baseball’s favorite newspaper since 1987
The men (and woman) in red at the Dudley
On behalf of Minnesota’s USSSA and the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association, I
want to welcome all players and fans to Brooklyn Center’s Dudley/Budweiser/Easton Major NIT. It is hard to believe
that this is the 27th year that the world’s best softball players
have invaded the Gopher State. I am fortunate enough to have been involved in all 27
tourneys in various capacities.
I look forward to
this event with great anticipation each year, not only for the quality of softball
that is displayed, but also for the opportunity to renew old friendships. There
are many memories of past tourneys, but what I cherish most are the lasting
relationships this tourney has created with friends from all over the country.
For those of you who
are not familiar with our program, we are very proud of the fact that Minnesota ranked first nationally in team registrations during the
2008 campaign. We registered over 6,300 teams. We also led the country in
umpire registrations last year!
We sent over 150
teams to National and World tournaments last fall and we are very proud of the
fact that two teams captured World titles: Korba Softball, Men’s 55 + Over, and
J & H Wall/Chanticlear Pizza, Men’s “C.”
This past January, a
crowd of over 300 gathered at Brooklyn Center’s Crowne Plaza-Minneapolis North to honor our newest
inductees into our State Hall of Fame – Ray Brown, Joe Ericksen, Babe Glumack,
Scott Holt, Don Klatt, Dan Krtnick, Jack O’Connor, Don Phenow, Paula Price,
Sara Reiser and Shari Strommer.
reveal that Minnesota’s USSSA will continue to grow and prosper in the years to
come. Our No. 1 priority is to give you, the participant, a
quality program that you can enjoy.
Once again, some of
the country’s finest will be calling balls and strikes
at this Dudley tournament. Now,
let’s meet these dedicated individuals.
Jerry Marinelli – Jerry enjoys retirement from the Post Office after 36 years
of employment. Jerry has retired from umpiring but continues to be our USSSA
Minnesota State Umpire in Chief the past five years. Jerry umpired the 2000 and
2004 Men’s Major World Series in Florida. In 2002, he was elected into the USSSA Minnesota Hall of
Fame. Jerry has two children, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
His hobbies include golfing and being around softball.
Mike Fluegge – Mike is a 22-year retired U.S. Air Force veteran and is
currently an Independent Insurance Agent/ Broker for Eagle
Insurance Center. He’s been a USSSA Official since 1999 and this is his fourth
Dudley Tournament. Mike is also the Minnesota State Deputy Umpire in Chief. In
2007, he umpired the Major World Series, the Men’s A and B World Series and the
Conference USSSA Championships in Florida, along with many other World, National, Regional and State
Tournaments in his career. Mike has two sons and a daughter, Kevin (22),
Nicholas (20) and Skyler (10). He enjoys hunting, fishing, riding his ’00 Road
King Classic H-D and spending good quality time with his parents, Ron and
Mavis, and the rest of his family.
Dave Robinson – Dave is a high school and college football and basketball
official. He played in the first seven Dudleys.
Dave worked in the 1997 Men’s Major World Series in Daytona Beach. This is his 19th year umpiring in the
Classic! Dave is also a member of our USSSA Minnesota Hall of Fame.
Dana Erickson – This is Dana’s 24th year as an umpire and
his 14th Dudley. He has been married to his bride,
Leileni, for 25 years. He has worked numerous NIT’s and State Tournaments. Dana
enjoys playing poker and spending time with his wife. He also has worked for
Center Point for over 20 years.
Ken Girard – Ken has umpired for 20 years in Brooklyn Center. He is a full time
sports official for basketball, football and broomball. Ken enjoys fishing and
hunting. This is Ken’s 13th Dudley Tournament.
Marty Hanft – Marty has umpired since 1968. He umpired the AAA/Masters
World, two B World’s, C World’s and several Nationals.
Marty is the UIC for White
assistant UIC for Mr. M and is involved in developing youth umpires. He is
married to a very tolerant wife (Denise) and has 3 children and 2
grandchildren. This is Marty’s 12th Dudley.
Gregory (Smitty) Smith
– Greg was born and raised in Tulsa,
Okla., by proud parents Sylvester “Buddy” and Alice Smith. Veteran
umpires Kenny Glasbock and Gary Jamison influenced Smitty to start umpiring
Youth softball 29 years ago. He started calling USSSA in 1986, umpiring at many
levels and numerous venues in Minnesota. Smitty has two children, Melissa and Joshua
, and has two grandchildren, Darien
and Angelina. He misses his friends and
ball buddies in Minnesota and would like to give a “special thanks to Jerry
Marinelli, Gerry Turnberg and Warren Bellm” for allowing him to continue to
come back and be apart of his ninth Dudley Tournament.
