Ted Hicks

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Reliving Memories of one of fastpitch softball’s greatest pitchers

Monday, May 15th, 2017

WITH THE GREATEST OF EASE
Roy Burlison of the St. Louis Browns flies through the air before delivering a pitch to the plate in last night’s (June 16, 1973) professional softball game at Koch Park. Burlison tossed his third straight shutout, whipping the Philadelphia Patriots, 8-0. St. Louis Post-Dispatch Photo By W. Thomas Stewart

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. –Roy Burlison was one of the greatest fastpitch pitchers the sport has ever known. When his 27-year playing career came to an end in 1992, he had won over 770 games against the best teams in the world.

In 1997 he was inducted into the Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame for an arm’s length of accomplishments: nine times competing in the ASA national tournament; twice selected Most Valuable Pitcher, and twice leading his teams to runner-up in the national championship.

Burlison was also renowned as a coach, teaching hundreds of girls how to play the game the right way. But sadly on May 11, Burlison, 71, passed away (see Roller Homes obituary).

His fastpitch legacy will live on, however, in the girls he coached, and with the players he both played with and against in his long and distinguished career.

Let’s relive some of Burlison’s prowess with a stroll down memory lane…

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Stepping Back In Time: Hicks brothers Ted and Al remain on top of fastpitch world

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

THE HICKS BROTHERS, Ted, left, and Al, are recognized internationally for their softball talents, especially hitting. TED is considered one of the country’s best right-handed hitters on the Decatur (IL) ADM nationally ranked team, while Al is ‘Mr. Consistency’ for Missouri power Walnut-Woods of St, Joseph. Constitution-Tribune Photo by Bob Carter

By BOB CARTER / The Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune Sports Editor
July 31, 1984

CHILLICOTHE, MO – The Mary Jane Hicks family held its typical fun-loving summer reunion at the Tomahawk homestead Sunday afternoon.

Like many reunions before, fastpitch softball was the talk of the day.

But this time, there was special emphasis placed on the upcoming ASA National Fastpitch Softball Tournament scheduled to open at Phil Welch Stadium in St. Joseph on Friday, Sept. 7.

Mary Jane’s three sons, will hold another reunion on the national softball turf, but this time, they’ll be playing on opposing teams.

AL HICKS
Al, at a ripe age of 44, is Mr. Handy Man on the St. Joseph Walnut-Woods team, the tournament’s host team.

Al, called “Papa” by his teammates, will be used in his familiar role as the team’s designated hitter.

The popular St. Joseph police officer, who has played for five different St. Joseph softball teams, knocked the cover off the ball last season, batting a sizzling .400. This season, Al is batting a respectable .300.

Although gradually losing his foot speed, Al hasn’t lost his tough at the plate, ranking among the best Walnut-Woods has to offer.

“I still see the ball good and I make contact,” Hicks said. “That’s the key to hitting.”

How many playing years are left? Hicks isn’t sure, but he’s not ready to hang up the cleats yet.

“I love the game,” he said. “As long as I can contribute and someone wants me, I’ll continue to play. I’ve been playing ball ever since I took up walking. It’s been an important part of my life.”

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