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Skinny

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Reply with quote  #1 
How great would it have been to see Algar vs Zach or White vs Meredith at ASA stadium say 10-15 years ago and on ESPN.  Ahh, I cry everytime i see the mens slowpitch team playing on tv at the World Cup of Softball, it should have never come to that. 
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #2 
Skinny - I pitched men's elite when it was in its prime (Eastern Seaboard League).  Ultimately, of the 16 geographic areas of men's fastpitch, 15 were represented in the nationals by foreign pitchers.  What killed men's fast pitch was a lack of elite pitching born and bred in the USA.  Gradually the women's game took over the spotlight, and collegiate scholarships became available through talent and hard work, but only for women as far as I know.  I helped the rise of women's fastpitch by running a Softball School for women for 25 years and coaching the women's game on many levels.  To the best of my knowledge there was no such school for young men in fastpitch who were probably playing little league baseball anyhow.  Men's elite fastpitch  was a really great, competitive game when it was at its apex, and there were many really fine players and pitchers at one time. I still like the shirts that are emblazoned with the statement that "Softball is for everyone; fastpitch is for athletes".  It might not be exactly true, but I do like the message. LOL      Frank
PS - I am sure that there are still a few outstanding athletes playing and pitching men's fastpitch.  It is just not recognized as much nationally or even locally as it was back in the day.  

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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
LMUfan

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Reply with quote  #3 
LMU's head softball coach, Gary Ferrin, is a veteran pitcher from the Florida circuit back in its heyday.  


Skinny

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoiseyGuy
Skinny - I pitched men's elite when it was in its prime (Eastern Seaboard League).  Ultimately, of the 16 geographic areas of men's fastpitch, 15 were represented in the nationals by foreign pitchers.  What killed men's fast pitch was a lack of elite pitching born and bred in the USA.  Gradually the women's game took over the spotlight, and collegiate scholarships became available through talent and hard work, but only for women as far as I know.  I helped the rise of women's fastpitch by running a Softball School for women for 25 years and coaching the women's game on many levels.  To the best of my knowledge there was no such school for young men in fastpitch who were probably playing little league baseball anyhow.  Men's elite fastpitch  was a really great, competitive game when it was at its apex, and there were many really fine players and pitchers at one time. I still like the shirts that are emblazoned with the statement that "Softball is for everyone; fastpitch is for athletes".  It might not be exactly true, but I do like the message. LOL      Frank
PS - I am sure that there are still a few outstanding athletes playing and pitching men's fastpitch.  It is just not recognized as much nationally or even locally as it was back in the day.  
Yes, true. The last 10 years its gone down hill, young guys all want to take it easy and play slowpitch.  Did you play in any world tournaments?  I played agaisnt all the greats up in in the Wisconsin ISC league, but thats long gone now, now its just smaller tourneys up there, for whatever reason WI was the mens hotbed for fastpitch. Did you ever play anybody, Mike White, Paul Algar or Darren Zach guys like that?  I wish people new how incredible the mens game was and how good those guys were, it just never got any pub like the womens game. But i love the womens game, its fantastic, they really are doing a hell of a job especially at the college level. 
fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #5 
Young guys either play baseball or want to chill and play slow pitch softball.
Fielding is fielding nomatter which you play but slow pitch men's is recreational since you are allowing them to hit the ball and you have the extra outfielder because of it.
On the base we had slowpitch softball league. It was fun and not too much with military duty mixed in. We played 1-pitch league to make for fast games. Each batter starts with 3-2 count and any close pitch is going to be called a strike so swing the bat.

