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A Step Back In Time: Mark Rako Joins Elite Company In Fastpitch Hall of Fame

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Mark “Vinnie” Rako poses with legendary U.S. Olympic softball player Dot Richardson during the University of Dubuque’s spring trip to Florida in March, 2013


Platteville pitcher to join SW Wisocnsin Fast Pitch Hall of Fame

By Jason Nihles
sports@theplattevillejournal.com
SWNEWS4u.com
POSTED June 5, 2013 2:27 p.m.

BOSCOBEL, Wisc. – Mark Rako’s fast-pitch softball career began 41 years ago as a 14-year-old boy on the old field in Arthur.

Over the course of a career that spanned five decades “Vinnie”, as he was better known by teammates and opponents alike, developed into one of the best pitchers in the area.

“I don’t think some people even know my real name,” Rako joked.

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A Step Back In Time: Bud Werner MVP of 1956 Wisconsin State Fastpitch Softball Tournament

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

OUTSTANDING PLAYERS OF TOURNEY
Outstanding players of the 1956 Wisconsin Amateur Softball State Tournament sponsored by Oshkosh Club 13, receive individual awards from Killian Spanbauer, right, tourney director. From left, are Jim Chambers, Racine, Outstanding Manager; Steve Firtko, Racine, Outstanding Player; Norm Joecks, Appleton, for the Outstanding Play; and Bud Werner, Appleton, Outstanding Pitcher, and Spanbauer. Photo By The Oshkosh Northwestern Newspaper

OSHKOSH, Wisc. – Bud Werner, pitching for Appleton Ponds, hurled 21 innings in two games Saturday night and was named the Outstanding Pitcher of the 1956 Wisconsin Amateur Softball Tournament.

The tournament, which drew the state’s ten leading teams, was held from Wednesday to Sunday at South Side Field in Oshkosh.

Werner was selected as the leading pitcher for his 3-1 record. One of the top pitchers in the Fox River Valley area, Werner hurled Appleton to a 14-inning, 4-3 victory over Kenosha earlier Sunday night in the semifinals.

1956 WISCONSIN SOFTBALL CHAMPIONS
The Racine Raiders swept through four games unbeaten to capture the Wisconsin Amateur Softball Championship in the state tournament held in Oshkosh from last Wednesday to Sunday night. The champions (kneeling from left) are Dave Monson; Bob Welsh; Jim Kimberlain; Tony De Lorenzo; Jerry Heidenreich and Mike Corona. Standing from left are Bob Seitz; George Lorentsen; Dick Welsh; Russ Niebauer; Roger Aceto; Steve Firtko (tourney Most Valuable Player); Harry Erickson; John McCabe and Mgr. Jim Chambers; who was selected the Most Outstanding Manager. The bat boy is Robert Paulsen. Photo By the Oshkosh Northwestern Newspaper.

Werner’s lone loss, a 2-0 setback, came in the championship game to the Racine Raiders. Racine finished 4-0, all by shutouts. The Raiders have lost only two games the entire season and advance to regional play next weekend.

Those two losses were to College Corner of Indiana in the Oshkosh Optimist Club’s invitational tournament.

Two Racine and two Appleton players were awarded individual awards.

Appleton infielder Norm Joecks was awarded the Most Outstanding Play for turning in the fielding gem of the tournament when he converted a hard-hit line drive into a double play in that 14-inning marathon with Kenosha.

The honor of being the Most Valuable Player went to Steve Firtko of Racine. Firtko led Racine’s drive to the championship with a home run and a double in the finale.

  • Firtko was inducted into the Wisconsin Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame in 1993.
  • Jim Chambers, Racine’s manager and great pitcher was named the tourney’s outstanding manager.

    A Step Back In Time: Bob Moore’s No-Hitter Too Much For Keg Bar in La Crosse Tourney

    Thursday, May 4th, 2017

    BOB MOORE pitching in the 1991 ASA Masters National Tournament in Las Vegas for Bank of Melrose of Wisconsin. Photo By BOB OTTO

    By BOB LAMB / Sports Writer
    La Crosse Tribune
    July 22, 1974

    “Moore (40-9) is always tough and it’s hard to get runs if you don’t get any hits.” – Keg Bar Manager Gary Betz

    LA CROSSE, Wisc. – Question: How do you describe Bob Moore?

    Answer: He’s the veteran ironman left-hander who throws no-hitters at his opponents.

    Moore, a school teacher at Eau Claire North high school, pitched Eau Claire’s She-Nanigan’s to a 3-0 victory over the Keg Bar of La Crosse in the championship of the (1972) ninth annual La Crosse Invitational fastpitch softball tournament at Carroll Park last night.

    And Moore was superb once again, tossing his second no-hitter in two weeks while facing the minimum number of Keg batters.

    Moore lost his bid for a perfect game in the sixth inning when Keg left fielder Paul Dunham drew a walk on a three-two count.

    A double play erased the mild threat, however.

    Moore drew praise from both his manager Bill Roulette and from Keg field boss Gary Betz.

    “Bob does everything,” said Roulette, whose club improved to 50-17. “He hits, pitches and does everything except drive the bus…and sometimes he does that.”

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