Erick Norby – Erick is an Assistant Principal at Plymouth
Middle School in Plymouth. He’s umpired since 1985 and for the past 13 years, he’s
been the New Hope Umpire in Chief. In 2001, Erick umpired the Men’s “B” World
Series and Men’s “D” National Tournament in the championship game. This is
Erick’s ninth year umpiring the Dudley. He and his beautiful
wife Kristen have two wonderful children, Marissa (13) and Reese (9).
Rick Alexander – This is
Rick’s seventh consecutive year in the Dudley.
This is his 24th season as a USSSA umpire. Rick has umpired
many National and World tournaments including the 2003 Men’s Master’s, 2004 “C”
World and the 2006 “D” World tournaments. Rick is an Insurance agent with
Prudential Insurance. He is married to his lovely wife, Breanna and resides in Monticello, Minn.
Harlan Isom – Harlan returns to the Gopher state from San Diego
California each summer. He has worked for Unisys for over 41 years in Logistics
Management. Harlan and his lovely wife Marna split their time each year between
their homes in San
Diego and Blaine
and also at their son’s condo in Palm Springs. He also enjoys going to Wisconsin to work on his farm.
Harlan has been umpiring USSSA since the early 1980s at all levels,
including the 1998 Women’s World Series and the 2004 Men’s Major World Series
at Disney World. This is Harlan’s sixth Dudley Tournament.
Mike Ellenz – Mike is the owner of Premier Construction Services and has
umpired numerous NCAA baseball and fastpitch National Championships. He has
also worked State, National and World Slow-Pitch events. This is Mike’s fifth
Al Edwards – Al and his wife Wendy have been married for eight years.
They have two daughters, Kylee 2 ½ yrs. old and Allie 2 months old. He has
worked for the U.S. Postal Service for seven years and has played competitive
softball for 22 years. Al has played in eight World Tournaments and has umpired
in several NIT and National Tournaments. This is Al’s fifth
Dan Marcouiller – Dan works for Allina
Hospitals and Clinics as a Sr. Buyer. He’s been a USSSA umpire for 13
years, officiating numerous State, Regional and World Tournaments. This is Dan’s fourth Dudley Tournament. In
addition to umpiring softball, he referees hockey and enjoys coaching youth
baseball and hockey. Dan and his wife Trini live in New Brighton and have four children, Nicole (25), Megan (21), Derek (20)
and Joey (11).
Pete Strand III
– Pete has worked for RB Honda for eight
years. He has umpired in two World Series, one in Blaine,
Minn., and the other in Orlando,
Fla. Pete has been
umpiring for 15 years and has played and umpired in many state and national
tournaments, and is still playing. Pete also enjoys golfing, bowling and
mountain biking. This is Pete’s fourth Dudley.
Ardell Moeller – Ardell has been married to his lovely wife Jayne for 10
years. He has worked for Best Buy for 20 years. Ardell has umpired in two World
Series, one in Blaine, Minn. and the other in Orlando,
Fla. He has umpired and played in many national and state
tournaments. When he is not on the
softball field, he is an avid bowler and has thrown two 300 games. This is
Ardell’s third Dudley.
Lee Sadowski – Has lived in Fridley,
Minn., for the past 34 years. He’s been self employed for 26 years
in the legal field and has a passion for playing over 35 years with many State
and National Titles. Along with umpiring
the game of softball, he enjoys his ‘69 Corvette, ‘98 Harley Fat Boy. Single and loving it, but does share his
house with a little 12 week old and very attention demanding cocker spaniel
“Jobe “. After 20+ years of calling the
game including many State and National tournaments, this will be his second
Bart Peck – Bart has been umpiring for 12 years and this is his second
Dudley Tournament. During this time he has umpired numerous Regional, NIT’s,
State and World Tournaments. Bart has been married for 23 years to his
wonderful wife Katie and they have two great kids, Alex (14) and Amanda (12).
In addition to umpiring softball, Bart is also a high school baseball and
basketball official. He spends much of his summer coaching his daughter
Amanda’s fast pitch team and is Alex’s No. 1 baseball and basketball fan! When
there is any spare time left over in his busy schedule, he enjoys golfing and
Cathy Hoffman – Cathy has two sons, Dalton
(10) and Garret (8) and resides in Anoka.
