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Hauling away a Dudley title


By Don Bowman


I am not sure if there was a parade or not in downtown Albertville or not, but Long Haul Trucking/Miken/Phone-masters has earned the right to be the No. 1 ranked team in the land, after winning the 2009 Dudley/Budweiser Classic!

Disposing of both Dan Smith/Menosse/Benfield/Combat and Resmondo/Specialty Tank/Worth was not an easy agenda for the Truckers, but they accomplished both tasks, and eventually topped Dan Smith of California 26-11 in the championship game of the prestigious Dudley Classic. Finishing third was previously No. 1 rated Resmondo, while T&R Stucco placed fourth.

Long Haul’s leadoff hitter, J.D. Genter, was tabbed tournament MVP, while Minnesotans Scottie Brown (Dan Smith/Combat) and Geno Buck (Long Haul/Miken) played solidly, and were named to the Dudley Classic All-Tournament team.


Seeing red

The umpiring crew at this year’s Dudley were outstanding. In addition to Minnesota top officials, a handful of USSSA ‘conference’ umpires were flown in to work most of the ‘big games.’ This type of ‘augmentation,’ however, has appeared to leave a sour taste in the mouth of local umpires.

Local umpires as it appears, in many of the four-man crew games, are not allowed to work home plate or first base, and pretty much relegated to working third and second. In other words, the locals just handle crowd control down each foul line and get cold drinks for the ‘conference officials’ when they need it. Hopefully next year, the guys in red around here will get a little more respect from the national office.


Local teams shine at the Dudley

Among the local teams who had GREAT weekends at the 2009 Dudley Classic last month were: Easton/Hooters/Rockets, Steve O’s, Showcase, C&A and Diamond Auto. Next stop on the “you gotta be there tournament” schedule is the 2009 Fireman’s/WSL/ASA Softball showcase, slated for July 17-19 in Bloomington.


Crystal Frolics coming soon

Another great event, slated for July, is the Crystal Frolics Softball Spectacular. New this year will be the addition of a top flight women’s tournament, featuring many of the Midwest‘s top ladies slowpitch clubs. The tournament will be a part of the newly formed USSSA Women’s Conference Championship Series, and it will do great wonders to help expand this great program!


Pre-Dudley Classic a huge success

The pre Dudley Classic tournament was a huge success, drawing thousands to BeBops Sports Complex (Fridley) on June 18. Denny Crine of Las Vegas was the men’s major winner, with local player Mike Kopesky of the Rockets capturing ‘amateur’ honors, in topping the 80-player field. Pre-home run contest favorite Steve “Python Arms” Heifort of Titan Apparel/Tina Kane/Easton, finished a in disappointing 79th place in the event, going a wimpy 1-5. Heifort made up for this major disappointment by batting a sizzling 1.000 at the Dudley however, going 1-1 in his only appearance.


Bat contest/review underway

The 2009 Lets Play Softball Bat Contest/Reviews are underway with testing results/feedback announced in our late July (final) issue! Bat reps must be sure to get there demos in by July 14! For more information, please call 651-208-3909. This year we are again reviewing slow, fast and senior bats. It is a good year to buy a softball bat!


MN Vets fastpitch tourney recap

A top notch fastpitch tournament was held in White Bear Lake on June 26-28, as the 5th Annual MN Vets College Showcase was a big hit! Some of the very best girls 16’s and 18’s clubs took part in this 26-team extravaganza with the following teams earning national berths and championship honors:

16’s: MN Vets, North St. Paul

18’s: Omaha Sizzle, Diamond Devils (MN), Dane Softball (WI)

In addition, hundreds of pounds of supplies were donated by participants and area fans to be donated to our troops in Iraq! Congratulations to all participants and tourney director Gary Moos and his tireless staff of volunteers who put this wonderful event on!


Long Haul Bombers invade Tampa

The Tampa Bay Rays hosted the Long Haul Bombers tour this past weekend, the final results were:

First place – Team Easton (Brian Wegman 11 points, Scott Kirby (9 points)

Second place – Team Worth (Jeff Hall (9 points, BJ Fulk 7 points)


Long Haul/Jimmy’s/Ancell wins title

Long Haul/Jimmy’s/Ancell of Little Canada, won the SSUSA Senior 10,000 Lakes Senior 50’s tournament in Rochester last weekend. In the finals, Jerry Otto Sr.’s seedy, I mean “speedy” crew, defeated a gritty MN Master’s Ancell team, a former world champion themselves, in the closely fought championship encounter. With the victory, the club will journey to Phoenix in October and a spot in the SSUSA World Championships. This team is loaded and may be even good enough to play at the major plus level in 2010. We will see!