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Dan Smith rocks Dudley Classic field


By Don Bowman


There is a NEW number one team in the land, folks, and that is no other than Dan Smith/Menosse/Benfield/Combat Softball out of California! The ‘Plaster Boys’ knocked off heated rival Resmondo (Fla.) in the ‘if’ game on Sunday, 33-26, and claimed yet another Dudley/Budweiser/Easton Classic in Brooklyn Center, Minn.

Smith came in flat in the tourney opener on Friday night, barely getting by MN Mission Softball and crafty pitcher Chris Duda, winning 26-14. As the Californians picked up momentum, they eventually landed in the undefeated game on Saturday night, and pulled off a thrilling 42-41 victory over Travis Resmondo’s ‘Sod’ boys, placing them in the championship game on late Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, Resmondo had to defeat a pesky and tired GTL/Creative Stucco ball club in the third-place game early Sunday morning, earning the right to face Smith in the finals.

Resmondo won the first championship tilt in a slugfest 41-36, setting up the final game.

Resmondo was the pre-season No. 1 rated team in the nation, and held that spot until this weekend.

GTL got their money’s worth after losing the tourney opener, and finished with a grueling 8-2 mark and third-place hardware.

Congrats as usual to the Dudley Classic staff – Warren Bellm the director, the City of Brooklyn Center, Dudley, Easton, Budweiser and many more for another FABULOUS softball extravaganza! Nobody in the land works harder in putting on such a festive event, witnessed by the thousands that attended this year’s ‘classic’!


Genter, Nastally share MVP honors

Dudley/Budweiser Classic co-tournament MVP’s were Dan Smith’s J.D. Genter (offensive) and pitcher Scott Nastally (defensively). Congrats to Gary Jost (Oakdale) and Pat Delsanders (Wash.), the manager-general manager, respectively, for the Dan Smith. These guys are a CLASS organization!


Ump rings up three all-world players

One the best umpires in the nation, a local guy whose name shall not be mentioned, had the guts to call out not one, not two, but THREE frist-team all-world performers on strikes during the tournament. Each of the ‘strike three’s’ were excellent calls!


Contractor’s Capital goes 2-2

As predicted by Let’s Play Softball, the highest finishing local team at the 2008 Dudley was Contractor’s Capital who went 2-2. Unfortunately after the tournament, one of the team’s main ‘big guns’ was rumored to be leaving the team for personal reasons.


Home Run Contest a big hit

Hats off to Titan Apparel and Supreme Sports out of White Bear Lake, who conducted the very successful and fun Dudley Classic Home Run Contest at Diamonds Sports Bar in Ramsey. Billy Dehkes and Steve Heifort (Titan and Supreme CEO’s), did an OUTSTANDING job in bringing the top hitters in the world, and team them up with local boys for a chance to win some large cash prizes at Diamond Fields.

Nearly 75 participants took part in the event that was telecasted by Softball The champions in this year’s event were Brian Higganbothom (Combat USA) and Dustin “Powderkeg” Palm of Contractor’s Capital, who knocked off Denny Crine (Long Haul) and Nick Peterson (Contractor’s Capital) 14-13 in a ‘hit off’ to win the title.

Just my two cents worth, for these two guys (Dehkes/Heifort) to take the time to conduct such a great event, not make a dime between them on the showcase, and for other popular people in softball to take ‘potshots’ at them on the web boards and in person is uncalled for! For those that witnessed or were involved in the derby, it was a blast, and just gave all the softball fans in the state another reason to celebrate yet another Dudley Classic coming to town!


Jerseys featuring colors galore

Gaudy uniforms are back, as there seems to be more ink/colors on team jerseys than every before! No wonder airline prices are going up.


Beware of batted balls

Local umpire Mikey Raymond, a rookie ‘Red’ working his first Dudley event, took a hard shot off of one his body parts working the bases during the tournament. We wish him a full recovery! If it weren’t for the pack of Marlboro Lights he had stuffed in his pants pocket, he would have been hurt worse!


Fireman’s Tourney set for July 18-20

Another BIG softball crowd favorite, the Fireman’s/WSL/ASA Softball Tournament, is slated July 18-20 in Bloomington, Minn. You think you had fun at the Dudley, save something in the tank for this one, it’s a dandy! Once again the World Softball League will be sponsoring the 2008 summer classic, which will have not only some the best men’s teams in the land, but will also have a women’s tournament field second to none in the Midwest! See you at Valleyview Fields next month!


MN Vets fastpitch tourney wrap-up

The MN Vets Girls Fastpitch organization sponsored a tremendous fastpitch national qualifier tournament June 20-22 in White Bear Lake. Some of the top 18U and 16U clubs in the Midwest attended, including teams from Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa and of course, Minnesota.

In a thrilling comeback, the MN Sting, coached by Sean Hall (North St. Paul High School), double dipped a very talented MN Blizzard team out of Bloomington, in the finals of the 18U ‘A’ bracket, and in doing so, won a national berth to the USSSA National Tournament later this summer.

The Sting also won a prestigious ASA national berth the week before in Sioux Falls, S.D., as well. More details, including action photo’s, will be featured in a future issue of Let’s Play Softball.


Bat Review Contest underway

As mentioned before, the tremendously successful Lets Play Softball 2008 Bat Reviews/Contest is now underway! Bat reps that have not entered their demos can contact us at 651-208-3909. The deadline to enter is July 7!


Duk Duk Daze set for July 18-20

One of the top women’s tournaments in the state each year, Duk Duk Daze, is slated for July 18-20.


Kittenball softball in Little Canada

If co-rec Kittenball Softball is your bag, the 20th annual Little Canada “Canadian Days” Classic is slated for Aug. 2-3, at Spooner Park in Little Canada. For more information, call Rick at 612-802-5318.