Wisconsin men’s fastpitch

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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.

    2017 Annual Rice Lake Invitational in Rice Lake, Wisconsin

    Friday, June 2nd, 2017

    By RONN KOPP
    NAFA President

    RICE LAKE, Wisc. – The 39th Annual Rice Lake Invitational Men’s Fastpitch Tournament will be held June 9-11 at Fred Tate Memorial Park in Rice Lake.

      TOURNAMENT DETAILS
  • Team Classifications: NAFA “AA,” “A-Major,” and “A”
  • Tournament Size: 12 Teams (The first 12 to submit complete entries, including roster)
  • Tournament Format: NAFA 3-game guarantee
  • Entry Fee: $225 payable to Rice Lake Orangemen Fastpitch
  • **Send separate check for $35 to “Wisconsin NAFA” if year 2017 NAFA team registration is desired. This is not required for Invitational entry.**

  • Rosters: Teams may list a maximum of 18 players on their roster. Rosters MUST be on the attached form and completely filled out, and MUST be submitted along with the tournament entry fee for entry to be accepted.
  • AWARDS (Based on 12 team field)

    • 1st place $600 sponsor’s expense money plus trophy
    • 2nd $450 sponsor’s expense money plus trophy
    • 3rd $300 sponsor’s expense money plus trophy
    • 4th $150 sponsor’s expense money plus trophy
    • Individual trophies to tournament MVP and All-Tournament team selections
    • MAIL CHECKS TO

      Rice Lake Orangemen
      Post Office Box 202
      Rice Lake, WI 54868

      2017 TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR
      Loren Lathrop, Phone 608-422-5781 or 608-228-2430

    Bill Hopeman put Hingham, Wisc. on the fastpitch map

    Thursday, May 18th, 2017

    Since the late 1930s, hundreds of softball players have played fastpitch at the Hingham ballfields. Courtesy Photo

    “I have skipped class reunions and some marriages because of ball. It was probably wrong, but nothing was more important than playing ball. I just loved the game.” – Bill Hopeman

    HINGHAM, Wisc. – When he was six years old, Bill Hopeman got his first taste of fastpitch softball on Hingham’s grade school playground.

    Swinging a bat, catching and throwing a softball soon became a passion. His favorite position?

    “Anywhere they would let me play,” said Hopeman, who was younger than many of the school kids back in the early 1950s. “But mostly I played third base, shortstop and some first base.”

    But over the ensuing years, “let me play,” became a plea of sorts to “please pitch for us,” as Hopeman switched from infielder to pitcher. An outstanding one at that – who many claim the best to hurl a softball in the Hingham fastpitch league.

    Click to continue reading “Bill Hopeman put Hingham, Wisc. on the fastpitch map”

    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.”

    Click to continue reading “A Step Back In Time: Bob Moore’s No-Hitter Too Much For Keg Bar in La Crosse Tourney”

    NAFA Announces 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

    Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
    The North American Fastpitch Association offers World Series tournaments for all caliber of players - from age 23-Under to Masters, 65-over. Visit www.nafafastpitch.com for information to register your team.

    The North American Fastpitch Association offers World Series tournaments for all caliber of players – from age 23-Under to Masters, 65-over. Visit www.nafafastpitch.com for information to register your team.

    DAYTON, OR – The North American Fastpitch Association announced that eight individuals – six players, one umpire and a coach / sponsor – will be inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame at ceremonies held at various World Series during the 2016 season.

    2016 HALL OF FAME MEMBERS

    Umpire

  • Steve Komoroski, Wisc.
  • Coach / Sponsor

  • Doug Smith, New Jersey
  • Players

  • Kyle Goslee, Minn.
  • Chad Osterman, Minn.
  • Colin McKenzie, BC, Canada
  • Trevor Knight, Wash.
  • Duane Clarkson, Manitoba, Canada
  • Mario Pereira, Calif.
  • The 2016 NAFA World Series

