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Men’s fastpitch developmental league popular in Springfield, Missouri

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Springfield.Artisan.FP.1web The Springfield Artisan Construction team sponsored by Missouri Hall of Fame pitcher, Charley Slavens, finished 13th in the 2013 NAFA World Series A Division with a 4-2 record. The team includes three members who are trying to expand men’s fastpitch in Springfield by starting a fall developmental league. The three men are Danny Brown, top row, first player on left; Donovan Nelson, top row, second player from right, and Ken Franck, top row, third player from right. Courtesy photo.

SPRINGFIELD, MO – First came the talk, then came the idea, followed by the most important part: a Plan of Action.

At the 2013 NAFA World Series, Donovan Nelson and Danny Brown started talking, basically posing a question among themselves: “How can we expand men’s fastpitch in Springfield?”

From that conversation, Nelson, Brown and Ken Franck organized the Springfield Men’s Fastpitch Fall Developmental League that played its games at Players Complex, owned by men’s fastpitch advocate Jeff Barnes.

The league has been a resounding success, attracting 30 new players between the ages of 22 to 30. Along with 10 former and eight current players stepping forth to form four teams.

And from the feedback, the newcomers have taken a liking to the sport.

“Positive reaction is all that I’ve heard,” said Brown, who is retired from playing, but continues to co-manage a men’s fastpitch team with his brother, Berrah Brown. “Most new players have always wanted to play men’s fastpitch, yet they either have no connection in getting picked up as a player, or simply there is just not enough pitching to offer them a team to play on.”

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