23-Under Division championship. He was selected to the All-World team as a catcher for his .533 batting average, 4 RBI and one home run. Since then Oshima was drafted into Japan’s professional baseball league.

By Waseda Weekly / Waseda University

TOKYO, JAPAN – At the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Rookie Player Draft Conference of 2011, a player attracted more attention than other famous players who had made achievements in the world of amateur baseball.

His name is Takumi Oshima, picked in the seventh round by the Hokkaido Nippon-ham Fighters.

    FROM SOFTBALL TO BASEBALL

Though he had experienced a Japanese version of baseball played with a hard rubber ball, he had never played baseball, and is a very unique player drafted from the world of (fastpitch) softball.

Click to continue reading “Takumi Oshima’s ball playing career goes from fastpitch softball to professional baseball”

The 2013 NAFA Hall of Famers, an exceptional class

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

johnson.josh.348web
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.