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

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014


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.

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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

The Farm Tavern’s Rod Peterson, he’s a good farmer

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Rod Peterson, sponsor and manager of the Farm Tavern men’s fastpitch team.
By BOB OTTO / 1999 ISC World Tournament

MADISON, WI – Rod Peterson sponsored and managed the Farm Tavern men’s fastpitch softball team from 1975 to 2008. He didn’t saddle his ballplayers with a long list of rules – primarily just one: Be a team player.

Players who could abide by that simple rule received the ultimate compliment from Peterson, who farms 800 acres of corn and soybeans near Madison: that of, “he’s a good farmer.”

“If we had a bad apple, we got rid of him,” Peterson said. “Guys had to fit in. Our personalities all flowed together. We had quite a few players who were good farmers.”

Those good farmers won several national championships for Peterson. Including three International Softball Congress (ISC) World Tournament titles in 1997, ’99 and 2007.

From 1996 to 2008, The Farm finished among the top four in 12 of 13 ISC World Tournaments. Peterson’s Farm also won three Amateur Softball Association (ASA) national titles, along with six runner-up finishes.

For his contributions to the ISC, Peterson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994. And in ceremonies later this year, he along with Brian Martie, a former Farm Tavern star, will be inducted into the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Hall of Fame.

For six years, Canadian pitcher Todd Martin toed the rubber for Peterson. He says he stayed with the Farm because of Peterson and the kind of man he is.

Todd Martin, left, and Colin Abbott were two of the finest players to wear the Farm Tavern uniform.

“Rod is one of my favorite people that I’ve ever met on this earth,” Martin said. “He has the biggest heart in the game. It’s because of Rod that I kept coming back. You wanted to win for him and not embarrass the uniform. He had a great bunch (of players). You had to fit the mold and be ‘farm material.’”

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A hit to cherish

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Named to the NAFA AA-Major All World team were Manor’s Christopher Torres, Peter Saldana-Rodriguez (front row, far right), Jason Chagoya, and Corey Avery. From the Toros, Jaime Garcia, Jr., Boomer Berry, Kyle Brown, and Tony Buckley were selected All World. Avery was selected the Most Valuable Pitcher, while Buckley was named the Most Valuable Player.

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DES MOINES, WEST DES MOINES, IA – Peter Saldana-Rodriguez stepped into the right-side batter’s box. The bases were loaded. Tim Schultz was on third, Will Sandifer on second, Chris Torres on first.

For over three hours, the Texas Manor Dirt Bags and New Image of Monfort, WI. were locked in a battle in the NAFA World Series “AA-Major” playoffs. The score was tied, 1-1, in the 14th inning.

Like two iron-willed poker players playing for high stakes, the game had everything riding on it. The winner advances to the championship game. While the loser goes home.

And all alone in the batter’s box stood Rodriguez with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 14th. He could hear his Manor Dirt Bag teammates imploring him to wait on the change up and just meet the ball.

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Someone to know: Josh Johnson, The Bar of Appleton

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Josh Johnson, left, of the The Bar of Appleton (WI), was selected the Most Valuable Player of the NAFA Open Worlds Series. With him is Andrew Blackshaw, from Australia, who was named to the All World team after pitching The Bar to the championship.
Courtesy Photo

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BAY MINETTE, AL – The journey from the throwing the first pitch to reaching that often elusive point of being able to say, “by golly I think I’ve got it!” is not an easy journey for most fastpitch pitchers.

Many give up after realizing that mastering THIS trade takes lots of practice, lots of gumption, and lots of determination.

But for the survivors – those who toil relentlessly to master the craft, for them come the rewards.

Josh Johnson is one such survivor. And 2010 has indeed been full of rewards.

Here’s a sampling: At the Decatur Herald & Review Shootout, Johnson was selected the Most Valuable Player after helping The Bar of Appleton claim the championship. And at the NAFA World Series Open tournament, Johnson carted off the Most Valuable Player award in leading The Bar to the title at Middleton, WI.

In 2010, The Bar muscled into the top-tier in the world after winning prestigious tournaments at Walcott, Iowa, the Aurora 4th of July, and the Decatur Shootout. The Appleton juggernaut also finished second in the Boys of Summer tourney along with finishing 11th in the 48-team ISC World Tournament.

And figuring in The Bar’s success was Johnson, who had a .444 batting average (4-for-9) in the ISC World Tournament, along with 2 RBI. (Statistics for the NAFA Open, not available.)

“Josh was our offensive MVP hands down,” said Manager, Jesse Delorit. “He led the team in RBI’s, hits and home runs. Josh was also excellent for us on the mound. He has all the pitches, including a rise change. He is able to beat any team in the world.”

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