The Fastpitch Chronicle
In the spring of 1987, Bob Tomlinson of Poynette, Wisconsin got his hands on his first issue of Ray Anderson's "Fastpitch Softball News Bulletin" and fell in love with the publication. After getting just a few editions of the Bulletin, Bob learned that publisher Ray Anderson had health problems and was stopping publication of the "rag."
Bob decided to do something about the lack of news due to the demise of the Bulletin and started his own monthly newspaper and called it The Fastpitch Chronicle. He printed the first issue in August, 1988 and headed to Decatur, Illinois with 500 copies to be handed out free at the ISC World Tournament there. By the time he left Decatur he had more than 100 paid subscriptions and was into publishing.
During the next 14 years Bob and the Fastpitch Chronicle were the voice of fastpitch softball worldwide. More than 25,000 people read the "Chronicle" each month and looked forward to every upcoming issue.
In the late 1990s and early part of the 21st century, modern technology raised havoc with The Chronicle. People had instant news and didn't have to wait for a monthly publication to get their fastpitch fix. In 2002, Bob buried one of his best friends, his newspaper.
But like the legendary Phoenix, the Fastpitch Chronicle Online has risen from the ashes of the newspaper and is quickly taking over and picking up where the newspaper left off.
Winning takes a back seat on this trip
World Championship of Mens' Fastpitch
From the 1942 Softbal Rules, Published by Hillerich & Bradsby
The 1941 World's Amateur Softball Association Championships, held in Detroit, were a great success. Participating were forty-four State Champions, twelve Metroplitan champions (from cities of over 500,000) in the mens' division, and thirty-four statesin the women's division. More than 3.500 boys and girls from North and South America filled Detroit hotels to capacity.
One hundred championship games were played, witnessed by more than 100,000 fans. Eighty-six games were played to a free gate at Northwestern Field and at Belle Isle. Fourteen games were played a the University of Detroit Stadium before paying fans.
The great part of the credit for conducting these successful championships is die to advertisers in the Official Softball Guide, and to the Pepsi-Cola Company of Long Island, N.Y., who underwrote the Championships against loss.
The Pepsi-Cola Company in no way takes any active part or dictates any portion of the program of the Amateur Softball Association. They are deeply interested in organized amateur athletic programs for the younger generation in the Americas. When it was brought to their attention that the Association was in need of financial aid, they asked for the facts.
The outcome was the following agreement: In exchange for calling 193 trophies and 1.500 medals, given in 48 states, 5 Provincial, 12 Metropolitan, and both World Championship teams, "Pepsi-Cola Awards," they in turn would underwrite the World Softball Championships against loss. With the assurance of "no loss" naturally tournaments were conducted on a much higher pland and with greater success. The Pepsi-Cola Company is to be complimented for this grand gesture to teh largest single sport organization in the world.
The Association gave assistance to the softball promotion in over 700 Army, Navy, Marine and Aviatio Bases in the United States during 1941. Pepsi-Cola Awards were presented to all major Base softball champions.
The high point of the Detroit tournament was the presentation of the 1941 World's Championship award to the winning Bendiz Brakes team hailing from South Bend, Indiana. Shown in the picture are left to right: Jack Ledden, Commissioner for the American Softball Associatio in Indiana; M.J. Pauley, Executive Secretary of the A.S.A.; the 1941 Pepis-Cola World's Championship Softball Award; Ted Andrews, Bendix Brakes manager; and A.S.A. President William E. Landis.
The Association also sanctioned the High School programof "Scholastic Coach" magazine and assisted wherever possible. Three thousand schools entered this intramural promotion. Ten or more teams were entered from each and Pepsi-Cola Awards were given by "Scholastic Coach" to each school champion. This program alone actually taught more than 400,000 boys and girls on 40,000 teams the game of softball under excellent jurisdiction.
