Firecracker Softball A Family Tradition

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Since 1980, the Firecracker Softball Tournament has been a staple of the community's Independence Day celebration.

In the early years of the holiday fray, Ted Pettet Sr. served as the tournament director and son Teddy, then in his early 20s, was a player on the State Farm team that has entered every year.

Teddy remembers those tournaments fondly.

"We played all our games on Rumsey 1 (field) ... there would be about eight teams and we'd play all day for two days," he said.

Because the field was basically a Little League facility, a fly ball could easily soar out of the park.

"They were home run fests," Pettet said.

More than a decade ago when his father stepped aside, Teddy took over the tournament directorship.

When this year's tourney is contested June 30, Teddy will again oversee the tournament that has drawn 10 men's teams including State Farm.

Teddy expects the women's tournament to draw four or five squads. The only Payson team to enter a yet unnamed squad is coached by Dave Doss.

Entry fee for the double-elimination tournament is $165, which includes a three-game guarantee.

Registration ends tomorrow (June 27). Call Teddy at 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information.

Town play

Action in the Town of Payson sponsored mens and womens softball league began yesterday (Monday).

In mens play, games will be played Monday through Friday on the Rumsey 2 field. Some Wednesday contests will be played on Rumsey I.

Among the field of 25 teams that have entered, 21 will participate in the recreation division. The other four will battle in the competitive division.

Women's games will be played Monday through Thursday on the Rumsey 1 field.

With 11 women's teams participating, three are entered in the competitive division and eight in the recreation division.

Football raffle

The Payson Youth Football Association is hosting a raffle that will include as a prize a Martin Phantom Bow from Pine Country outfitters.

The tickets are $5 each and the raffle will be held in November.

Call Eric Santana at 474-1775 or Hugh Schrank at 474-5613 for more information.

Want to know if you were drawn?

Those disheartening "pink slips" sent out by the Arizona Game and Fish Department to applicants who had not been selected in big game drawings have gone the way of the dinosaur.

Game officials announced this summer that those slips will no longer be mailed out. Rather, AG&F hunt drawing results will be available on the Internet and call-in lines.

Game officials say the new process will save the department almost $40,000 each year.

To handle the increased telephone call load, AG&F has upgraded its interactive phone system. To use this free phone system, call (602) 942-3000.

To use the Web site, log on to www.azgfd.com.

Another option exists for the inquiring hunter, but it'll cost you $5 because it's through an outside vendor.

By calling (866) 220-4868, you'll be assessed the fee, but assured of reaching the main AG&F number without much of a delay.

When inquiring about hunt results, you must provide either your Social Security number or a department ID number and month and day of birth.

Officials expect the big game drawing to be completed before the end of July.

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