Eastern Ontario Fastball Blog

A blog dedicated to news about the Greater Ottawa Fastball League and other happenings in the world of fastball / fastpitch softball in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with occasional stories featuring Mrs Fitzroy Fastball, Fitzroy Fastball Junior and the Caveman. If you have info to send on, send me an email at fastball[at]fitzroyharbour.com. Follow @fitzroyfastball on Twitter.

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Pontiac Men's Fastball League looking to return in 2014

There is a move to start a recreational men's fastball house league in the Pontiac in 2014. Games would be played once a week in Shawville, QC (probably on Mondays). If you are interested in participating, contact Joe McCleary via Facebook or email at jmccleary25@gmail.com.


Stittsville Minor Softball pitching clinic seeks participants

The Stitsville Minor Softball Association is now accepting registrations for our winter pitching clinic.
We are very pleased to announce that Al Read has joined the SMSA as Director of Skills Development. As part of Al's plan for the 2014 development calendar, he will be running our pitching clinics. Al has a vast background in softball as both a player and a coach. Al began coaching in The Kanata Pirates Fastball organization. Over the course of his coaching career, Al led 2 teams to Eastern Ontario Championships and attended the provincial championships on 4 occasions. Al was also head coach for the Ottawa University GeeGees women's fastpitch team in 2006. He is a NCCP Level 3 coach.
  • Thursdays beginning February 27th 7:30pm-9:00pm.
  • Location: South Carleton H.S.
  • Clinic runs to April 24th
  • Participants must supply their own catcher (SMSA will make equipment available)
  • Any player currently registered and paid for the SMSA winter ball clinics can attend at no additional cost.
  • Any player not currently registered for winter ball can attend the pitching clinic for $20.
*This fee is due the first night of the clinic.
All Coaches: Please feel free to come out to watch, learn and participate.
Please Note: Space is limited so registrations will be taken on a first come first served basis.
To register your child in the SMSA pitching clinic, please let us know by emailing Karen Swerdfeger ASAP - karen@stittsvillesoftball.org.


Glen Cairn Men's Fastball League registration is open

The 2014 online registrations is now open for the Glen Cairn Men's Fastball League. 

Simply click here to register and pay online.

2014 Fees
New Player: $150
Return Player (previously played in the GCMFL): $175

Protected Player Deadline
Players must be registered by March 31st, 2014 to be eligible to be protected.
Captain's Meeting and Player Draft
Captains meeting and player draft is Sunday April 6th, 2014 at Don Cherry's.

Season Start
The first games of the season will take place on Monday May 5th, 2014 (pending field conditions).
Game nights are Monday through Wednesday at the A.Y. Jackson High School diamond on Abbeyhill Rd. in the Glen Cairn neighbourhood of Kanata. Playoff start in late August.

The league tournament will take place on June 20-22, 2014 at the Carp diamonds.
See you on the diamond!

REGISTER NOW -> registration.gcmfl.com


Stittsville Minor Softball Association registration begins

See here for an article in the Stittsville News about Stittsville Minor Softball Association.

Online registration starts February 1st, or register in person Wednesday, March 19 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the upstairs meeting room at Stittsville Sobeys at the corner of Hazeldean Road and Carp Road.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Applications open for Team Ontario U21 Coaches

OASA Team Ontario Coaching Position

The Ontario Amateur Softball Association (OASA) is seeking applications for the head coach and assistant coach positions for the OASA Team Ontario that will participate in the 2017 Summer Canada Games. Currently, this competition will be a U21 male event.

Interested applicants should send their coaching resume including their current NCCP coaching level and the interested position to the Chairman of the OASA Team Ontario Committee:

Gary Wren - Chairman
10263 Lynhurst Park Drive
St. Thomas Ontario N5P 2E5

The application deadline is March 1, 2014.

All applicants will be contacted by the committee after the application deadline concerning the status of their application. Successful applicants qualifying for an interview will be notified of the time of the interview

Applicants with questions regarding this position may contact Gary Wren by phone 519-631-6515 or email gwren@execulink.com.

