Softball and baseball’s favorite newspaper since 1987

Dudley Classic set to

rock ‘em


By Don Bowman


With the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 powerhouses, Resmondo and Dan Smith, accenting the tournament bracket board, the Dudley/Budweiser Classic promises to be another showcase of great softball this weekend!

Warren Bellm, the event coordinator and tournament director, is known nationwide for putting on the very best softball extravaganza in the land, and deserves all the credit!

This year it would be very surprising if the aforementioned Resmondo/Smith boys do not meet in the finals, but you never know! Several other top-ranked clubs will be in the mix this weekend to bring home some Dudley hardware, including top Minnesota clubs Mr. D’s, Kevitt Excavating and C&A, among others.


Dudley legends MIA this weekend?

Three of the more legendary names in Dudley Classic “folklore” might not be in attendance this weekend due to vocational commitments. Sadly, Rusty Bumgardner, Jason Kendrick and Johnny McGraw might have job-related issues that will prohibit them from playing. Between those three alone, dozens of championship and all-tournament honors have been handed out at the Dudley in the last decade! The trio is playing for a very good Laservision ball club these days.


Entering the Dudley on fire

Resmondo is the team to beat this weekend at the Dudley, that’s a no-brainer. Last weekend, the Sod Boys won the Windy City Classic (Joliet, Ill.), defeating GTL Cartel/Worth in the finals 37-19. Tabbed as tourney MVPs were Resmondo’s Andy Purcell and Brian Rainwater. The Sod Boys could be without superstar utility man Dennis Rulli again this weekend, however, who hurt his leg awhile back and did not play in Joliet.


The men (and woman) in red

Some of the best umpires in the land will be officiating at the Dudley Classic, most local and a handful of imports from the ‘Conference.’ Hopefully, our local lads (and lass) will get assigned to some of the bigger games behind the dish this weekend. It was just a few years ago, when one ‘national softball star’ got on the phone and complained to the national director moments after he and a teammate got called out on strikes in one inning – looking! Hopefully that wont be the case this weekend, and hopefully there will not be very good cell phone service near the Central North field this weekend either!


Burnsville wins state fastpitch title

In one of the more thrilling state championship games in recent history, the Burnsville Blaze nipped the North St. Paul Polars 3-2, in the championship game of the AAA fastpitch finals in Mankato. Both teams bring back a lot of talent next year, so look for a possible rematch in 2011!


Mr. D’s wins in Albertville

Mr. D’s won the Friendly City Days tourney in Albertville last weekend, with things going much more smoothly than last year! If you recall last year, this tourney was marred by a “knuckle sandwich” free-for-all after the tournament. This year, things went so nicely, that tournament MVP Chaun “with a C, not an S” Demars and teammates were reportedly toasted with a victory parade in downtown Albertville! The two-block celebration was a huge hit with the locals!


Home run derby a hit

Twin City softball manager/promoter Bill Dehkes, along with Dan Smith/Combat slugger Scott “Brownie” Brown, teamed up once again to produce another super home run derby event at BeBops (Fridley) on Thursday, June 17, in conjunction with the Dudley Classic!

The event, filled with 48 participants, was a huge hit with softball fans once again in the Twin Cities area, with over 32 contestants turned away.

The final results were not known when this issue went to press, but defending Long Haul Bomber Champion and the defending Dudley Classic Home Run Derby champion Denny Crine (Dan Smith Softball), was back to defend his crown. Last year, Crine won a beautiful motorcycle courtesy of the Bomber tour as the grand champion, but interesting enough it is teammate Geno Buck who has been driving the ‘hog’ around lately…hmmmm.

Hats off to Bill and Brownie who, without compensation or fanfare, put this great derby on each year! It also has to be one of the bigger nights of year for BeBops cash registers too!


Where are the bat testers?

Long-time reader Stu Podassel writes in: “Diamond Don, I heard there are 150 brand new battery operated bat testing devices, buried in an underground bunker, just outside of Kissimmee, Fla. Any truth to this?”

Dear Stu, All I know is they weren’t used in Joliet, and they won’t be used at the Dudley. Might not see them again unless John Daniels puts a big-time team together again. Thanks for writing! (Just kidding, JD!)


Target Field hosts Bomber Tour

Add beautiful Target Field to the list of stops of the 2010 Long Haul Bomber Tour after all! On Wednesday June 16, some of the greatest slow pitch softball stars in the land blasted mammoth home runs out of the park in downtown Minneapolis! Interestingly enough, lefthanded hitting members of the tour were not allowed to participate on this particular stop, due to safety concerns of the large amount of fans entering gate 34 at Target Field, the primary entrance for fans.


C&A Softball wins C/D World NIT

C&A Softball won the C/D World NIT in Fridley on June 5-6, with Kevitt Excavating finishing a solid 7-2 after losing the opener. Mayhem, one of the top men’s ‘D‘ teams in the Midwest, finished strong in grabbing third-place honors! C&A’s Josh Canniff was proclaimed the tourney’s most valuable player, while Brandon Newman was named the tourneys defensive MVP. Speaking of Team Mayhem, the club also won the Father Hennepin Tournament the week before.


TC Longhorns lose a pair

The TC Longhorns, another of the area’s top C teams, lost a couple of top notch players when Mike Nelson and Scott Snodie jumped ship to other teams. The team plans to reload and still be tough to beat down the stretch.