Bismarck, North Dakota was the setting for the biggest softball tournament in the world. There were 417 teams who participated in this Kings of Charity Softball Tournament. There were Rec. Div., Class D, Class C, Class B, Womens, Co-Ed and Senior teams making up the 417 teams. I made my first visit to the biggest softball tournament in the world, and I’m here to tell you it was everything I’ve heard about and more. It was truly amazing. The Homerun Derby and the Long Haul Bomber exhibition on Friday night had about 8,000 people in attendance. They were 30 deep around the bleachers and 10 deep all around the field, unbelievable!
The Long Haul Bombers put on a great show for the crowd. Cowart, Waldyck and Carter hit bombs. There was a special guest hitter who hit with the Bombers, and that was 50 year old legend Mike Macenko. I’m here to tell you that Mike did not miss a beat, as he hit 12-15 and some unbelievable bombs. This was truly a great show put on by Macenko, and the 8,000 fans loved it.
This tournament is put on to raise money for charity in and around Bismarck and the state of North Dakota. This was the 31st. McQuade Tournament. The tournament had started to drop down in in numbers a few years ago. The McQuade has always been an ASA tournament and still is. John Daniels and his WSL partnered with the McQuade a few years back putting this event on TV, and the numbers rose back up. This year they turned away 40 teams. I have been told that in 2007 they are going to take more teams and make it even bigger. I would suggest to any teams who have never been to the McQuade softball tournament, to make plans now to attend the 2007 tournament. You won’t regret it, I guarantee you. Yours truly and Softball 360 radio did the broadcast of the B Division championship game and the “if” game from the McQuade. These two games were very well played. Tangletown and Sports Diamond were the two teams in the finals. Tangletown lost the first game, but came back and won the “if” game to win the B Division of the biggest softball tournament in the world.
I can only tell you I went, I saw and I will be back next year. This was one hell of a softball weekend and party, that in my 43 years of playing, coaching and reporting that I have ever seen. I was truly amazed at seeing so many families, moms, dads and lots of kids that made up this huge crowd of people. This is what softball tournaments around the country should try to do. I was so amazed at the respect that the players, coaches and fans showed in attending this tournament. Not once during the weekend did I see arguments with umpires or cursing, and the truly amazing thing I have never seen so much beer drinking and not one incident throughout all those softball parks all weekend long. This tells me that they came to play softball, drink beer and have a great time at the #1 tournament and the biggest tournament in the world. Congratulations and my utmost respect go out to Marlo and the whole McQuade staff and the hundreds of volunteers who helped make this the greatest softball tournament in the world.