We are thankful to be back at the waterfront for another tournament season. In the past, we had a core of 8 local umpires help us conduct the multitude of games season after season. In recent weeks, we have learned that 5 of those 8 are not coming back for various reasons. We have been fortunate to have umpires from around the state help us out to cover our weekend tournaments this year. We were also fortunate to have a very gracious corporate sponsorship from Duke VanderArk with Priority Mortgage and local tournament sponsorship from the Petoskey Visitors and Convention Bureau with PetoskeyArea.com, the Trophy Case, Harbor Fence Company and BASES. The financial contributions of these sponsors allowed us to cover the additional expenses of motels and lodging and some travel stipends for our out of area umpires. The umpiring shortage has been mentioned for the past ten years and now it has become our reality. We are thankful for all of the support of so many individuals to make this "Comeback Season" a reality after Covid cancelled our season last year. We are thankful for the multitude of teams that have participated at the waterfront dating back into the 1930's or 1940's. The 4th of July Holiday Invitational was started in 1970 and became the Rex Marquardt Memorial Tournament in 1999. This 4th of July, that tournament will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary this summer. It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that 2021 may very well be the final season for tournaments at the waterfront. The shortage of umpires is part of it. The shortage of young pitchers, players and teams is another part of it. Our "Comeback Season" may very well be our "Farewell Tour" as we wrap up an era filled with rich tradition. I wanted each of you to know the situation and ask that each of you appreciate this likely "Farewell Tour" for Petoskey Tournament Fast Pitch as we have known it and have expected it to be for over 50 years. What do we need to keep it going? About 50 new umpires for fastpitch throughout the state, along with 50 pitchers under the age of 30 who are willing to practice so they can throw strikes in a game situation, then learn how to pitch, then learn how to become a person of great character where you attract your young friends to this wonderful game to create opportunities for lifelong friendships. My softball friends and I will do some brainstorming and if we come up with a solution, we will invite you to join us in carrying out the mission of passing the torch to the next generations. One thing is for sure, we need to work together. I am sure you all have some ideas. That is great. Follow through and take action on them. Too many people like to tell everyone else what to do. It's time for a change - it's time to get involved if you want fast pitch softball to stay alive.
Lynda Christensen and Bev Neville were inducted into the 2014 MASA Hall of Fame in Midland on 1/18/14. Ten Hall of Fame members from MASA District 21 were on hand to welcome them. (LtoR) Julie Biddick, George Wheelock, Deb Hamlin, Mike Lalonde, Meg Kitson, Monica Kline, Lynda Christensen, Dick Bare, Bev Neville, Jerry Rosevear, Dick Harbaugh and Stacey Barber-Walker.
LtoR: Julie Biddick
(2007), Mike Lalonde (2008), Stacey
Barber-Walker, George Wheelock (2000) and Monica
Kline (2006) at Stacey's induction into the MASA
Hall of Fame. Stacey is joined by
representatives from District 21 who were able
to attend the banquet to welcome Stacey into the
Hall of Fame in Midland on 1/19/13.
2011 Most Valuable Fan -
Dick Bare, Marty Stempky, George Wheelock, Deb
Hamlin, Meg Kitson at the MASA Hall of Fame
Induction in Midland in January 2011. Marty and
Deb were inducted as players.
Mike Lalonde, George Wheelock, Billy Norton,
Dick Bare at the MASA Hall of Fame induction in
Midland in January 2010. Billy Norton, D21 UIC,
Hodge (L), Meg Fowler-Kitson (R) with Leroy
Buchanan at their MASA Hall of Fame induction in
Midland in January of 2009.
Darrin Duistermars - State Executive Director - Holland
Kelly - Committee Coordinator/Commissioner - Charlevoix
Smith - State Umpire In Chief - Lansing
Norton - Umpire - Sault Ste. Marie
Kelly - Manager - Battle Creek
Lach - Manager / Player - South Lyon
Damron - Pitcher - Marshall
Benson - Manager -Munger
Kelly - Pitcher - Marshall
Jon Gwizdala - Pitcher - Bay City
Schwemin - Manager / Player - Marquette
Aaron Davis - Player / Commissioner - St Joe
Jeff Weaver - Manager / Player - Sawyer
Rob McCormick -
Commissioner - Ada
Troy Stowell - Michigan President / Commissioner / Player
Tim Hansen - Player - Ludington
Brad Gnatkowski - Player - Saginaw
Randy Wheelock - Player - Kingsley
Steve Jahnke - Umpire - Grand Rapids area
Ken Ritz - League & Tournament Organizer - Grand Rapids area
If you have questions
about the appeal process, please send an email
to Scott who will get the information to the 17
member committee that oversees Fast Pitch Pitcher
Classification issues. Team classification
are reviewed by the USA Softball of Michigan Fast Pitch Committee as well as this Pitcher Classification Committee, local commissioners and a final classification review committee that meets in Midland in early July each year. If you have questions,
please email Scott at the link above.