august2009

On The Road Again – ISC World Tournament 2009

August 20, 2009

Quad Cities, IA/IL



On The Road Again – ISC World Tournament 2009
www.AlsFastball.com will be down while we move the lap top to Quad Cities.
News items received over the next day or so will be looked at when we are set up in Quad Cities, probably sometime on Friday, opening day at the ISC World Tournament.
 
The ISC World Tournament starts on Friday, August 14, 2009 and runs to August 21 at Moline’s Green Valley Complex.
The main link to check for schedules, results and other updates is:
On that page, the Master Schedule  is where we will be recording scores, linking in stats from Gary and Bret Baughman.
Over the past several years we have also run a live score board on the main ISC site, http://www.iscfastpitch.com/
Under “News Items” we will be doing our best to update scores each inning, show the starting pitchers, and add in notes of interest in regards to start times, the blue crew, and other items of interest. Each game will be numbered and the progress of the game recorded after each inning.
No, we do not expect to be doing play by play of each game as we were able to do in Saskatoon. There are a lot more games to cover at the WT and there are many other ways to get the updates, notably via www.ballparkradio.com which has published the broadcast schedule on www.alsfastball.com and on  www.iscfastball.com
Our objective, as always, will be to update the scores immediately after each game; link in the stats within minutes after each game; and to run a live score board of the main diamond as best we can.
www.ballparkradio.com has a full schedule published and we have a link to it on our front page above the World Tournament logos, see:
Ballpark Radio announces broadcast schedule for ISC and ISC II 
 
The ISC II Tournament of Champions starts on August 18 and runs to August 22 and will be held at the Rock Island’s Campbell Comples.
The main ISC II ToC page is: http://www.iscfastpitch.com/index.php?page=191

Ballpark Radio also has a very full schedule of games lined up, see:
Ballpark Radio announces broadcast schedule for ISC and ISC II
 

Made it safely to Quad Cities Thursday evening after a long and uneventful drive from Toronto.

Spent a couple of very pleasant hours winding down by attending the Blue Welcome Party at the host hotel.

Very warm and muggy here.

Out to the ballpark in the morning to check out our internet connection.


Friday, Aug 14
Don't believe the address they have on their web site if your setting your GPS to take you to the ballpark!
It will take you down a dead end street miles from the park.
Set your GPS for John Deere and 60th street and follow the signs.

Nice looking ball yard. Seems to be lots of parking. May be a bit short on shade as its very hot and muggy again today.

Registration went well this morning with most of the teams showing up to give their final roster changes.

Tried out the special Friday lunch buffet ($5.00) at the host hotel - outstanding!  Joined Steve Kooser, Jarrod Martin and Rhys Casley for lunch.
Place is very large and very busy but they seat you fast and lineups move fast.
Jarrod and Rhys have been staying here a week so know their way around. Found out from Jarrod that there is a McDonald's down the street from the hotel.
Handy to know as not sure I want to go to the buffet every day for breakfast.

Played first four games to good sized crowd.

Everything working o.k. in the tower so far but its a bit tight with everyone in the same room for the first time ever. And Saturday ballparkradio arrives, adding another five or so people to the mix.
Very impressed with the score keepers Friday night. They announce, keep score and run the scoreboards, Gary is right, they are tops.
The picture in the Tower:  One big room with windows looking out at the 4 diamonds. At Diamond 7, which is Diamond 1 this week, we have the front row with room for 3-4 people, the scorekeeper/announcer, myself, and Gary Baughman, the stats man. Luckily the score keepers here can multi task so its almost comfortable sitting here with just 3 people.
Second row will be the Ballparkradio crew, they are up on a platform sitting right behind us.
Colour of the day, ISC grey.

I am not doing play by play of each game but am doing a live scoreboard of the games on Diamond 1. These are on the front page news of www.iscfastpitch.com
I normally have the full stats of each game within five minutes of the end of each game. They are linked on the Master Schedule
-The exception is usually the first game of the day when I am moving the lap top from my hotel office to the tower at the ball yard.