Finances for they yearly conduct of the international offices must be arrived at the same time as in other years, which is by dues, guide advertising, and profit from the sale of guides. From this year on the guide is to be the OFFICIAL GUIDE OF THE JOINT RULES COMMITTEE OF SOFTBALL.
from the 1941 World's Championship Games
District of Columbia 4, Georgia 2
Tennessee 4, Texas 0
South Carolina 3, New Orleans 0
North Carolina 1, Kentucky 0
Arizona 2, Alabama 0
Louisiana 16, New Mexico 0
Oklahoma 3, Florida 0
Arkansas - Bye
Connecticut 7, Maine 0
Massachussetts 2, New York City 0
New York 7, Vermont 0
Rhode Island 7, Boston 0
Buffalo 6, Pennsylvania 0
Philadelphia 2, Virginia 1
New Jersey - Bye
West Virginia 2, Maryland 1
Denver 4, Puerto Rico 1
Utah 4, Southern California 1
Los Angeles 9, Washington 0
Detroit 1, California 0
Nebraska 6, Wyoming 0
Kansas 7, North Dakota 0
Missouri 7, South Dakota 0
Kodak Park, New York 3, Colorado 1
Illinois 3, Ohio 0
Indiana 2, Chicago 0
Michigan 4, Milwaukee 1
Pittsburgh 4, Iowa 2
Toronto 6, Cincinnati 1
Cleveland 7, Minnesota 0
District of Columbia 7, Tennessee 4
North Carolina 6, South Carolina 1
Arizona 4, Louisiana 1
Oklahoma 2, Arkansas 0
Connecticut 3, Massachussetts 1
New York 2, Rhode Island 0
Buffalo 8, Philadelphia 0
New Jersey 12, West Virginia 0
Denver 2, Utah 0
Detroit 4, Los Angeles 3
Nebraska 4, Kansas 1
Missouri 7, Montana 0
Illinois 4, Kodak Park, NY 0
Indiana 6, Wisconsin 0
Michigan 4, Pittsburgh 2
Cleveland 1, Toronto 0
North Carolina 3, District of Columbia 0
Arizona 2, Oklahoma 0
New York 6, Connecticut 3
New Jersey 4, Buffalo 1
Detroit 8, Denver 3
Missouri 4, Nebraska 3
Indiana 3, Illinois 2
Michigan 4, Cleveland 0
North Carolina 4, Arizona 0
New Jersey 3, New York 2
Detroit 6, Missouri 2
Indiana 4, Michigan 3
North Carolina 1, New Jersey 0
Indiana 7, Detroit 2
Indiana 9, North Carolina 0
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Winning Takes a Back seat to wild trip -click here
in the St. Croix Valley of Minnesota - The heyday
By Chris Diethert
If you have never heard about the small, hard working town of Scandia, you will by the time I'm done writing my articles.
Scandia is located about 20 miles north of Stillwater, where Fastpitch was "LIFE". I have had the opportunity to have fastpitch in my life for as long as I can remember. What better place than Stillwater? It's close enough when you were a old timer, that you could end up playing a team like Whitaker Buick, or All American Bar in a Saturday night show case game.
Back when there was a thing called an attendance in the sport, my father played from 1951-1969 in the valley on a team called Grain Belt (if you were from the cities back then you knew who they were). It was an era where everybody was tough and had a hard throwing pitcher that would pitch game after game.
This is going to be a article about fastpitch in the St. Croix Valley. You will learn about the Junkers, Erickson's Barnholts, Hoy's, Diethert's and the list goes on and on.
I hope the ambassador's of the sport like Bob Tomlinson, Richard Quigley, Les Novak will appreciate this.....
I will start this "Back in Time" article with a story.
When I was just starting to playing fastpitch, I idolized the Scandia squad that played in the early 90's. Back then, great players around the state wanted to play for Scandia for a couple of reasons: #1) because of the longtime tradition for winning and #2) Richard Quigley, who sponsored and coached about 1983 to 1994. To cut to the chase, a fastpich genius!