                                             OASA Team Ontario Head Coach Application

·         Experience in player development with advanced technical  knowledge of hitting, fielding, pitching and strategies
·         Experience in coaching softball at a competitive level. Preference given to applicants with provincial experience and above.
·         Has National Coaching Certification – Competition-Development, Softball trained or certified status or fully certified Level 3 in Softball completed by the end of the second year of the four year term.
·         Has an understanding of Softball’s Long Term Player Development Plan
·         Strong Interpersonal and writing skills
·         Ability to be in a lead position in a team oriented environment.
·         Must sign OASA Confidentiality Agreement
·         Must complete a OASA Volunteer Application form
·         Must have a Vulnerable Sector Screening completed and be approved by the OASA  Screening Committee
·         Plan, develop, implement, monitor and evaluate the training program for of the OASA Team Ontario softball players
·         Aids in the selection process of assistant coaches for Team Ontario
·         Assist in the OASA Springboard Program
·         Create curriculum and content for players and coaches resources to utilize throughout  training
·         Complete evaluations for each player with the assistance of the coaching staff
·         Submit a quarterly reports to OASA Team Ontario Committee

Commitment/Duration of the Job:
This position is appointed from May 1, 2014 until May 1, 2018.

This position reports to the OASA Team Ontario Committee. The OASA Team Ontario Committee Chairman ultimately reports to the OASA Executive Board of Directors.

                               OASA Team Ontario Assistant Coach Coaching Application

·         Experience in coaching softball at an elite competitive level.
·         Strong technical knowledge of all aspects of the game
·         Has National Coaching Certification – Competition-Introduction, Softball trained or certified status or fully certified Level 2 in softball with the intent of completing level 3 before the end year three of the contract.
·         An understanding of Softball’s Long Term Player Development Plan
·         Strong Interpersonal and writing skills
·         Ability to be in a lead position as well as follow a lead on a team oriented environment.
·         Must sign an OASA Confidentiality Agreement
·         Must complete an OASA Volunteer Application form
·         Must have a Vulnerable Sector Screening completed and be approved by the OASA Screening Committee
·         Assist the Head Coach plan, develop, implement, monitor and evaluate the training program for Team Ontario softball players.  All assistant coaches will collaborate with each other while taking direction from the Head Coach
·         Assist in the OASA Springboard Program
·         Assist in creating curriculum and content for players and coaches to utilize throughout the training
·         Complete evaluations for each player with the assistance of the Head Coach
·         Submit quarterly weekend reports to the Head Coach  on the progress of their players and the activities they have been involved in

Commitment/Duration of the Job:
This position is appointed from May 1, 2014 until May 1, 2018

This position reports to the Head Coach.  Head Coach reports to OASA Team Ontario Committee.   The OASA Team Ontario Committee Chairman ultimately reports to the OASA Executive Board of Directors.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Bama/Broadway Fastpitch finishes 1-3 at AAU in Orlando

Bama/Broadway Fastpitch, featuring some GOFL players as per an earlier post, finished 1-3 at the AAU Tournament in Orlando, FL this past weekend.

After finished 1-2 in the round robin, they drew the power Hill United Chiefs in the playoff round and lost 7-0.

The Venezolanos of Venezuela won the event. More info at Al's Fastball.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Bama/Broadway wins 7-0 in second game at AAU

The Bama/Broadway Fastpitch team came up with a big 7-0 win in their second game at the AAU Tournament in Orlando, defeating the Diamond Kings team from Canada.

Mike Noftall was the winning pitcher, throwing a one hitter with two walks.

Rob Fawcett was the losing thrower.

Next up for the Bama/Broadway team (1-1) is against Oriundo Soy of Venezuela at 1pm today (Friday).


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bama/Broadway Fastpitch drops first game 1-0 (CORRECTED)

from Trevor Power

The Bama/Broadway Fastpitch team, competing in Orlando, FL at the AAU Tournament, lost their first game of the event 1-0 in a tight game vs the Cavaliers de Venezuela.

Jason Smith threw a one hitter with one walk in taking the loss. Bama/Broadway had four hits and stranded six runners.

Justin Schofield was the winning pitcher.