She is a substitute physical education teacher for the Anoka-
and has been teaching for 17 years. Cathy also works for USSSA Minnesota
Softball as my Assistant. Cathy has played women’s and mixed softball for over
32 years. In 2008, Cathy umpired the Men’s D and Women’s B and D World Series in
Lake Buena Vista, Florida. She was chosen to umpire the Women’s B championship
game. This is Cathy’s second Dudley and
our first female umpire working the Dudley Tournament.
Jason Halverson – Jason is the proud father of two boys, Sam (6) and
Max (3), and has been married to his lovely wife Missy for eight years. He
works as an Account Manager for Johnson Paper & Supply Company. Along with
being an umpire, Jason is a basketball official and continues to play the game
of softball. His many years on the softball field have led him to wearing “red”
and he’s excited to be working his very first Dudley Tournament.
Reggie Jarrett – Reggie was born and raised in the windy city. He has four
children, Eddie (27) Reggie Jr. (24), Regina
(23) and Lance (17), and six grandchildren. Reggie has worked for the
Minneapolis Park Board for the last 20 years. His hobbies include bowling,
golfing, riding motorcycle and playing competitive softball for the last 15
years. Reggie has umpired numerous men’s
and women’s B, C, D and E National and World qualifiers. In 2008, He umpired
the Men’s D and Women’s B and D World Series in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. This is Reggie’s first Dudley Tournament.
Mike Kloos – Mike works full-time for a software company in Minnetonka; part-time as a tax preparer for H&R Block for the past
18 years; and has umpired the game of softball for 28 years. He’s also the former President of the White
Bear Lake Umpires Association. Mike has
four children, two boys and two girls, and has coached them in their baseball
and fast pitch softball programs. He is an avid handball player and plays
softball when time permits. This will be
Mike’s first Dudley appearance.
Kevin Peterson – Kevin has worked 23 years in the automotive field as a GM
Technician. He has been an umpire for 17 years and has umpired in Nationals,
NIT’s, and State Tournaments. When not umpiring, Kevin enjoys spending time
with his wife Paige and his twin boys Nick and Nate. This is Kevin’s first
Jeff Sellnow – Jeff works as an inventory control specialist at Versa
Cold Storage. He has been a high school basketball official for 11 years and
softball for 12 years. He has done numerous qualifiers around the state. Jeff
has a wife named Annette and a daughter who finished her second year at River Falls,
Wis. Jeff loves to be
outside and looking forward to his first Dudley.
Chuck (Doc) Beckwell – Chuck comes from the Wolverine State. “Doc” works as a family and cosmetic dentist in both Shelby
Township and St
Clair Shores, Mich.
Chuck, Beth and four kids, Charles III
(who began umpiring for USSSA this past year), Erin, Robert and Allyson, reside
in Shelby Twp as well. He started umpiring in 1977 and joined the USSSA in 1984
at Liberty Park of America in Sterling Heights, Mich. He has umpired in world tourneys each year since then,
including the class A/AA and then the class A for the past seasons, getting his
first start in Raleigh, Va. Doc has worked world tournaments in each major
classification since beginning in 1984. He umpired a home run derby in Tiger
Stadium in 2001 where Mike Macenko became only the 19th player to ever clear
the roof in the stadium with a home run ball. Harmon Killebrew, the great Minnesota player is one of only four to clear the right field roof.
Doc umpired the first ever USSSA Conference final at the plate in 2006 and
added the plate for the finals of the Class “A” and Major World Series that
year as well. In 2006 he attended the USSSA National Convention and was named
USSSA “Official of the Year.” Doc was inducted into the Michigan USSSA Hall of
Fame in 1996, was nominated for the USSSA National Hall of Fame and has called in eight Major World Series (1998, 2001-2008). This will be Doc’s third Dudley Tournament.
Tony (The Rook) Walczak
– Tony currently lives in Macomb Twp, Mich.,
where he is a Supervisor in Shipping and Receiving. He joined USSSA in 1993 at
Liberty Park of America in Sterling Heights, Mich. Tony has umpired five Men’s
Major World Series (2004-08) and two Mixed World Series Tournaments (2006 and
2008). He has also umpired three
Conference USSSA Championships (2006-08), numerous NIT’s, State and Regional
Tournaments. Tony has done several World Tournaments including five “A”, two
“B”, three “C” and “D”. He has been honored
to receive the Michigan Umpire in Chief award in 2005. This is Tony’s third Dudley.
Duane (Drano) Posavetz
– Duane is originally from Michigan and now resides in Orlando,
Fla., where he’s a service consultant for a Chevrolet dealership.
