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For the Olson’s and Duluth, a thriving time of men’s fastpitch

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

1988 ASA NATIONAL CHAMPION DULUTH STEWART TAYLOR PRINTING. Top from left: Dick Olson Manager, Jim Olson, Randy Hill, Mike Thomas, Brian Langeland, Corey Thomas, Paul Friesen, Brad Emanuel and Tom Olson. Bottom from left: Jerry Strange, Mike Morrissey, Bill Olson, Clay Kerr and Casey Frank. Team helper Mitch. Courtesy Photo

DULUTH, Minn. – Once upon a time a man could stand in the center of Minnesota and point to the east, west, north or south and as surely as the sun rises and sets, men’s fastpitch was being played in most cities and small towns of the state’s 87 counties.

That was the thriving times of the 1960s to 1980s.

Owatonna, St Paul, Minneapolis and Mankato? Booming. Winona and Rochester? Hot beds.

Scandia, Hastings, Red Wing, Lake Crystal, Wanamingo, St. James and Geneva? Teeming with teams, leagues and tournaments.

And up in the northern reaches of the state snuggled up to the western shore of Lake Superior, the game in Duluth was at its peak. That was back when Bill Olson started playing in 1973, barely a teenager.

“I started at 13 at Ordean Jr. High School,” said Olson, 56. “That was when they had fastpitch in the junior high schools. There were a lot of good teams in my era.”

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International Softball Congress 2014 Hall of Fame Class

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

rubleytrentfarm.1 Trent Rubley, who played for several of the world’s greatest teams, including the Tampa Bay Smokers and Farm Tavern of Madison, Wisc., will be inducted into the ISC Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the 2014 ISC World Tournament in Kitchener, Ontario, CA., Aug. 8-16. Photo By BOB OTTO

By Robert Gray / ISC Hall of Fame Selection Committee

The International Softball Congress (ISC) has chosen seven men for the ISC Hall of Fame who were great players, leaders, or contributors to the organization.

    The ISC Hall of Fame Class of 2014

Denny Delorit
Lou M. Ferrero
Trent Rubley

Steve Kooser
Chris Santos

BOB WELBY MEMORIAL “Recognition of Service Award”
John Thompson
Glenn Verge

To read their biographies, please visit the ISC website: ISC Hall of Fame