Since I was a fixture in the fastpitch scene, I got the opportunity to meet people like Shane and Todd Bouman, Chad (Banger) Boom, The Tschida brothers (Jimmy and Johnny), Guy Carlson. They are all great players and even better individuals. A couple of Scandia soft ballers, Steve Joyce and Joe Eichten got a bowling squad together to get out of the house in the winter time. I was asked to bowl because I am a pretty good bowler. At the last moment our 5th bowler backed out. While we are all standing around pondering what our options were, Steve Joyce said, "Lets call Banger."
had never thrown a bowling ball in his life. Also trying to pry him away from
his couch and wife was going to be a huge task. But to make a long story short,
Chad Boom was now a member on the late night Scandia bowling squad. The site
of Chad throwing a bowling ball would make you cringe. Chad started the first
couple of months with a 115 average, getting up some huge handicap! A couple
months later he was up to a 176 average. Are you kidding me? People live there
whole lives and not have that average. All in a couple of months of bowling.
He was a freak. Whats next for Banger? A 59 on Pebble Beach? To say the least
Chad drank plenty of free Miller Lite that winter. Here is my first "Back
in Time" article. It dates back to August 24th 1961 and the headline is
"SCANDIA DEFEATS GRAIN BELT TO WIN FIRST HALF TITLE!"
The snappy Scandia softball team whipped Len's Grain Belts 3 to 0 last night to cop the first half championship of the Friendly Valley Softball league before one of the largest crowds in many years. Scandia scored three runs after two were out in the top of the fourth inning to win the game.
Scandia got two runners on base in the first three innings on singles by Phil Anderson and Lowell Benson but couldn't dent the scoring column. They did score three runs in the top of the fourth inning on two hits and two errors by the Grain Belts. After one away Marv Carlson singled, went to second on a passed ball and to third on an infield out. Thompson laid down a bunt which was missed at first base, Carlson scoring the first run for Scandia. Lindberg singled into right field, Thompson scoring the second run. Lindberg went to second on a wild pitch, scoring the third run on another error by the Grain Belts, so then the smoke cleared, Scandia had a 3 to 0 lead in the ball game. All runs being unearned.
Scandia's only other threat was in the sixth when they got a runner on by being hit by a pitched ball. After two away, Lindberg singled for the second straight time but Carlson was out at home plate on a perfect throw from Jerry Rose in center field.
Grains threatened only twice in the game. In the fifth and seventh as Erickson fanned 18 batsmen.
Joe Junker led off the top of the fifth with a single, the only hit of the game for the Grain Belts. After one away, Dick Rose got life on an error putting runners on first and third base. The next two batters fanned, however, to end the threat. Grains threatened in the bottom of the seventh as "Choc" Junker lead off with a walk. The next two batters fanned for two away. Dick Rose got life on another error putting runners on first and third with two outs but Jim Buege popped out to end the game.
Wayne Erickson of Scandia was at his best last night, allowing no runs, one hit and fanning 18 Grain Belt hitters. Hugh Rose pitched a good game for the Grain Belts as he scattered five hits, walked one and fanned five but errors by his mates gave Scandia three unearned runs. Winnie Lindberg led Scandia's five hit attack with two singles in three appearances at the plate.
Saturday night Len's Grains will play at Scandia at 8:30 in the makeup of a rained out game. All Grain Blet players will meet at Jim Meister's at 7:00 to leave for Scandia.
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"Winning takes back seat to wild trip"
is a long time legend story from fastpitch in the valley. All these players
went on to play for Richard Quigley and Scandia. I hope everyone enjoys the
stories!!!!! This one I took from the
newspaper article put in the Stillwater Gazette....Enjoy. From Chris Diethert.
To win their first tournament of the season , the Stillwater Merchants fastpitch
softball team last weekend had to win one game in the bottom of the seventh
inning, win another in the bottom of the 15th and then beat on of the host
teams for the title.
That was the easy part. The hard part was finding the field.
While playing the the ASA Class A state tournament a couple weeks ago, Stillwater heard from players on a Duluth team about a tournament in Canada that boasted some pretty big payoffs to the winners and runners-up. The tourney, according to the men from the port city, was in Thunder Bay.
Dutz Junker, one of the Merchants, coaches, sent in the entry fee and the Merchants were included in the 32-team, single-elimination Thunder Bay Classic--or, at least, that's what they thought the name of
the tourney was.
A cash prize of $1500 awaited the winner of the tourney, but the money for second place and consolation champion wasn't too shabby, either: about $800 or so. The money basically is to cover traveling
expenses for the teams, some of which come from as far south as Iowa. Stillwater, which had won 35 of its 53 games this summer, thought it was worth a shot.