Saturday morning. Another bright hot sunny day.
Getting very cramped in the tower today!
Good sized crowd out alrady this morning.
Colour of the day, ISC red, old version.
Picture in the tower has changed in the front row, score keeper on the 3b side, me in the middle and Dave Blackburn on the 1b side with all his ballparkradio.tv equipment.
Gary has moved to the back of the room for now.
Second row has Jim Flanagan and Blair Setford broadcasting the first game for their schedule. One local reporter as well.
Seems odd with no games on Diamond 2 all day. Well we ended up with one when one game went into extra innings. Game 10 with St Thomas and Albaugh got moved over there after the Opening Ceremonies so we had two 8pm games. Game 10 had been schedule to be shown on www.ballparkradio.tv but since it was on at the same time as Game 9, it could not be. A make up game will be inserted into the Sunday schedule to be shown at 2pm Sunday.
Due to a mix up and an oversight, Mike Piechnik did not get announced as a new Hall of Fame member at the Opening Ceremonies - our sincere apologies Mike!
We saw him standing on the sidelines later and thankfully Craig Donaldson led him out onto the field to be introduced, a bit late, but Congratulations Mike!


Hall of Fame Breakfast coming up - its Sunday morning in Quad Cities and should be a good crowd out for this memorable event. Its overcast at 7:30am Sunday morning

Outstanding Hall of Fame ceremony this morning. Full house, great inductions; great breakfast.
Had a nice long chat with Mike Piechnik after the breakfast when I was leaving for the ballyard. It was nice to catch up after all these years. I have seen him off and on to say hello in busy ballyards but today got some quality time to have a good chat about his family, how he felt about the award, etc. He is a truly humble man and a treasure to our sport. In 1998 when we went to Venezuela with Team Canada he was the most fit member of the national team and has worked at staying that way ever since.

Colour of the day, cream.
We were informed at 10:45am that it had been raining hard this morning. At 11am, its still a steady rain. Will know more about potential schedule when we get to the ballyard.
Games started 4 hours late but everything finished up on time Sunday evening by using two diamonds. Down side is not all games got covered by www.ballparkradio.tv
The BallParkRadio.tv crew site right behind me and can confirm they are doing an outstanding job on play by play and colour, and the picture is excellent.
Before leaving the park, watched the grounds crew, and volunteers, roll out the tarp. Something that did not get done yesterday, thus the 4 hour rain delay Sunday.

Pat Smith from Erie showed up today, to surprise his friend Tim from Meadville, PA. Gibby is already here and trying to keep out of trouble.
Jack Ferguson is on hand as well, made it to the breakfast.

Excellent write up of the HoF ceremony by John Thompson posted.

Monday moring and we have a one hour rain delay. At 9am the sun is shining but the field is wet.
The hotline at the park is still out of date at 9am. We will do our best to keep our news page updated with rain delay information.
They updated the hotline at 10am and promise to keep it more up to date.

Games started at 10am on two alternate diamonds, not Diamond 1. The main diamond will be used sometime this afternoon.
If there is more rain, we will actually then go to 3 diamonds to catch up.

Not so sure it was a good thing that Jarrod told me about the McDonald's down the street from the hotel. In four visits there they have not gotten one order right yet!
The State St. golden arches just might be the worst McDonald's I have ever encountered in my life. Hopefully its not the one in the local papers that is reported as spreading hepetitis!

Colour of the day, yellow.

5pm and still no games being played on Diamond 1, which is the only field I have a view of. They will use this diamond at 7pm and 9pm for the scheduled Streaming games.
- 7pm Kitchener vs Albaugh is on schedule and will be on www.ballparkradio.tv

6pm - the sun is out!

In spite of the rain, we got all the games in with the two streaming games running on time, in fact the second game was started a bit early due to the mercy in the 7pm game.
Down side to the day, only got to see two games, the two played on Diamond 1 at 7pm and 9pm. Forgot to check the time when I left the tower but it was empty and only a few
stragglers in the beer tent.

Tuesday morning and the sun is out again!
ISC II Tournament of Champions starts today so will have a lot of scores and files coming in all day once they get rolling.
Getting a bit tired of the bad service at the world`s worst McDonald`s down the street so taking Gary`s suggestion and making a run for the buffet in the hotel.
Well that was a wasted trip, 10:20am and the doors were locked! No signs anywhere about the times for breakfast or lunch. Find an employee on the way back who informs me that breakfast ends at 10:30 and they lock the doors for half an hour and open at 11am for lunch. Time to update the Umpire Schedule for the WT and will venture back to the buffet at 11am.