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veteranb

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Reply with quote  #6 
Men's fast pitch died because young kids weren't playing it and played baseball instead where they coud get a college scholarship or some bonus money for signing. Another reason was greed--the players and not just the pitchers--wanted to be paid and when times got tough sponsors said good-bye. There are still some teams, but the game is hanging on by a thread and will continue to decrease. It once was a great game and was great to watch, but not anymore.The best game in town is women's college softball and the recent WCWS was evidence of that. The women's game is only to get better and with OKC spending $20 million in the future to renovate the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, more and more people will come to OKC. Men's fast pitch has no one to blame but themselves. It was extra income for a lot of players who wanted money to play an amateur sport. 
veteranb

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Reply with quote  #7 
I saw all the top pitchers for years and loved it. White is now coaching college softball and doing well. His daughters are also good players. Who knows what Darren is doing, but he is probaby retired.Meredith made a ton of money pitching fast pitch and is doing well I would imagine. The decline of men's fast pitch will only continue as players get older and older. Sorry to see it happen.
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #8 
Skinny - I never played west of the Mississippi, and my career ended before most of the guys you name became prominent.  I know their names. Ty Stofflet was a great one that I threw against many times, and a young guy when my career was almost over.  All the people I pitched against and with were excellent.  I never pitched in a nationals or in a worlds, just in numerous regionals where we came in second numerous times.  Wonderful tournaments in Canada against world level teams.  I'm 80 years old.  I had a very good rise ball, a wonderful and fun filled career,  and was an average pitcher (better than average on a good day even against the best and a better than average hitter) in elite men's fastpitch, but not a super star, (nominated for a Hall of Fame but not inducted).  That level.     Frank

PS - My biggest contribution to "our game" came as a result of my softball schools for women (25 years)  during an era, at least at the beginning,  when camp opened with my standing in front of the group and saying "Ladies, this is a softball".  Then I would explain that the glove should be worn on the hand opposite the one we threw with.  From that humble platform we built many good and some excellent female softball players and many beautiful relationships.  I also gave fastpitch clinics from Puerto Rico north to New Jersey.  That includes a clinic for Georgia high school coaches and potential pitchers before the 1996 Olympics and on the Olympic Stadium Field in Columbus.  Just great stuff !!  I am most proud of what we did then.  Fastpitch been berry, berry good to me.  LOL  I am still a fan with U South Florida only one half hour from my retirement park in Florida, and the coach there (a great catcher in men's elite and 30 years younger than I)  a good friend.  Go Bulls !!!    Go Fastpitch !!!  A salute to the days of glory of men's Fastpitch !!!!!      


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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
veteranb

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Reply with quote  #9 
While men's fastpitch is declining, women's college softball is fourishing. In fact. there is a great new book out about the history of the WCWS. It's available at http://www.seriesoftheirown.com
it's worth purchasing and has a lot of interesting information, results and brackets from 1982 on. 
Check it out. 
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #10 
Veteran - Another worthwhile read is "The Pitcher and the Painter" by Rich Hoppe, men's fastpitch barnstorming pitcher for "The King and His Court" after Eddie Feigner died.  Hoppe retired this past season, signaling the end of an era for "The King and His Court" and those of us involved in men's fastpitch.  Early years in New Jersey and New York around the softball scene then are especially interesting to we who experienced them.  Hoppe's experiences in Vietnam and what they meant to his pitching career are equally riveting.       Frank
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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
Skinny

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Posts: 506
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoiseyGuy
Skinny - I never played west of the Mississippi, and my career ended before most of the guys you name became prominent.  I know their names. Ty Stofflet was a great one that I threw against many times, and a young guy when my career was almost over.  All the people I pitched against and with were excellent.  I never pitched in a nationals or in a worlds, just in numerous regionals where we came in second numerous times.  Wonderful tournaments in Canada against world level teams.  I'm 80 years old.  I had a very good rise ball, a wonderful and fun filled career,  and was an average pitcher (better than average on a good day even against the best and a better than average hitter) in elite men's fastpitch, but not a super star, (nominated for a Hall of Fame but not inducted).  That level.     Frank

PS - My biggest contribution to "our game" came as a result of my softball schools for women (25 years)  during an era, at least at the beginning,  when camp opened with my standing in front of the group and saying "Ladies, this is a softball".  Then I would explain that the glove should be worn on the hand opposite the one we threw with.  From that humble platform we built many good and some excellent female softball players and many beautiful relationships.  I also gave fastpitch clinics from Puerto Rico north to New Jersey.  That includes a clinic for Georgia high school coaches and potential pitchers before the 1996 Olympics and on the Olympic Stadium Field in Columbus.  Just great stuff !!  I am most proud of what we did then.  Fastpitch been berry, berry good to me.  LOL  I am still a fan with U South Florida only one half hour from my retirement park in Florida, and the coach there (a great catcher in men's elite and 30 years younger than I)  a good friend.  Go Bulls !!!    Go Fastpitch !!!  A salute to the days of glory of men's Fastpitch !!!!!      

