Legends of Fastball Classic Kicks off Major Men's Fastball in Ontario

April 24, 2006

Woodstock, ON


Received: 4/23/06 4:15:59 PM 


Woodstock, ON


The summer of 2006 should prove to dispel the rumour thatmajor men’s fastball is a dying sport in Ontario, or forthat matter North America.  While teams may continue to dissolveand in some cases merge, one thing is constant, the hub of the major tournamentwheel will roll through southern Ontario again this year.


With major tournament announcements already placing Monktonand Orillia on most ardent fans “must attend” list this summer, andboth the ISC World Tournament and the ISC 2 Tournament of Champions slated forKitchener in August, the only thing missing to wet the appetites of  thegames most rabid and knowledgeable fans is the kick off event that sets thetone for all major men’s events in Ontario.


It is with great pleasure that the Legends of FastballClassic announces its return to Woodstock, June 2,3and 4, at the beautiful Woodstock andDistrict Community Complex. The Legends event has quietly become a mainstay onthe Ontario tournament schedule over the past 3years, and organizers take great pride in being able to showcase the very bestof home grown talent while enticing some of the best of American based teams tomake the trek into the dairy capital of Southern Ontario.


The Legends event is unique in many ways. First of all it isheaded up by a trio of ex-players in Brian Paton, Chuck Hendricks and Larry Lynch.These three have travelled to major tournaments around the globe and their experienceand focus is to put fastball at the forefront of the Legends weekend. Secondly,the concept of honouring “legends of the game” brings the players, buildersand characters of bygone eras back to the ball park for one more curtain callon what was certainly their legendary careers. Local radio and televisionpersonality Brad Janssen brings class and professionalism to the center of thelegends ceremony, and his wife Marg heads up the  administrative role ofthe organizing committee.


The Legends is also unique amongst major Ontario fastballevents by focusing on Ontario based teams. Thecore of the tournament line-up over the past 3 years has been the member teamsof the ISC Travel League. This year will be no exception as 4 of the premierclubs will participate including Orillia Riversharks, Innerkip Bright CheeseHouse Eagles, Kitchener Hallman Twins, and the Jarvis Merchants.


With the ISC returning to Kitchener later this year ,Legends organizers are happy to welcome both the 2005  ISC 2 ChampionElmira Cubs and the 2006 host team, the Bridgeport ProForma Braves to the fieldof participants. Likewise, the reigning Canadian National Champions, theSt.Thomas Evergreen Centennials will try to capture their first Legends Classictitle after losing out to the Broken Bow Spirit in the finals of the 2005event.


The Legends  Classic has always been an internationalevent and organizers are pleased to welcome back the Midland ( Michigan )Explorers, Heflin ( New York ) Buildersand the New York Patsy’s. Most of the players on these 3 teams have beentravelling into Southern Ontario for many years, andfans will certainly recognize a lot of familiar and talented performers overthe 3 day event.


The tournament is a 10 team , 2 division round-robin formatwith the top 3 teams in each division advancing to a single knock-out eliminationplayoff. The  2 division winners will receive a bye in the first round ofthe playoff and there will be an immediate cross-over between divisions , withthe second place team playing the third place team on the other side. TheChampionship game will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sundayafternoon and will be telecast on the Rogers Cable Network in Woodstock .


Stay tuned for the complete schedule and team profiles overthe next few weeks.


One thing is for certain, there will be a new Legends ofFastball Classic champion in 2006.  While the Broken Bow Spirit haveetched their legendary name on the first two tournament trophies, it is a wholenew ball game in 2006 !


Pencil in Woodstock, June 2,3and 4, for the Legends of Fastball Classic.