The Classic started last Friday, but Stillwater wasn't scheduled to play until Saturday afternoon at 2:30, against Gaylord, MN. So, most of the players hopped in a motor home Friday afternoon and checked in that
night in a Thunder Bay motel. After a good night's sleep, the Merchants woke up early, got a bite to eat and headed out at 8 am to find the field and do some advance scouting.
Two hours later, they were still looking.
"All we could find were soccer fields, " said Dave Junker, Stillwater's third baseman. " there were a ton of softball fields, but they all had soccer nets up. We found this huge soccer tournament, but no one playing softball."
By 10:30, the players were feeling a little anxious. They found the city police department and asked officers if they, by some slim chance, knew about the tournament. They didn't, but in a gesture of hospitality
they called the local radio station and asked its sports director if, by some chance, he knew about the tournament. He didn't either.
"That's when Dutz gave the officer this phone number he had been given y the Duluth players, the guy looked at the number and said, "that's a Fort Francis exchange!!" Where is Fort Frances? the players asked.
"About 210 miles straight west of here," the officer responded.
Apparently, the Merchants had gotten Fort Francis mixed up with the old name of Thunder Bay, Port Arthur. The map of southern Ontario is dotted with cities whose names begin with either Fort or Port. But with
less than four hours before their first game and facing elimination, the Merchants weren't concerned with geography. They just wanted to know the quickest route to Fort Francis.
When they reached the halfway point, the Merchants stopped to call the tournament officials. They were worried they would be late, but their fears were quickly relived. The Gaylord players had called earlier in
the day and said they were canceling. Stillwater had drawn a bye and wouldn't play until Sunday morning at 10:30.
The Merchants made one mistake in their phone call to Fort Francis....they explained what had happened to them. By the time they reached the field, they were celebrities.
"We no sooner walked into the complex and they saw our jackets and bags and started giving in to us," Junker said. ""Hey, you made a wrong turn A?" they yelled to us with a laugh. It was one big joke after
By Sunday, Stillwater was ready to prove on the field that it wasn't the adult version of the Bad News Bears. It didn't take long. The Merchants faced one of the pre-tourney favorites, Peterson Electric of
--where else? Thunder Bay. "We told them, "Hey, we could have played you over there!" Junker
Stillwater came away with a 4-3 win when Mike Brochman and Tim Schmidt led off the bottom of the seventh with singles and, two outs later, Pat Eichten singled to drive in Brochman. Peterson Electric had tied the
game in the top of the inning on a home run. Keith Schmidt, the Merchants pitching ace all season, tossed a five-hitter, striking out nine.
That took care of Sunday, Monday, the Merchants faced Atikokan, Ontario in a 15 inning thriller. Greg Isaacson, from Scandia started and went the first 9 1/3 innings. He struck out 10 and allowed just three
hits, but the merchants couldn't score, either. Schmidt came in in the 10th, retired Atikokan and then pitched five more innings of no-hit ball. He struck out 11 of the 17 batters he faced.
Stillwater finally won the game 1-0 with two out in the 15th. Pat Eichten reached base on a walk and Steve Junker followed with a single to right center. An Atikokan outfielder tried to throw out Eichten going
to third, but his throw went into the dugout and Eichten trotted home.
That put the Merchants in the championship game, where they met Esquire Inn of Fort Frances. Esquire Inn was another title contender, but it didn't provide the resistance that Peterson Electric or Atikokan
had. The Merchants won 4-1 in a combined effort by Tom Thoreson and Isaacson.
Down 1-0 going into the fifth, Stillwater broke the game open with three runs. Duffy Harper singled, Isaacson reached on an infield error, Brochman singled in Harper and, two outs later, Joey Eichten's double
scored 2 runs. The Merchants added an insurance run in the seventh when Tim Schmidt singled, moved to second on a fielder's choice and scored on a two-base throwing error.
By Monday night, Stillwater received a check for $1500 in Candian money--nearly $1200 in American currency. After paying for traveling expensed, the team came home with about $1000 pocket change, will worth the 600-mile trip through the Canadian wilderness.
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