On the road again - Saskatoon WrapUp

July 28, 2009

Saskatoon, SK

Monday, July 27, 2009 - Travel Day

On The Road Again

Today is our travel day, back to reality, so AlsFastball will be down all day, may be up late tonight, more likely sometime Tuesday morning, July 28.

Another bright sunny fantastic day in Saskatoon. We have been here since Thursday, July 16 and we only saw rain once, on Championship Sunday, yesterday, July 26. And the rain did not last long and thanks to the super hard working and efficient grounds crew, all volunteers, they had it mopped up in no time and we played the last two games in the sunshine.

Its been a great 10 days in the ball yard. Thanks in large measure to the super fantastic supportive, friendly, efficient, helpful Volunteers of the Saskatoon ISF XII World Men's Softball Championship. We had the best seats in the house! We sat for ten days in the media box under the stands, right behind the umpire and looking down the first base line. We saw all the action first hand. We sat with local media and with media from as far away as Japan and Argentina. We saw the local media in action, providing local print, radio and TV coverage of every little detail that went on at these games. 100% support in a community used to knowing what is going on in Fastball in their area.

I had the pleasure these past ten days of sitting and working side by side with John Thompson of Kitchener, ON, editor of Diamond Dirt, and this week, Champ's Chatter, the daily newsletter that kept fans in the park and around the world, informed about the games and the people involved with the tournament. Thanks John, its been a pleasure working with you and thanks for all the help with the plays as they unfolded.

A special thanks to Martha, Debbie, and Bobbi, our ever helpful assistants in the media box, we could not have done it without you. You and the other assistants on shift always made sure we had what we needed to keep the information flowing, from the line up cards to the stats reports and a hundred other things.

I must thank our gracious and helpful hosts, Mark Loehndorf, the tournament media coordinator and to Bryan Kosteroski the facilities chair. Thanks for inviting us and your 100% support every day of the tournament.

Thanks to Barry Smith with Team Canada and to Gilles LeBlanc of Softball Canada for your stats and game reports. Thanks to my good friend and annual co-worker at the ISC's, Gary Baughman, ISC Statistician for sending me the daily standings to post.

Thanks to Jim Flanagan of and of for his ongoing support in getting the word out. I know he was here with us in spirit at least and home in California was working Twitter and his own site to get the fastball news out. Jim will be happy to know that his pet squid did an outstanding job in the media box, an extra ultimate power bar for the crew.

Thanks to Bob Stanton, the UIC and to Brian Van Os, the D/UIC for the daily umpires schedules and your ongoing support. The umpire schedules were very popular world wide with the blue fraternity.
Thanks to Bob Henning, Wu Tamaki, Gianluca Magnani, Lou Davis, Mark McFarlane and all the other blue who stopped by to offer us words of encouragement each day. You guys did a great job, thanks for coming so far to make sure we had professional officiating at this important event.

Thanks to the hundreds of fans who wrote in with kind words about our game updates. Your encouragement and support is definitely what keeps us going. The same goes for so many supportive fans in the park who went out of their way to say hello.

To the co-chairs of my Toronto chapter fan club, Spring and Roger, part time spell checkers, many thanks for the edits, if not the encouragement,

Thanks to my home away from home, The Super 8 Saskatoon, great hospitality, great wireless connection, very clean, nice and quiet (no teams?) - I thoroughly enjoyed my stay. Across the street from a Tim Hortons, a pleasant drive to the ball yard and a Denny's on the way back, what more could one ask for!

And thanks once again to the hundreds of cheerful Volunteers who helped make this a tournament to remember. You did Saskatoon proud.

And last but certainly not least to my loving wife Jing who somehow tolerates my being on the road all summer.

See you in Quad Cities on August 14 for the ISC's.


Flew home Monday afternoon on Air Canada to Toronto with Team Denmark - Safe travels to the boys flying home!

Final Chapter of Champ's Chatter

Watch for one time change to the Rogers Sportsnet TV re broadcast, we have heard that the Bronze medal game will be at 1pm and not 2pm as originally announced. It was a bit longer than they thought.


 -Watch for an official annoncement on this.

Al's Fastball updates from Saskatoon


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