Next up for Bama/Broadway is a 6pm game against the Diamond Kings.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Texts from the Caveman

I was away in Mississauga this past weekend, attending board meetings of the OASA for the first time. I was asked to become involved just before Christmas and I look forward to participating going forward and giving an eastern Ontario perspective around the table. I was pleased to meet a group of dedicated people, and I am hopeful I can help contribute in growing our game.

While I was away, the Caveman and Fitzroy Fastball Junior kept me up to date on what was going on back home in my absence. Transcribed below are a series of text messages, original spelling intact (except for real names removed), sent from Mrs Fastball's cell phone to mine.

On Friday night, Fitzroy Junior went skiing. Caveman wasn't interested in hitting the slopes after last year. But he did eat at the ski hill - Mrs Fastball gave him some money and he grabbed supper.......

"Hi its [Caveman] I ate pizza,fries, hotdog, pogo. :D"
"And finished"
"It only cost 15 buck"

Later on from Mrs Fastball:

"Now he has a tummy ache - what a boob"

Saturday morning Caveman had hockey practice. But after a late night, he wasn't keen on getting out of bed to go. So I asked him what his problem was:

"My problem is its too ealry and hockey eqitment is encomfortable and I just want too relax and. I don't want to skate skate AGAIN"
"An [Fitzroy Junior] is perfect" (a jab at his 'goody-goody' brother who always gets up in the morning without a fuss)

He cheered up later in the day. After a discussion at the OASA meeting about minor tournaments, I asked if Caveman would be interested in attending a provincial Mites tournament this upcoming summer:

"I would A LOT :)"

Later Saturday, Cousin Herb came over for a sleepover. Now sure how they got on this particular topic - and not sure I want to know - but I received this disturbing text from Fitzroy Junior out of the blue with no context that evening:

"[Caveman] said he wants to be a stripper what every mom wants"

On Sunday morning, Caveman had a hockey game, so I asked for a report:

"Hi today I got 3 assist the other day nothing or 1 assist probs 1 assist nice doing buissness with U [Caveman]"

And then remembering he actually forgot to tell me the score:

"We crush them"
"we won 9-1"

Always nice to keep informed on activity back home during a road trip.

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OASA looking forward to 2014

The Ontario Amateur Softball Association held meetings this past weekend to discuss the season ahead for male fastpitch softball in the province.

There will be a few interesting announcements coming forward with respect to tournaments (eliminations and provincials) as well as youth clinics.

To keep informed about OASA news, visit the website, subscribe to the newsletter "High and Inside" and/or follow them on Facebook.


Greater Ottawa Fastball League annual winter meeting

The Greater Ottawa Fastball League, the top men's fastpitch softball league in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, will be holding its annual winter meeting on Wednesday February 5 at 7:30 pm.

If any local team is interested in attending the meeting to learn more about the league, please contact us at fastball@fitzroyharbour.com for more information about taking part.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Blackburn Men's Fastball League registration

from Nick Bowman

2014 is already upon us! With that being said, it is time to start thinking about the 2014 fastball season. The registration fees for the Blackburn Men's Fastball League have been set at $250, however we have added an early bird registration fee of $230. 

The registration sessions will be held on March 3, 2014 and March 6, 2014 at the Blackburn Arms from 7 pm to 9 pm. In order to be eligible for the early bird registration fee of $230, Nick Bowman, Derek Bergeron, Mike Brownhill or Matt Bowman must have received full payment by March 6, 2014 at 9 pm. Those of you who are unable to make the registration dates can mail a cheque or send an e-mail money transfer to Matt Bowman. Should you be interested in paying by e-mail money transfer, please contact Matt (matthew.bowman03@gmail.com) and CC Nick_Bowman22@hotmail.com for further instructions.

During the 2014 season, games will be played on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. However, there have been some changes made to accommodate some requests. During May and June, Sunday games will be played at 4, 6, and 8 at the Blackburn arena. During the months of July and August, games will be played at 6 and 8. To make up for lost games, a showcase weekend will be held in late May or early June and teams will play 4 games during the weekend.

New players are always welcome!