Sounds like you had a hell of career for your time, that must have been the Eddie Feigner years before he turned into a showmen.  Also your talking about Ken right down in South Florida, never saw him play in WI but heard he was a great player. 
Skinny

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by veteranb
I saw all the top pitchers for years and loved it. White is now coaching college softball and doing well. His daughters are also good players. Who knows what Darren is doing, but he is probaby retired.Meredith made a ton of money pitching fast pitch and is doing well I would imagine. The decline of men's fast pitch will only continue as players get older and older. Sorry to see it happen.
 I faced Zach and White in their later years, they still could get it done but velocity was down a little. I only saw Merdeith pitch once, he was at the Classic in Eau Claire with Larry Miller Toyota, but he was amazing. The best pitcher i faced in his prime was Paul Algar when he was on the Farm, total misery, couldnt even see the ball, just swung at a white flash and went back to the dugout, ha.  You have any favorite hitters?  Colin Abbott and Jody Hennigar were two of my favorites. 
Skinny

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by veteranb
Men's fast pitch died because young kids weren't playing it and played baseball instead where they coud get a college scholarship or some bonus money for signing. Another reason was greed--the players and not just the pitchers--wanted to be paid and when times got tough sponsors said good-bye. There are still some teams, but the game is hanging on by a thread and will continue to decrease. It once was a great game and was great to watch, but not anymore.The best game in town is women's college softball and the recent WCWS was evidence of that. The women's game is only to get better and with OKC spending $20 million in the future to renovate the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, more and more people will come to OKC. Men's fast pitch has no one to blame but themselves. It was extra income for a lot of players who wanted money to play an amateur sport. 
Yea for sure, true statement.  Im happy the womens game is taking off, its fantastic stuff, im a big fan of Lauren Chamberlain, she could have played for the Farm, ha.  I just get upset when i see the USA mens slowpitch team being recognized at the world cup as the "mens team." 
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #14 
Skinny - I pitched against Feigner many times, and also against his heir, Richie Hoppe, a dear friend (read his book "The Pitcher and the Painter").  In the last regional game I ever pitched Hoppe (last game before he went with "The King and His Court") and I went 0-0 for 13 innings in old War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, NY, and in the 14th they scored 3 off the pitcher who relieved me and we lost 3-0. Just another 2nd place. I had pitched a 1-0 win against NYC earlier in the day.   I also pitched against Rosie Beard Black and "The Queen and Her Maids" somewhere in my career.  She pitched from 40 feet.  All that was great fun and a good point in my life. Great times, lots of good people, super competition.  Very few bad apples.  
   
Yes, that was Ken Eriksen I was writing about before. Outstanding catcher from what I've heard (never saw him play).  He caught Meredith at Salt Lake City I surmise.  Outstanding softball coach.  More important, outstanding guy who cares about the kids he coaches. . He just signed a 7 year contract with U South Florida in Tampa. He is also coaching again the USA International Team.   Nice program and beautiful stadium there at USF.  I enjoy watching the kids play, and Ken was a special guy when I was battling advanced cancer a few years back and he was there for me (I shall never forget, nor shall I forget Stacey Nelson Heinz who was Ken's assistant coach then, or Karen John's support which was uplifting or my "prayer warrior" #4 from Bama) .                                                                                                                                  