  • Open World Series, Fife (Seattle), Wash., July 22-24
  • Boys Youth, Vassar, Mich., July 30-31
  • AA-Major, Quad Cities, IA/IL, Aug. 19-21
  • A-Major, Mankato / North Mankato, Minn., Aug. 11-14
  • Wood Bat Nationals Upper Midwest, Mankato / North Mankato, Aug. 12-14
  • Wood Bat Nationals Lower Midwest, Newton, KS, July 30-31
  • Wood Bat Nationals West, Albuquerque, NM, Aug. 27-28
  • A and AA Divsions, Mankato / North Mankato, Aug. 18-21
  • 23-Under, Mankato / North Mankato, Aug. 19-21
  • Masters East, Niagara Falls, NY, Aug. 26-28
  • Masters Midwest, Quad Cities, Sept. 9-11
  • Masters West, Carson City, NV, Sept. 16-18
  • NAFA CONTACT INFORMATION
    Benjie Hedgecock, Executive Director
    email: Nafafastpitch@gmail.com
    cell: 503-559-5398
    work: 503-864-4487
    fax: 503-864-3939
    P.O. Box 566
    Dayton, OR 97114

    12th Annual Dugout Fastpitch Tournament

    Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

    dugout

    CUSHING, Wisc. – Mark your calendar and plan to enter your team in the Dugout Memorial Weekend Tournament in Cushing, Wisconsin
    2015 Dugout Tournament.1lr

    NAFA World Series, A Division has wide representation in Quad Cities

    Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

    nafa.ws.illustration.3Abw

    QUAD CITIES, Ia/Il – It’s typical of A division teams of the NAFA World Series to field teams with good pitching. But not dominant.

    So hitters tend to put the ball into play and runs are scored.

    Seldom are there 1-0 or 2-1, 12 to 15 strikeout games. If so, then someone has slipped through the pitcher evaluation process that NAFA prides itself on in making sure the playing field is level for everyone.

    So I’m pretty confident that the Forty four teams representing 15 states, along with the three from Canada, will have an even shot come Aug. 14 to 17 of taking home the championship.

    The two states sending the most teams are Michigan with six and Wisconsin at five.

    Here’s the bracket. Who do you think will be the team last standing on the far right side of the bracket come Sunday Aug. 17th?

    NAFA A Bracket

    Plan For Dugout Memorial Weekend Men’s Fast Pitch Tournament in Cushing, Wisconsin

    Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

    dugout

    CUSHING, Wisc. – For 10 years the small town of Cushing, located in northwest Wisconsin and bordering Minnesota, has hosted a men’s fastpitch tournament. And every year it appears to get better and more popular.

    The tournament will return once again in 2014 through the efforts of the Dugout Men’s Fastpitch team and tournament directors Steve Loney and Les Dietmeier. The men hope to expand the tournament just a bit.

    “We are getting ready to host The 11th annual Dugout Memorial Day Weekend (May 23-25 with the 26th a possible added day) Tournament,” Dietmeier said through email. “This year we are looking to add a few new teams coming from St Paul, Minnesota.”

    St. Paul is located about 60 miles south of Cushing and is one of the remaining enclaves in Minnesota where the sport has retained some of its popularity.

    The travel appears to be an easy commute for fastpitch players and fans from the Twin Cities area.

    When: May 23, 24, 25 and possibly the 26th
    Where: Cushing, Wisc.
    Entry Fee: $225 (game balls furnished)
    Additional Details: Concession and beer stand at the ball park (no carry on coolers allowed), and camping available

    Contact Information:

    Steve Lonney at 715-483-3057; stevesvideoproduction@yahoo.com
    Les Dietmeier at 715-483-3749; idietmeier@yahool.com

    Remembering Tampa Bay Smokers Jason Hanson and his ISC World Tournament heroics

    Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

    1996.ISC.WT.Hanson.1web Tampa Bay Smokers No. 9 hitter Jason Hanson hit a dramatic, walk off home run in the 1996 ISC World Tournament that gave the Smokers a 4-2 victory over the Green Bay All-Car Roadrunners. Photo By BOB OTTO

    KIMBERLY, WISC. – I doubt Jason Hanson will ever forget the 1996 ISC World Tournament. If we take the liberty of calling athletes “heroes,” then Hanson certainly qualifies.

    Click to continue reading “Remembering Tampa Bay Smokers Jason Hanson and his ISC World Tournament heroics”

    Circle Tap Dukes of Denmark, Wis. host prestigious tourney – enjoy short video

    Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

    DENMARK, WI – Fox 11 news produced a short video about men’s fastpitch during the Boys of Summer tournament in Denmark, July 7-8, in which the Minnesota Angels won the championship by defeating the Saskatoon SK Diamondbacks 4-3.

    2012 ISC Hall of Fame inductee, John Miller, is featured in the video.
    Click to watch video

    I also wrote a story about John Miller entitled “Superstar sponsor enters the ISC Hall of Fame.” Click here to read Miller’s story