ASA A and Hooters Championship

The Class A ASA National Championship was held this past weekend at the beautiful Hall Of Fame Stadium & Softball Complex in Oklahoma City. This year the ASA made some changes that allowed class A teams to have two elite players on their rosters and it sure proved to be the way the game should be played.

ABS/Easton won this ASA Hooters Class A Championship with the pickup of two elite players, Brett Helmer and Brian Wegman, and it sure made a difference. The surprise of the tournament TCP of Burlington, Iowa, a class A team who picked up a couple of players from T’s 13 and this team put on a show and finished second place forcing ABS/Easton to the “if” game. Third place went to Combat/ Pytch Blakk from Kent, Washington finished in third place. They had Rusty Bumgardner and Jason Kendrick on their roster.
Long Haul/Phone Masters/Miken finished in fourth place and their two elite players were Denny Crime and BJ Fulk.

I will tell you all ABS/Easton doesn’t win without Helmer and Wegman. Combat and Long Haul also needed their elite players to finish in the top four also. I also would like to say that Team TCP was a very, very good A team who has an outstanding young pitcher in Losson White, who was named the tournament’s MVP for his great pitching and his tremendous defensive play up the middle. He is one of the better defensive pitchers that I have seen in a longtime and he can flat out hit the ball. This 26 yr. old pitcher from Iowa can play at the next level I guarantee you, he is that good. He was also surrounded with some very good defensive players and a bunch of guys who can flat out hit it. This was an extremely great job these guys did in this Class A tournament.

This my friends is how the top level of softball should be, two elite players on a roster with any other players in the country who are not on the elite list to fill out your team. Jean Shoppe/Easton, who finished out of the top four did not have any elite players. I’m sure if they had picked up two they would of been in the hunt also. I know if the top ten class A teams in softball today each had two elite players and then filled their rosters with any other players in the country who are not on the elite list would also have a chance to win any given weekend. I know for sure if this system was in place the playing field would be level and the game would be the best it’s ever been. There would be no dominating team like it’s been for years and we would have about 10-12 very good competitive teams that’s for sure. This past season we had five competitive class A teams, five competitive class B teams, two super teams and one AA type team, which gave us 13 teams at the top level of softball today. We’ve got to make the move and get the best softball there can be by making this change.

Gregg Blackburn from jean Shoppe told me “why can’t we get the best six class A teams in the world with two elite players on the roster and have a real world series and see who’s the best with this kind of competition. I’m here to tell you al,l this weekend was a fine example of what these good A teams, with two elite players on them can be like. It sure would be very competitive.

Congratulations to Lou and the ABS/Easton team for winning the ASA Hooters Class A Championship. I hope to see you guys back in 2009. Congratulations to TCP on a great tournament and good luck with what ever you guys do in 2009.. Congratulations to Coop for an excellent tournament in Oklahoma City this weekend. Congratulations to Long Haul/Phone Masters/Miken on a good season and good luck to all the guys and John in 2009. Congratulations to all the winning teams in class B, C, D & Women’s and also to all the teams who participated in the 2008 ASA Hooters National Championships..

I want to commend the ASA staff on a great job hosting the ASA Hooters National Championship. This is truly a great way to run a championship series, and I believe you definitely made the right changes in class A to allow two elite players on a roster. I totally believe this is the way the game has to go for it to survive. I also believe next year you will have about ten teams with two elite players on their rosters, and that will make it better in 2009. Great job Ron, Kelly, Bernie and your whole staff.

P.S. I want to tell all my softball friends that last weekend at the USSSA Worlds I had the privilege of seeing Chris & Sterling Ibrom who came down to Disney for the day on Saturday to say hello to all their softball family. I know it made me feel unbelievable to see first hand how Chris has made a comeback from her tragic illness. It sure was great Chris seeing you & Sterling. I know the good Lord got Chris to how far she’s come today. Thanks Chris for coming over to see me in the stadium. I will always be you and Sterling’s friend forever. You are two great people. That is what the softball family is all about.