Friday, January 17, 2014

Former Ottawa Turpin Pitcher Bob Storring dies at 55

from the Kingston Whig-Standard

By Patrick Kennedy

If the heyday of local fastball came during the 1960s — the first-rate Kingston Amateur Softball Association held sway at Nelles Megaffin’s not-yet-20-year-old ballyard — then what a pity. What a shame Bob Storring never got to match his finest against the offerings of Bubs Van Hooser, Kenny Lewis, the Litchfield boys, and other stars of that long-mothballed loop.
Alas, the march of time prevents such matchups. Who wouldn’t want to see Ali and Marciano go at it for 15 rounds or less. But with a generation separating Storring from his peers in the past, it’s left to area fast-pitch pundits to debate where he ranks in the annals of big-ball pitchers from the Limestone quarter.
Storring, just 55 when his two-month battle with terminal cancer ended a week before Christmas, was certainly one of the best, if not the best, power pitchers of his time.
“Maybe there were smarter pitchers, guys who mixed things up,” said veteran softballer Al Hannah. “Big Bob would just blow it by you, and then he had that amazing drop pitch.
“I’d put him right near the top of the best I’ve seen.”
During his sandlot career, Storring was a dominant force on several teams in a number of different leagues, which ranged in calibre from businessmen’s to blue-chip fast-pitch, the kind witnessed at the annual International Softball Congress World Tournament.
‘Big Bob’ was not bothered by the big stage, and in softball circles there is none bigger than the ISC worlds, which has been hosted annually since 1947 and showcases some of the more talented softballers on some of the best teams under-the-table money can buy. At the 1985 event, the burly right-hander, then 27, posted a 2-0 mark for the Ottawa Turpin Pontiacs. He poured third strikes past 17 batters in nine innings of work.
Two years later at the Ontario senior championship, Storring went 6-0 for the Turpins.
For a large man, he had a peculiar penchant for playing in sweltering temperatures.
“The hotter it got, the harder he threw and the better he pitched,” added Hannah, who spoke of one such tourney played in withering weather.
“We only had one pitcher and it was about 95 degrees the whole time. Big Bob threw every game.”
Tournaments being social affairs, the pitcher enjoyed a couple of cold ones and a hotdog or four after the semifinal win.
“Before the final,” Hannah continued, “he gagged down two glasses of Alka-Seltzer and went out and tossed a one-hitter.”
Born the middle of three children in the summer of ‘58, Storring was raised in Inverary by his mother, Willa, and his stepfather, Court Campbell.
As youngsters, Bob and older brother Brian, who predeceased him by about seven months, spent countless hours playing catch outside the house on the main street.
“It used to drive their grandmother crazy. She’d go right back inside the house,” remembered 77-year-old Willa Campbell. “One would miss the other’s throw, they’d blame each other, my mother would go inside, and the boys would send their sister (Allison) down the street to get the ball.”
In his salad days as an elite underarmer, Storring presented an intimidating image to a batter standing just 46 feet away. He stood six-foot-two and weighed 280-plus pounds. A menacing-looking black moustache matched the dark eyes and dark hair and psychologically hardened the image. He had hands the size of a catcher’s mitt.
For the batter, particularly one facing Storring for the first time, the real piddle-your-pants part was a dramatic delivery wherein he leaped far off the rubber before releasing the pitch. His left foot routinely landed just inside the 16-foot pitching circle (when there was one later in his career). When Rapid Robert reared back and fired one, the ball was already a good six, eight feet closer to the batter.
“He made for a pretty imposing sight coming at you,” said Terry McCann, who played with and against his friend.
Added Hannah: “Three hundred pounds jumping off that mound straight at you: that’s a pretty scary sight.”
Storring looked scary on the field, but in truth the shy, dedicated school caretaker and family man was a genial, gregarious soul, quite opposite the fiery-eyed flame-thrower who could leave batters quaking in their cleats.
“He was a big teddy bear,” Anne Storring said of the gentle giant she married 33 years ago following a courtship warmed by evenings of dancing to the strains of Muriel Day and the Night Squad in the Bird Cage Lounge at the old 401 Inn.
“One of our first dates was a ball game in Inverary, imagine that,” said Anne, laughing.
During his prime, Storring pitched for a decade in the Ottawa Senior Fastball League.
His chief weapons included a rise pitch that could start out belly-high and end up two feet over the hitter’s head. His drop plummeted sharply, as if falling off a table, just as it neared the strike zone.
He developed the latter pitch during his decade with the Turpins in the Ottawa circuit. “Used to be if you threw hard enough, you could get by basically with a rise ball,” Storring pointed out during a 1990 Whig-Standard interview. He was 32 and still had about a half-dozen seasons left in that right arm. “In that senior league, you could sneak the odd rise ball past someone, but if you threw enough of them, they’d get you.”
If those two pitches marked his aces, a competitive nature was his trump card.
The big teddy bear was an aggressive grizzly on the mound. He played hard, played by the rules and played to win, and nothing stirred those competitive juices more than the sight of a batter taking a toe-hold, or worse, crowding home plate. He’d brush back Willa if she stood too close.
“You can’t be scared to go after the batter,” he noted back in 1990. “If that means pitching him inside, then OK.”
No one did it with less malice and meanness than Big Bob.
A celebration of Storring’s life will be held on Sunday, from 1 to 4 p.m., at Rideau Acres Campground on Cunningham Road off Hwy. 15.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Local GOFLers to play at AAU Tournament in Florida

