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Dec. 1, 2010
US TEAM WINS JAPAN CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR 1ST TIME SINCE 2004Senior Softball-USA
FUJI CITY, Japan A spectacular home run in the bottom of the 8th inning propelled Team USA over Team Taiwan here to win the All Japan International Senior Slow-Pitch Championships for the first time since 2004.
With two outs and two strikes and Team USA behind by a run Joe Broun of New York sent the ball sailing high over the fence to the delight of his teammates and the spectators watching the thrilling back-and-forth game. Team USA won 7-6.
The Japan Championships capped a 12-day Tour of the Far East that included several goodwill games and a tournament in Taipei, Taiwan, in which the USA finished third.
We are overjoyed at the victory on the field and off the field promoting our sport, said Susan Ruth, director of International Sports Holidays, the international arm of Senior Softball-USA.
The Tour, from Nov. 10- 22, started with the tournament in Taipei and included goodwill games in Chiayi (in Southwest Taiwan) and Izu, Japan, west of Tokyo. The stops included official visits to the majors offices to promote senior softball and international friendship, as well as a number of banquets with tournament and local teams.
One of the highlights of the tour was a side trip to a ceramics workshop outside Chiayi, Taiwan, that specialized in high-quality ceramics for which the country is famous. The owner of the workshop loved softball, which was evident in some of his artwork.
One of the customs of both countries is the exchange of gifts between competing players before games begin. Gail and Bob Hamilton of California brought over 300 pins that they had hand-painted to distribute to players to commemorate the occasion.
The USA players were separated into a 70s team and a 50s/60s team. For the 70s Team, the MVP was John Fournier of California, Best Offense was Mark DeJesus of Arkansas, and Best Defense was Dale Myers of Washington. For the 50s/60s team, MVP was Joe Broun, Best Offense was Bobby Davis of Florida, and Beast Defense was Bob Hamilton of California.