Jerry Stiele Memorial Recreational Tournament February 21 & 22
Thanks to Doc Hartshorn for all the hard work putting the tournament together! Click Here for the Rosters Click Here for the Summary Click Here for the Round Robin Scores Click Here for Bracket Play and Standings
Gary Bennett from Xtreme Sports provided 3 bats (Two Combat models and one Reebok), for everyone to try out during this tournament! Hope you had a chance to use them. Thank you Gary! You can send an email to Gary HERE or call him at612-747-9315 if you want to send some business his way! Click Here for more information.
MN Prize 65's Win in Denver! Click Here for the full story.
KEN BROWN’S SIBLINGS IN ATTENDANCE AT KEN BROWN / CHUCK LINDGREN MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT
EDINA, MN – The fourth annual SSUSA North Region “Ken Brown / Chuck Lindgren Memorial” Recreational Tournament was held last Thursday, July 12 at the VanValkenburg fields in Edina, MN with three overflow games also played at the Big Willow fields in Minnetonka, MN. This tournament has become the mid-summer centerpiece of the SSUSA North Region summer circuit. It is a tournament that many of the local Minnesota teams and leagues point towards and this year, it attracted 14 teams, one less than the record 15 teams that took part last year.
This tournament was the brain child of West Metro league president Bob “Doc” Hartshorn. When the league lost two stellar gentlemen and long standing league ball players, Ken Brown and Chuck Lindgren, Doc wanted to hold a tournament not only remembering Ken and Chuck but all former West Metro league players who are no longer with us. The event began in 2009 and promises to be around for a long time.
Touched by this memorial event were Ken Brown’s four siblings. Two of the four, brother Bob and sister Merlyn, were in attendance this year to witness the celebration of senior softball being played in Ken’s memory and to personally thank Doc for his thoughtfulness in establishing this memorial.
Bob and Merlyn are pictured above in a photograph taken by Jack Guldberg. More photographs are available for viewing byClicking Here.
If you look at the tournament pictures you will also notice there was a young lady working the concession stand. That’s my granddaughter, Lane Latterner, who will be a high school freshman this year at Minnehaha Academy. She was impressed with the number of friends I have through senior softball, perhaps reason #1 that we all play this game.
She wondered who I have known the longest among this group. That got me to thinking and I realized it is Chuck Raab who has just started playing West Metro league ball regularly on Thursdays. When Nancy and I first moved to Minnesota we rented an apartment in Hopkins and I joined a team that played at Hopkins’ Central Park. That was in 1974 and Chuck was one of my teammates.
Once my granddaughter got me started down memory lane I also realized that nine of the 14 members of the 1998 Park Tavern Masters USSSA 50-&-over AAA national tournament team were present at this year’s Ken Brown / Chuck Lindgren extravaganza. That Park Tavern team claimed Minnesota’s first senior national title, the USSSA 50 AAA crown in Sherwood, AR. It was the only Minnesota senior title won in the 1990’s, the first decade of senior national tournaments. Minnesota has since held their own at senior national championships, claiming 38 titles so far in the 21st century.
The nine Park Tavern championship team members present at VanValkenburg included two spectators, Gary Pederson and Mike Foley, who is recovering from successful pacemaker surgery, and seven participants. The seven players, playing on five different teams, included myself, Don Goltz, Denny Flanagan, Doug Falls, Chuck Raab, Walt Petersen and the team’s founder and elder statesman, the venerable Earle Anderson. Earle, who is in the Minnesota ASA Softball Hall of Fame, celebrated a birthday the day before the Ken Brown / Chuck Lindgren tourney but he asked me not to reveal his age. I am an honorable guy and told him I wouldn’t do that but if you transpose the numbers of my age (67)…well, you can figure out where I’m leading you.
Yup, we were much younger then. To put things in perspective the oldest player at the Ken Brown / Chuck Lindgren tournament, Dick Anderson (another Minnesota softball hall-of-famer), was just 66 when Park Tavern claimed their crown and the youngest, Joe Wech, was a juvenile 35!
Enough reminiscing, here are the results of the “Memorial” competition. The Upper division belonged to Cool Air Mechanical. Pat Follmers’s squad is a machine. They doubled up the score, or more, against all their opponents. Despite failed efforts to trade their shortstop Dave Mattson, the best offer they received were two cheeseburgers and a coke (they were tempted), they still put forth strong offensive and defensive efforts while defeating the MN Masters 60’s-Red 15-6, the MN Prize 55’s 18-9 and the MN Masters 60’s-White 24-12.
In the Middle division the newly formed West Metro 60’s, pulled together by the “rookie”, Bob Frey, earned West Metro league bragging rights. They rallied for four runs in the seventh inning to edge the veteran MN Prize 65’s 15-14 and established themselves as king-of-the-hill in the West Metro league.
The MN Prize 65’s got the last laugh, though, as they finished as the Middle division champions. Three teams, the MN Prize 65’s, the Rochester Relics and the West Metro 60’s all finished with 2 & 1 records. The tie breaker was the net run differential in the games played between the three teams. The 65’s beat the Relics by four and lost to the 60’s by one (net +3). The Relics beat the 60’s by six and lost to the 65’s by four (net +2). The 60’s beat the 65’s by one and lost to the Relics by six (net -5). That’s how they finished, 65’s (#1), Relics (#2) and 60’s (#3).
In the Lower division the boys loved “kissing their sister”. Three of the Lower division’s nine games ended in ties. The championship game itself ended in a 14-14 tie but this met the approval of Jimmy’s MN Gold’s manager John Carlson. As soon as the seventh inning ended John immediately marched his team out for handshaking with Herb Brunell’s Roseville Elite squad, rather than extend the game into extra innings. The tie enabled Jimmy’s to finish 2-0-1 while the Elite team ended with a 1-0-2 record, ½ game behind Jimmy’s.
Speaking of John Carlson, go back to those tournament pictures and tell me who has more gray / white hair sticking out from under their ball cap, John or me?
The next SSUSA North Region recreational tournament will be the Lumberjacks Classic Weekend Tournament to be played July 28-29 in Bemidji, MN. Please be advised that I will be on family vacation in Rhode Island in August so the August 8 tournament at VanValkenburg in Edina has been cancelled. The “End of Summer” tournament scheduled for September 4 in Rochester, MN, will be the SSUSA North Region tournament that follows the Bemidji weekend tournament.
Here is a list of the remaining summer tournaments within our area. The Oshkosh tournament is a SSUSA Qualifier while all others are recreational tournaments. To register for any of the SSUSA North Region recreational tournaments contact Steve Simmons (C) 952-239-7674, (H) 952-470-9250, (E) email@example.com.
July 28-29 - Bemidji, MN (contact Steve Simmons, 952-239-7674) July 28 - Mason City, IA (contact Norm Schmidt, 641-512-7599) Aug 16-19 - Oshkosh, WI (contact Jerry Diemel, 920-233-0735) Aug 25-26 - Huron, SD (contact Bill Regynski, 605-224-1551) Aug 25 - Mason City, IA (contact Norm Schmidt, 641-512-7599) Sep 4 - Rochester, MN (contact Steve Simmons, 952-239-7674) Sep 22 - Omaha, NE (contact Ed Tworek, 402-578-9513)
Scores and Final Standings: Click on "Fullscreen" below for enlarged views. You may also scroll and print these pages. Click Here for Team Rosters