NEGAUNEE, MI – July 9, 2014 – Pioneer Days is a tradition in Negaunee that gets everybody in the area excited. With festivities for the kids, the alumni softball tournament, and always closing out the week with a great fireworks show the Negaunee Irontown Association always puts on a good time.
Throughout the week, people are treated almost every day to some fun slow-pitch softball during the Alumni Softball Tournament. The alumni tournament is played every day, except one. Wednesday.
Wednesdays are reserved for fast pitch. The day starts with an event that literally crosses all ages: The Old Timers Fast Pitch Softball Game.
It’s simple, all players must be age 62 or older and must be looking for a good time. The game takes place Wednesday afternoon and usually draws a pretty decent crowd to the LaComb Field. This year, the game featured Negaunee & Marquette old timers.
Negaunee jumped right out of the gate and took a 9-0 lead after just one inning of play. Negaunee continued to get the bats going, and also got a great pitching performance from Steve Parkonnen. Steve managed to strikeout two batters over six innings while only allowing two walks. Gary Anderson came in for the seventh inning and picked up the save with two strikeouts in the inning as Negaunee went on to defeat Marquette 20-3!
Leading the way offensively for Marquette was John Daugherty (2/3) and Dan Pohl (2/2, RBI). For Negaunee, it was the same players offensively as defensively as Steve Parkonnen & Gary Anderson both went 2/3 in the game. Reubin Romback also added some hitting for Negaunee as he went 2/2 with a walk.
I was able to catch up with Irontown Association Member & Event Coordinator Don Gladwell, and he had this to say about the game:
“I love watching these guys get out there and play. I personally make sure that this game happens every year, because the guys love it, the crowd loves it, and it draws some people to the park that may not come for just the alumni games every night. There used to be five teams in the area (Negaunee, Marquette, Gwinn, Ishpeming, and Chatham), so it means a lot to these guys to get out there and play some ball, and I think the crowd really enjoys it too.”
As mentioned above, the alumni tournament is taking it’s Wednesday hiatus, but will return Thursday evening. For any information about how to join up on either teams, be sure to call Donald Trudell at 475-7288. He’ll get you going in the right direction!
-Carl Leander Johnson