Some local players in the GOFL will be attending the AAU Men's International Fastpitch Championship in Orlando, Florida next weekend.

"Bama/Broadway Fastpitch" plays at noon then 6pm on Thursday January 23 then 1pm on Friday January 24, followed by the playoff round on the weekend. The Broadway team is in a pool with another Canadian team (Diamond Kings) and two teams from Venezuela.

The GOFL players on the team are Trevor Power, Jason Smith and Aaron Amo. They will be joined by four players from Newfoundland, two from Kingston, three from the Toronto area, and three Americans (from Alabama, Florida and New York).

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Dangerous Caveman activities

I will be taking the Caveman to the dentist tomorrow to have his newly chipped tooth looked at. This winter the little guy has been active playing hockey, skating on the outdoor rink, wrestling with his brother - but that's not how he chipped his tooth.

Aggressive dancing at a recent party at the neighbour's house was how the mishap occurred.

Caveman - the only person I know who chipped his tooth doing "The Worm".


Thursday, January 09, 2014

Grafton fastball tournament

Kernaghan Cup Dates Announced for 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014
The 2nd Annual Kernaghan Cup will again be hosted at the Grafton Ball Diamonds in Grafton.  This years dates are July 18-20, 2014.  The committee is hoping to field 12 mens and 12 womens teams. 
Competition will begin Friday evening with Finals being played Sunday afternoon.  
Last year saw 8 mens teams and 8 womens teams participate in close competition all weekend!   For more information contact Jen Keller-Nelson at jenkeller@hotmail..com.  


Matt Greer named to 40 man roster for Softball Canada Men's National Team (with update)

Softball Canada has announced the list of athletes who have been selected to the 2014 Senior Men’s National Team Athlete Pool.

On the 40-man list is Matt Greer of the GOFL's Quyon Flyers. 

Congratulations to Matt and good luck on making the final team.  The last local guy to play on the Pan-Am team - to my knowledge - is another west Quebecker, Randy Peck in 1999.

UPDATE: An alert commenter reminded me that Jeff Seed from Portland in the Rideau Lakes area played on Team Canada in 2002/2003.

More information from the Softball Canada news release:

In 2014, the Senior Men’s National Team will compete at the Pan American Championship which will take place from October 25 to November 2, 2014 in Parana, Argentina.

The Pan American Championship will serve as a qualifier for the 2015 International Softball Federation (ISF) XIV Men’s World Championship which will be held June 26 to July 5, 2015 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and also for the 2015 Pan American Games that will take place the following week in Toronto, Ontario.

Canada is the defending champion of the Pan American Championship, having defeated Venezuela 4-1 to win the Gold medal at the previous event held in Colombia in 2012.

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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Welcome to 2014

With 2014 upon us, and the temperature being -20ish, there isn't much in the way of fastball news to report.

However, I am looking forward to a few "breaking" stories in the near term, including some updates of local interest in ISC fastball, as well as some changes coming from the OASA men's competition.

Here's to all the best for local fastballers, and I will leave you with some words of wisdom uttered recently by the Caveman: 

"When life gives you lemons......throw them at Fitzroy Junior."

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