Softball and baseball’s favorite newspaper since 1987

Great spring weather:

Let’s play ball!


By Don Bowman


With the outstanding spring weather, the best spring in memory, softball teams are itching to start the season! Locally, kicking things off on April 24-25 at BeBops (Fridley), will be the state’s longest running national qualifier, the 28th annual Dudley Earlybird National Qualifier.

This event features men’s D/E, women’s C/D, and co-rec C/D divisions. For information, call 651-208-3909. It’s a great way to kick off the spring!


Kendrick named new WSL CEO

Nathan Kendrick, a Georgia native and brother of major softball star Jason Kendrick, will be the new CEO and tournament director for World Softball League tournaments starting this season. Nathan is a very knowledgeable softball promoter and will help the World Softball League immensely as its new ambassador.

WSL founder John “JD” Daniels will continue with the immensely successful WSL Bombers and Softball 360 Productions, and will still be spotted at big time softball events around the country again this summer!


Whitson named umpire in chief

White Bear Lake native Cliff Whitson, has been named the national youth and women’s umpire in chief for the North American Fastpitch Association. NAFA will be the main organizing body for several state fastpitch governing bodies this season, including Tri County and Suburban youth fastpitch and appear to be an organization on the rise.

The ASA still will be a strong force in fastpitch softball, running several state and regional tournaments, in addition to men’s and women’s fastpitch programs in St. Paul.


Sports bar/softball complexes open

We have long taken sports bar/softball complexes for granted, for the good work they do in providing league and weekend tournaments in adult programs. BeBops (Fridley), Pov’s (Andover) and the Buffalo House (Duluth) are up and running again this summer! In addition, it was just announced that the Stadium (formerly the Village Inn), will back fielding softball leagues and tournaments in White Bear Lake once again this season. Sadly, one of the better private softball sites just north of the cities, Diamonds/Wyatt Earps, has disbanded softball operations.


Armor Softball takes third in Missouri

Armor Softball of MN was the highest finishing local ball club at last weekend’s Mighty Mo World Qualifier in Missouri last weekend, finishing third. Another one of the top teams in the state, C&A, also participated.

Faces in the crowd at the Mighty Mo, no not Ozzie Smith and Bob Gibson, but none other than area talent scouts Kevin Zenk and Billy Dehkes.


Demars to play in Border Battle

Chaun Demars from the Theraldsons Softball Club out of North Dakota and other points unknown, is rumored to have been selected to play on Team USA in their Border Battle series with Team Canada, slated later this season. Speaking of Demars and Theraldson Softball, the team has reportly offered a lucrative contract to Geno Burdick, Jr., legendary utility/catcher/DH/hitting specialist, for the 2010 season.


Top players to join EWS Softball

Some other top area softball stars will be playing softball for EWS Softball out of Illinois this season. Andy Vitcak, Dustin Palm and Tim Nielson will be playing in the USSSA Conference circuit with EWS starting this spring.


Polars hosting fastpitch events

The North St. Paul Polar Fastpitch team will be hosting a series of top notch girls fastpitch events this spring. On April 10, a freshman/JV softball tournament will be held. Then on April 17, a freshman tourney will be played. Wrapping thing up on April 23-24, a freshman/JV/Varsity extravaganza will take place, all at the McKnight softball complex. The varsity tournament will feature some of the top high school teams in the state, you wont want to miss it!


Buck goes back on Bomber Tour

Slugger Geno Buck, a Red Wing native, will be back on the Long Haul Bomber Tour again this season, this year representing DeMarini.


Yochum signs with Kevitt

Veteran Danny “Yo-Yo” Yochum, pitcher extrordinaire, is has signed on to take the hill for men’s class C softball powerhouse Kevitt Excavating this summer.