Softball and baseballís favorite newspaper since 1987
Firemanís/Frolics: Softball fireworks at its best
By Don Bowman
The Bloomington Firemanís Tournament did not disappoint two weeks ago, as a LOADED Team BBS/Miken club captured the championship hardware! Leading the way for BBS was none other than legendary world class home run king Denny Crine, who flew in from Las Vegas.
In addition to pounding the ball out of the park from time to time, it was impressive to see Crine hit the ball at will when he needed. Crine, incidently, won the Long Haul Bomber Tour stop event in Atlanta this past weekend!
Crystal Frolics packs the stands
Another one of the very best tournaments in the Midwest, the 2012 Crystal Frolics, packed the stands July 27-29 at Becker and Welcome Parks! In addition to the sensational fireworks show, huge cash payouts and mammoth crowds, some GREAT softball took place. Competing in the menís open division were BBS/All American, Luther Auto, Budweiser, Xtreme/Combat and the Longhorns Softball clubs.
When the dust settled, BBS and Xtreme/Combat shared the prize booty as co-champions, with the local curfew stopping things prematurely. In the competitive menís C bracket, Team Stoop of Little Canada came through the loserís bracket to knock off Coors Light, 17-15 in the Ďifí game.
Vail resigns from Polar fastpitch
The successful North St. Paul Polars varsity fastpitch team will have their third head coach in three seasons, starting in 2013. Aaron Vail announced his resignation after only one season, in order to pursue other fastpitch opportunities. Among those that could be manning the sidelines next year for the Polars are former Hill-Murray coach Ron Snaza, former Johnson coach Bob Horner and East Ridge assistant Cliff Charpentier, a former North St. Paul assistant coach.
Other top-notch high school programs rumored to be looking for head coaches include Hopkins, Prior Lake and Bloomington Jefferson. My slant: Too many parent groups are agitating from the outside! Todayís coaches are nitpicked upon so much, itís more difficult than ever to satisfy everyone. Let the coaches coach!
Hall still hammering the ball
Forty-plus-year-old Jeff Hall is hammering the ball better than ever in 2012! Now playing for top-rated Resmondo/Worth out of Florida, Hall was the tabbed the tournament MVP in the Smokey Mountain TN Classic a few weeks ago!
Resmondo wins Cincinnati NIT
Speaking of Resmondo, they went 6-0 and topped rival Laservision in the finals of the 2012 Cincinnati NIT two weeks ago. Leading the way for the champs was third baseman Jimmy Salas whose defense and timely hitting earned him MVP honors. Minnesotan Scott Striebel, an outfielder for Resmondo, also was named to the all tournament team!
NIT/World Tournament recap
Several local clubs traveled to various NITís and World Tournaments this past weekend. The MN Masters 60 Major Club played in the SPA Nationals in Dalton,† Ga., while the MN Prize (menís 65ís major) and Ancell/Jimmyís (menís 55ís major) played in the Shawnee Mission (Kan.) SSUSA NIT.
Congrats to the MN Prize team as they won the championship, going undefeated, and to Ancell/Jimmyís who finished second. A couple of local players received some rather serious injuries during the events. ĎGet well sooní goes out to the Masterís Gordy Gerlach and Ancellís Jeff Gladfelter and wishing you both a speedy return!
J&J Sports out of Iowa also had success in Kansas, as they won the menís 50 majorís bracket, with local Rod Prather (Lakeville) helping lead the way.
Barr to enter Iowa Softball Hall
Congratulations to Doug ĎDocí Barr from Iowa who will be inducted in the Iowa Softball Hall of Fame next month! Doc, a great guy, sponsor and a pretty good player himself, is VERY deserving of this honor! Doc sponsored several top-notch teams from around the country, including several championship teams in Minnesota such as Docís Softball (A/B clubs) and Docís Grayhounds, who won a couple of USSSA World titles under Docís reins.
Burnsville, Coon Rapids win 14U titles
Two youth slow pitch state champions were crowned July 14-15 in Oakdale, at the 2012 MN USSSA 14U State Tournament at Walton Park. Burnsville went undefeated in topping Fireside Softball in the finals of the 14U competitive tourney, while the Hurricanes of Coon Rapids nipped the River Tigers of Brooklyn Park in the finals of the 14U recreational tourney. Congrats to all 23 teams who participated!
From the inbox
Long time reader Stu Podassel of St. Paul writes: ďDiamond, I am thinking about becoming a softball umpire, after certifying. How much can I expect to be compensated?Ē
Stu, you wonít get rich but most slow pitch umpires get $21-$23 per game at the adult slow pitch level, about $30-35 per game for the youth fastpitch levels and about $56 per game for high school fastpitch games. Certification from USSSA, ASA and NAFA, can be found online.
Nominate now for MN Softball Hall
The Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame nominations are closing in just a couple of months. Some great candidates to consider are Jessie Adamez (St. Paul), Jim Proulx (Vadnais Heights) and Jerry Otto Sr. (Arden Hills). among others!
Register for Little Canada fall league
Fall league softball registrations are still being accepted by the Little Canada Parks and Rec. Department. Menís leagues are on Tuesdat, Wednesday and Thursday nights, and womenís play is on Tuesdays. For more info, call 651-208-3909.