By Darryl G. Smart
The legend of Rob Schweyer lives on.
At 45-years-old, the right-handed pitcher from Simcoe has done and won pretty much everything you possibly could in fastball. And over the weekend, he added the American Softball Association major men’s fastball title to that list.
Schweyer, just as he did growing up and pitching locally before roving the world at the highest level for two decades, once again dominated, helping the Kegel Black Knights to an undefeated record, including an 8-1 win over the New York Gremlins in the final.
“To say it was heartfelt is to say the least,” Schweyer said. “My son was in the stands with my wife, and a few of our best friends and their families were there. It was priceless.
“When you’re coming towards the end of your career at the top level you always wonder if you will ever have a chance to win a national title since I couldn’t apparently do it in my prime,” he joked. “So this was a seize the moment kind of tournament.”
That’s exactly what Schweyer, who lives in California did, all the way to an All-American honour.
The Black Knights, who are based out of Fargo, ND., kicked off the tournament in Oklahoma City, OK., with a 19-7 win over the Tin Cup Tornado, from St. Paul, MN.
“Once we played the first game you could tell something was special,” Schweyer said. “I pitched really well and the boys hit the cover off the ball. As soon as we finished that game my mind was already thinking to the previous champions, the New York Gremlins.”
Despite eyeing the defending champs, Schweyer stayed focused and got the win in the Black Knights’ 14-4 five-inning win over the A1 Bombers, from California.
That win set up a date with the Gremlins in the undefeated game, with an automatic berth to the final on the line.
Despite getting down four runs, the Black Knights battled back to walk the game off in the seventh inning in a 10-9 win. Schweyer was again credited with the win on the mound.
“We all came up with the game of the year,” Schweyer said. “Going down by four then tying it up and winning it was pretty amazing. That set the stage for the final and our overall triumph over the reigning champs.”
The ASA title and All-American nod adds to Schweyer’s incredible run, that includes numerous Ontario, Canadian, and International Softball Congress titles.