This is probably going to be one of the most controversial items I have ever posted however I firmly believe someone has to step up and say something.
Paul Algar is 44 years old yet is probably in the best physical condition of his life. He has come back from a horrific incident in New Zealand, conditioned himself to the point where he is ready to go on the field in Saskatoon and represent New Zealand, his native land. He is a Black Sox.
Paul has been travelling with the Black Sox on the pre-ISF tour, proudly wearing the Black Sox uniform.
Paul was filling in for injured 18-year old pitcher, Thomas Enoka. As I understand it, Thomas is not going to be able to pitch in Saskatoon without risking permanent injury to his shoulder.
The New Zealand Black Sox want Paul Algar to pitch for them in Saskatoon, to replace young Enoka.
The rest of the story is that it’s reported that the ASA will not release Paul Algar to play with the Black Sox. This is strange considering the ASA did not feel that Paul Algar was good enough to wear the Team USA Jersey. So they don’t want him but they will not release him. That is the story we have been told.
Who, reading this has any influence with the ASA?
Someone, Please, pick up the phone and call the ASA and convince them to release Paul Algar to go and play for the New Zealand Black Sox in Saskatoon.
Young Paul Koert was in a similar situation recently. Not chosen to represent Canada, the United States invited him to play for Team USA and Softball Canada did the right thing / sportsmanlike thing, they released Koert to go play for the USA.
Unfortunately, Softball Canada can’t do much on this one, they cannot help Paul Algar. Only the ASA can help Paul Algar.
I recently saw Paul Algar at the Monkton tournament where he wore the Black Sox uniform with pride. He looked in tremendous physical condition. Paul’s brother Loren, pitching coach with the Australian national team told me he was so proud of his younger brother. He said that after his horrible injuries in New Zealand, Paul had a long recuperation period but he fought back, to the point where he thinks Paul is now in even better physical condition than he was before his injuries two years ago.
Paul is not only in top physical condition, he has the burning desire to play for his country one last time. At age 44, he is not going to get another chance.
Someone with some influence with the ASA, please pick up the phone today and convince them to release Paul Algar to go and play for his New Zealand Black Sox.
Paul saw his Black Sox off to Saskatoon yesterday while he flew home to Illinois to await word. He is ready to play.
p.s. Paul is available for both the ASA's and the ISC WT.
palgar11 (at) verizon.net
Thursday, July 16 - Saskatoon, SK
Well after reporting this story, a couple of things have happened. First the good news: Paul has a lot of friends and I think a lot of them read www.alsfastball.com
as we received a large number of emails from
people who were very concerned about the situation. Many of these people are the Who's Who of the fastball world. I will not name them as I think they want to protect their privacy but I think a lot more of them
today than I did yesterday. These people stepped up, many of them have former or existing ASA ties and they made the call. They were not happy with the answer, but I think Paul was grateful for friends coming to
his side right now.
Then the bad news: Paul is not going to be pitching for the New Zealand Black Sox this week. His beloved Black Sox could not wait, they asked for Paul to be released and it did not happen so they have another pitcher
coming in to replace the injured young pitcher.
Paul is happy that the team has someone but is very sad that it could not have been him.
I am grateful, as I am sure Paul is that some people were honest enough to state why they could not bend the rules and release Paul from his Team USA obligations and let him play for the Black Sox.
I understand it, but I don't like it. The win win scenario would have been for them to do the right thing and release him so he could play here in Saskatoon this week for the Black Sox.
Its not going to happen, but on behalf of myself and for Paul, a big THANKS for all those who stepped up and/or sent encouraging words.
More on Paul later. I want him to reflect on his letter to me following today's decision.
Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the
question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it
right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is
neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because
one's conscience tells one that it is right.
-Martin Luther King, J