1961 ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch Nationals

1961 held at Clearwater, Florida.

Champion – Aurora Sealmasters, Aurora, Illinois
Runner Up – Burch Gage & Tool, Detroit, Michigan

Aurora Sealmasters ace Harvey Sterkal pitched a 2-0, 3-hit shutout in the championship game to defeat the Detroit squad and Tournament MVP Bonnie Jones. Detroit won their first game 5-2 over Homestead, FL, then were defeated 3-0 by Stratford Cardinals. Bonnie Jones then reeled off 7 consecutive shutouts to lead the Burch Gage into the finals. He beat Dutch Elbers and his 7-Up team of St. Paul, MN 1-0 in the losers bracket finals before his magic arm wore out against the Sealmasters in the 10th straight game he pitched. He surrendered 5 hits and only had 5 strikeouts in the final.

Harvey Sterkel, Aurora Sealmasters (3-0, 42 K, 21 IP, 1 ER, pitched 2-0, 3-hitter in championship game, had 2 shutouts total).

Charlie Richards, Aurora Sealmasters (2-0, 21 K, 18 IP, 0 ER, 2 shutouts).

Bob Barren, Aurora Sealmasters (4-13, .308, was 2-3 with a run scored in the championship game).

Gene Barr, Clearwater Bombers (1-0) and Eddie, Clearwater Standard Oil (2-1) – both hurled no-hitters.

Dutch Elbers of 7-Up went 3-2, 38 IP, 27 K.

  • MVP – Bonnie Jones, Burch Gage & Tool  (8-2, 7 shutouts, 77 IP, 88 K, 7 runs, 5 ER, lost final game to Harvey Sterkal 2-0)
  • Batting Leader – Leroy Hess, Sealmasters (6-13, 3 RBI, 1 Run) – .462
  • Home Run Leader – 11 players tied – 1: (Bill Wojie, Raybestos Cardinals; Bill Parker, Homestead-FL; Rick Tomlinson and Jerry Curtis, Clearwater Bombers; Howard Johnson and Paul Ruggerello, Detroit Burch Gage; Dick Furrer, St. Louis Thurmers; Ben Harrison, Pasadena-TX Jackson Sporting Goods; Bob Farney, Aurora Sealmasters; Red Bert, Clearwater Standard Oilers and Jim Ivey, Chattanooga Combustion Engineers


P – Harvey Sterkel, Aurora Sealmasters
P – Chuck Richard, Aurora Sealmasters
P – Bonnie Jones, Burch Gage & Tool
C – Leroy Hess, Aurora Sealmasters
C – Ed Ketterer, Burch Gage & Tool
1B – Sam Lombardo, Burch Gage & Tool
2B – Jerry Schaber, 7-Up
3B – Bill Wojie, Raybestos Cardinals
SS – Ricky Tomlinson, Clearwater Bombers
OF – Howie Johnson, Burch Gage & Tool
OF – Paul Ruggurello, Burch Gage & Tool
OF – Bob Farney, Aurora Sealmasters
OF – Jim Duncan, Raybestos Cardinals
UTIL – Cy Phelps, Burch Gage & Tool


P – Dutch Elbers, 7-Up
P – Ritchie Stephen, Gardenia Merchants
P – John Spring, Raybestos Cardinals
C – Dick Furrer, Thurmer’s Bar
C – Harry Hancock, Standard Oil
1B – Bill Dickson, Aurora Sealmasters
2B – Bob Barron, Clearwater Bombers
3B – Don Ropp, Aurora Sealmasters
SS – George Caloia, Burch Gage & Tool
OF – Med Walsh, Aurora Sealmasters
OF – Jim Ivey, Combustion Engineers
OF – Jerry Curtis, Clearwater Bombers
OF – Phil Portell, Thurmer’s Bar
UTIL – Tom Moore, Clearwater Bombers


1. Aurora Sealmasters, Aurora, IL (5-0) (West Central)
2. Burch Gage & Tool, Detroit, MI (8-2) (East Central)
3. 7-Up, St. Paul, MN (3-2) (Northern)
4. Raybestos Cardinals, Stratford, CT (3-2) (New England)
5t. Thurmer’s Bar, St. Louis, MO (4-2) (Western)
5t. Standard Oil, Clearwater, FL (3-2) (Host)
7t. Gardenia Merchants, Gardenia, CA (3-2) (South Pacific Coast)
7t. Clearwater Bombers, Clearwater, FL (3-2) (Defending Champ)
9t. Combustion Engineers, Chattanooga, TN (2-2) (South Atlantic)
9t. DeJur-Amsco Camera, Long Island City, NY (1-2) (Mid Atlantic)
9t. Homestead, Miami-Dade, FL (2-2) (Southern)
9t. Ponce Cement, Ponce, Puerto Rico (1-2) (Puerto Rico)
13t. Jackson Sporting Goods, Pasadena, TX (1-2) (Texas)
13t. Federal Old Line Insurance, Seattle, WA (1-2) (Northwestern)
13t. Independent Merchants, Opelousas, LA (0-2) (Southwestern)
13t. Zeb Pearce, Mesa, AZ (0-2) (Cactus)
17t. Flat Iron AC, Philadelphia, PA (0-2) (Central Atlantic)
17t. Park National Hotel, Sudbury, Ontario (0-2) (East Canada)
17t. Calgary Orioles, Calgary, Alberta (0-2) (West Canada)
17t. Our Chapel of Memories, Denver, CO (0-2) (Rocky Mountain)
17t. Burgermeister Burgies, Stockton, CA (0-2) (North Pacific Coast)

NOTE: U.S. Navy Champ – West Coast Packers, Pacific Fleet did not attend.


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