Category: 1954

1954 ASA Men’s Open Slow Pitch Nationals

1954 held at Louisville, KY


Champion – Waldeck’s Tavern, Cincinnati, OH
Runner Up – National Fruit Merchants, Pittsburgh, PA


Waldeck’s Tavern won 6 straight games to capture the title, outscoring their opponents 82-36 along the way. They defeated Peerless Woolens of Georgia 32-7 in the winners bracket final behind the hitting of Jerry Huber, Fred Heimkreiter and John Drees, all of which had five hits. Drees getting a couple homers. Waldecks collected 38 hits in the contest. Waldeck’s then sat back and waited as last years runner-up, Pittsburgh National Fruit eliminated defending champs, Shields Contractors 5-4 and then disposed of Peerless Woolens 15-11 in the losers bracket final to get back to the finals.  Waldeck’s Tavern proved to be too strong as it won final 13-7 hitting 8 HRs. John Drees went 4 for 4 and hit 4 straight homers while Frank Hiemkrieter, Jim Trainor, Bob Trainor, and Frank Kramer each had 1 to back the pitching of Malio Valvano (Valvano surrendered only 31 runs in 6 games for Waldeck). Drees ended the tournament getting 9 straight hits,  including 6 HRs. Pittsburgh pitcher Tony Bova had 2 home runs in a losing cause for the Fruit Merchants. Mike Sabbio and Bruce Gilbert also hit HR for Pittsburgh.  James Caldwell of Shields went 13-18 to lead the tournament in hitting. Ralph Bo Stuntebeck, delayed due to work commitments, only played the last two games for Shields, yet still made the All Tournament team as he went 6-9 with 3 HRs and 2 doubles. Donnie Key of the Louisville Stars started the tournament with 8 straight hits, before going 2-4 with 2 HRs in the third game.


  • MVP – Not awarded (Some sources say the MVP would have been Waldeck’s pitcher, Malio Valvano, pitching Waldeck’s to the title)
  • HR Leader – John Drees, Waldeck’s
  • Batting Leader – James Caldwell, Shields (13-18) – .722
  • Outstanding Pitcher Award – Malio Valvano, Waldeck’s

ASA MEN’S OPEN ALL-AMERICAN FIRST TEAM

  • P- Malio Valvano, Waldeck’s (6-1)
  • P- Tony Bova, National Fruit (6-2)
  • C- Fred Heimkreiter, Waldeck’s
  • 1B- Don Heilman, Shield’s
  • 2B- Ralph Bo Stuntebeck, Shield’s (6-9, .667, 3 HRs)
  • 3B- Charles Geyer, Peerless Woolens
  • SS- Bob Trainor, Waldeck’s
  • OF- Myron Reinhardt, Shield’s
  • OF- John Drees, Waldeck’s (9-9 with 6 HRs in last 2 games)
  • OF- Walt Wherry, Keeneland Bar
  • OF- Donnie Key, Sters-Louisville Stars (10-15, .667, 2 HRs)
  • MGR- Mike Waldeck, Waldeck’s

Others

  • James Caldwell, Shields (13-18, .722)

FINAL STANDINGS

1. Waldeck’s Tavern, Cincinnati, OH 6-0
2. National Fruit Merchants, Pittsburgh, PA 6-2
3. Peerless Woolens, Rossville, GA 3-2
4. Shield’s Realty, Newport, KY 4-2
5t. Keeneland Bar, Covington, KY 2-2
5t. Fire Fighters, Cincinnati, OH 2-2
7t. Oertels Stars Brewers, Louisville, KY 3-2
7t. Delco, Dayton, OH 2-2
9t. Klug Trucking, Hamilton, OH 2-2
9t. Sterling Sters, Louisville, KY 2-2
9t. Early Times Distillers, Louisville, KY 1-2
9t. Continental Can, Pittsburgh, PA 1-2
13t. Boisel Tire, Springfield, OH 0-2
13t. Forks of Elkhorn, Frankfort, KY 0-2
13t. RBM, Knoxville, TN 0-2
13t. Engineers, Chattanooga, TN 0-2
17t. Twin City Automatics, Minneapolis, MN 0-2
17t. Schwedes/Charley Geigers, Lakewood, OH 0-2