Your thread rekindled embers that died years ago, and I've been involved in thinking about the ghosts of softball past ever since I read your first post.  Remember that I'm 80 years old.  So many stories. Favorite hitter?  Lots of them, but Joe Molinero of Raybestos and Poughkeepsie owned me. Vin Caserta once told me after retirement that he took two strikes against me because he knew that rise ball was coming next (too predictable) and he said that he loved hitting against the rise ball.  He was an excellent hitter for Raybestos and Poughkeepsie and is in the Okie Hall of Fame. Jeff ("Baby Huey") - apologize for forgetting his last name, was an unbelievable power hitter for "House of the Rising Sun" and "York Barbell" out of Reading, Pa.     Favorite pitcher?  Ty Stofflet out of Reading, Pa.  - great pitcher, great guy (fine lefty hitter), left me dropping my bat on a change up down in Reading. Guy I just couldn't hit - Al Lewis of Raybestos (MVP in the 1976 nationals).  Warm memories. When one is an old man, it's all in the memories.  Today I am proud when I complete my walk with my pet Yorkshire, and she's 15 years old.  However, I am so pleased that I was given the opportunity to play against some of the finest softball players in history.  

"If you can dream, yet not let dreams be your master, then son, you are a man" - Rudyard Kipling's "If"  

Thank you for stirring the ashes !         Frank

PS - I won't bore you with more replies here.   Thanks !!  Now I have to fix that hose bib so I can water my plants.  The red New Guinea Impatiens are particularly beautiful this time of year but they demand water almost daily.

__________________
"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #15 
How does the USA do these days in international competition in men's fastpitch??    Frank
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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
veteranb

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Reply with quote  #16 
veteranb

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Reply with quote  #17 
Joe Molinaro never played for Raybestos. A teammate of his, Vinnie Caserto, played for the Raybestos men's team. Molinaro played for the Little Brahaus Brewers of Poughkeepsie, NY. I saw him play and he was a good one. Is a member of the New York State ASA Hall of Fame.
Men's fastpitch is hanging on but the USA teams continue to get worse and worse because of no pitching. But young boys today want to get something out of playing, like a bonus that they get if they sign with a pro baseball team. It's a shame but greed got the men's game and continues to as long as sponsors are willing to fork out the money the players will be there to take it Look at pro sports it's all about the money. James Harden said he loved OKC. but when it came time to sign another contract, he left to go to Houston for $80 million. The Thunder offered $53 million. Guess he couldn't live in OKC for $53 milliion. The pro players are a joke. They say their love their communities. That is BS. The only thing they love is the money they are paid and stupid fans pay $10,000 for a playoff ticket. I wouldn't give them a dime. No game is worth 10 grand.
veteranb

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Reply with quote  #18 
If anybody wants to purchase a copy of "Softball's Lefty Legend..Ty Stofflet" write to Bill Plummer III, 6010 W. Britton Road, Apt. B, Oklahoma City, OK 7212. Plummer contributed to the book, which came out in 2004. If you don't write, contact Bill at BPlummer1@cox.net
Cost of book, including postage and handling, is $20.00. Thanks .BP III
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #19 
veteranb - LOL - I thought everybody who played for Raybestos played for the Little Brauhouse at one time or another.  I remember both teams as being very good.  Caserta was also a heckova hitter.  Thanks for the correction.  I'm 80, and those memories aren't as sharp as they used to be.  Frank
PS - I certainly would endorse Ty Stofflet's book.   In addition to being a superior lefty thrower, he also was a good lefty hitter. When I faced Ty I always felt that if I gave up a run we probably would lose the game.  He was that good.  That very tall drink of water who was their #2 behind Stofflet  for Rising Sun, and York Barbell too I think,  was a very good pitcher also.  Maybe Larry something (I apologize for not remembering).  

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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
tenfour

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Reply with quote  #20 
Frank, the 2 names you are 'disremembering' are Jeff Seip (Rising Sun, etc) and pitcher, Larry Bergh the 'tall drink of water'.
I'm only 71 so my mind is as sharp as a -darn, I forgot the word!

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fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #21 
It was cool to hear that ken Erickson (south florida coach/ team usa head coach) and one of the other men's coaches for team usa (I forget which) both played men's fastpitch.
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