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The Fastpitch Bulletin, Volume 18, Number 5 -- January 28, 2018

01/28/2018, 4:30pm CST
By Bob Tomlinson

A Little Softball History to get you in a great frame of mind

Today is January 28th. 

In 43 days the Wisconsin high school softball season officially begins. In 28 days the WFSCA Coaches Clinic takes place at Chula Vista Resort just north of Wisconsin Dells.

I spent a little time today, after reading J.J.Johnson’s  (assistant coach at Ball State and Oregon, Wisconsin native) post on Facebook where the Ball State pitchers demonstrated two different pitching styles. I added some comment to his post that predates some of that information.

There are some great videos on YouTube of women’s fastpitch softball.

If you are thirsting for game action from by-gone eras of fastpitch check out the following videos on YouTube.

In the video of the 1965 Women’s World Championship game played in Melbourne, Australia between the Aussies and the United States note some of the things that differ from the way the game is played today due to rule changes that have taken place over the years.

Note that: The catcher throws the ball to the first sacker or third sacker after nearly every pitch and sometimes one corner then throws it to the other corner who then walks over and dumps it in the pitcher’s glove (19-year old Donna Lipiano of the U.S). When did that rule change?

Note that: The pitching distance is just 40 feet from home plate.

Note that: both pitches use the orthodox figure 8 delivery (ala Bertha Tickey), not a slingshot (ala Joan Joyce or the windmill)

Note that: in that that world championship in Melbourne the infield was all grass (like playing on turf at Woodside or MATC).

Note that : The catcher’s didn’t wear helmets nor did they wear shin guards. They did wear chest protectors. When did high school softball require facemask on batting helmets?

Note that: all the bats were wooden – the first metal bats were introduced into softball in 1969 (I have four of those originals in my bat collection of which two are unused)

Note that: the balls are white (do you remember when Wisconsin went to an optic yellow ball?

Note some similarities of some games played in this day and age:

Note that: those women could really throw overhand, side arm and could throw it hard.

Note that: when runners were aboard a middle infielder backed up every throw made by the catcher back to the pitcher

Note that: those women played hard, took extra bases and were engaged

In the video of the 1974 game note the pitching style of pitcher Margaret Rebinar of the Falcons as opposed to St. Louis starting pitcher Margie Wright (the longtime head coach at Fresno State and Pekin Lette pitcher) also note that Karen Gallagher, Wisconsin’s first head softball coach played shortstop for  the Falcons. See if you recognize other faces and names on these teams.


Here is the link to the YouTube video of the 1965 World Championship game

Here is the link to the 1979 Women’s Professional World Series between Connecticut Falcons and the St. Louis Hummers

Check out this video about the Connecticut Falcons

Here is a great 60 Minutes story about the

Here is a video about the first-ever U.S. Women’s Olympic team.

Enjoy the Videos – there are many more you could use to psyche up for the Road to the Final Four  at Goodman Diamond in Madison

I will post more important videos for fans, coaches, players and umpires to watch in the next few bulletins. 

I'll see you at the Clinic at Chula Vista

Keep it Rising!


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