Drano has been umpiring for over 26 years with many accolades to include USSSA
“Official of the Year” in 2007. He’s umpired all levels at the National and
World Series divisions, to include eight Major World Series appearances, with
the first in Fredrick, Md., in 1996. He and his beautiful wife Linda have two
won-derful kids, Jason (31) and Kelly (18). He enjoys bowling and playing golf
with his wife, Mr. Rick and the lovely Ms. Anna. This is Drano’s second Dudley.
Bob Smith – Bob hails from the great state of Texas
but is currently residing in Owasso,
Oklahoma. He is currently in his 15th year as a USSSA
Umpire. Over the last 14 years he has had the privilege of working the Men’s
Major World Series five times, the Men’s AA World Series twice and the Men’s A
World Series seven times. He has also worked the Men’s B, C and D and Mixed A, B, C and D world tournaments. In 1999 Bob was
awarded the North Texas USSSA Umpire of the Year award then in 2001 the USSSA Midwest
Division Umpire of the Year award and then in 2008 the Oklahoma USSSA Umpire of
the Year award. Bob was inducted into the Texas USSSA Hall of Fame in 2007.
This will be his third trip to the Dudley;
he was here for the 2000 and 2001 tournaments.
In addition to the
umpires who will be working the trenches, I want you to know some of the other
fine individuals associated with the Dudley/Budweiser/Easton Classic:
Jim Glasoe, our host, is the Director of Brooklyn Center’s Community
Activities, Recreation and Service Department. Jim enjoys golf and home improvement
projects in his spare time. Jim and his
wife of 20 years, Ann, reside in Champlin with their two sons.
Joe Ericksen, our host, is the Recreation Program Supervisor for the City
of Brooklyn Center. Joe runs one of the state’s finest USSSA leagues. His
hobbies include softball, hunting and fishing. Joe and his wife, Theresa,
reside in Champlin.
Warren Bellm is the choreographer for this tournament. As the Tournament
Director, he ultimately has the responsibility of coordinating the overall
effort along with Joe. Warren will have put in literally hundreds of hours before a
champion is declared on Sunday afternoon. He is responsible for making this the
No. 1 NIT in the country. Warren himself was a well-respected umpire for 16
years and is currently a USSSA Area Director. He is also the Tournament
Director for the Men’s Major World Series and numerous Conference Tournaments. Warren
retired as an investigator for the District Attorney’s Office of Hennepin
County last summer. Warren and his wife,
Sandy, have two children and four grandchildren. Warren
is a member of our State Hall of Fame.
Joe Bruntmyer is a tournament assistant. Joe is the Athletic Supervisor for
the Vernon Hills Illinois Park District. Joe, who was my assistant in 2000,
comes back to his old stomping grounds to assist each year.
Gregg Otten has been in and around softball for over 40 years and is a
member of our State Hall of Fame. Gregg started OTTS Product Company
specializing in softball bat protection equipment and Hockey Training Equipment.
Gregg, his wife, Patty, and daughter, Kelsey (18), live in Maple Grove.
Steve Cahill would normally be umpiring this weekend but a knee injury
has put him on the shelf. He and his wife Joanie have been married for 22
years, and have a son Aaron. Steve is employed by Goodin, a wholesale plumbing
and heating company and also works for the city of Brooklyn Center. Steve is a member of
our State Hall of Fame.
When the voice of
softball, Ray Molphy retired a few years ago, some thought it would leave a
void in the announcing department. But the announcing has not missed a beat
with the very capable Dave Trombley. When Ray had to catch a plane
before the start of the “98” championship game, Dave was called to duty and
he’s been behind the mike on the north field ever since. Dave, who is 36 years
old, lives in Brooklyn
Steve Ericson will be on the mike on the south field this weekend. He is
very well respected in the softball world and is a member of our State Hall of
Fame. Steve is employed by Independent School
279 and is the head girls’ fast pitch coach at Park Center High. Steve and his
family live in Otsego.
Maintenance Department is the best in the business. Once again the playing conditions
will be second to none!
I have only
mentioned a handful of people associated with this tournament. Obviously it takes a great deal more people
than that to run a tournament of this magnitude. I salute the many employees of
the park maintenance, police, recreation, and volunteer fire departments and
others who lend their time and talents to make this the best Men’s Major
National Invitational Tournament in the country.
Minnesota USSSA/MRPA Website: www.mnusssa.com
Website Access: Visit the USSSA
website at www.usssa.com
If I can be of any
assistance in any of your softball needs, please call me at 763.571.1305 x 108
or 1.800.862.3659 x108 or write me at:
MRPA 200 Charles Street NE Fridley MN 55432
Remember – it is
you, the player, coach, fan, and umpire that make USSSA a GREAT organization
and the place to be!