11am and no results yet from Rock Island, off to brunch.
11:45 back and posting first four games of the ToC.
ISC II results started now, headed to the park at 12:30pm
Colour of the day, black, ballparkradio golf shirt day.
Extremely busy day with a steady flow of game results then stats comin in from Rock Island with the ISC II ToC. 24 games and had them all in before leaving the park and got the last four sets of stats at the hotel by 1am.
Saw a lot of great fans at the ballyard today, and got to sepak to a few of them on short breaks from the tower. Wolfe Family in town to watch son Ryan, smaller deligation than they had in Saskatoon but as always, they are there to follow their son and enjoy lots of games. Dave Spring arrived and was actually on the way out of the park with a number of body guards just as I was coming in towards the end of the first game of the day. Nice to see he came back.

We unfortunately only got one game on www.ballparkradio.tv last night due to an extra inning game pushing the 9pm Vancouver vs BB game over to the other diamond. The games where the streaming crew provide live coverage are really enjoyable for me. Being behind plate glass looking out, we get no crowd noise in the tower and its hard to get into a game but when Jim, or Kyle or their many guest commentators are covering the game, it is really enjoyable. I also get better updates from the other diamond when they are covering the main diamond.  While I sit at the window to the main diamond and have an excellent view, I have absolutely no access to the other diamonds even though I am in the same room. I am locked down between the scorkeeper and the wall on my left, Dave Blackburn and all his equipment on my right, and the platform with the ballparkradio guys behind me. I am generally locked in for the duration of a game. But I have a great view of the main diamond and try to provide frequent updates to all the games on Diamond 1 that are on while I am sitting there. Updates from the other diamond are posted as soon as someone can get them to me, or if I happen to hear the score over the din in room. Its a zoo in there!

I never seem to learn. Late night out of the park and nothing to eat since the buffet at 11am at the hotel, the only thing open at midnight is the world's worst McDonald's on State St. So I roll the dice again. I pull up and the speaker box asks me if I want to try a Angus berger. No thanks to that thinks I, the first time I took their suggestion it was a 12 minute wait for them to cook it and they forgot the frys. So I say "no thanks, just give me a fish fillet". Silence. I keep asking if they got the order. After a few minutes, pull up to the second window (the first was closed) and the "friendly" lady says, "we did not answer you as we are closed". Well she is there and at the window so with great pain she looks around for some left overs. Not much choice but it beats the vending machine, maybe. No, I am not fond of the food choices at the ballpark.  I miss your egg sandwiches Lucille!

Some nice articles came in from John Thompson as I get to my hotel room. He was on air with Jim Flanagan for the Aspen over Farm game and he still found time to write some great articles. They are posted on www.alsfastball.com




Wednesday, August 19

Another bright sunny day in Quad Cities.
First reports coming in from ISC II ToC in Rock Island. Adding those onto the ISC site, www.iscfastpitch.com
Going to try the hotel buffet again and head to the park. Should be there by the end of the first games.

Saw more rain fall today than at any other time at a tournament since Valencia Venezuela with the national team in 1998. Got fully soaked just trying to get to the car.
Full change of clothes and worked from the hotel room for a few hours. Put out the word that the ISC II ToC was suspended for the day, a ton of games moved over to Thursday.
Re typed from scratch a full new program for the ToC. Going to be busy in Rock Island tomorrow.

By 7pm we got WT play started again but lost the main diamond, going to use 2 and 3.
Last two games of the day moved to Thursday morning at 11am. Let's hope there are 2 or 3 diamonds fit to play on by 11am, its supposed to rain again all day.
Out of the ballyard at 1am.

Thursday, August 20
8am comes early but have to see how many scores coming in from Rock Island, they have a ton of games to play today.
Scores and stats flooding in all morning, quick lunch at the hotel and back to the lap top. I think I will be better off to stay put today and not spend the time driving to the park.
Start time at Green Valley somewhat in doubt for 11am, and diamonds even more in doubt. Vancouver game moved to 1pm I am finally told.
The two carry over games from Wed did get started around 11am, one of them on another complex in same park.
Took awhile to get scores from the other complex as no computer hook up there but Gary came through.

ISC II ToC played every game 33 through 64; got every score to me fast; every stats file came in fast too; last one in at 12:50am Friday morning. Good job Hank and Co.

















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