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LETTER: RIP, Steve Allspach

May 22, 2019

I heard about the passing of Steve Allspach, The Journal sportswriter, and wanted to share a few memories.

I first met Steve years back when I served as president and board member of Floyd Slow Pitch Softball. I made a weekly trip down to Pavonia Street to give him items of interest (I thought) to promote our sport. Out of that came his weekly Sunday column, “Softball Scene,” in which he’d tell readers about the happenings in both fast- and slow-pitch softball. He’d look at my copy, maybe ask a question or two, say thanks, and tell me, “We’ll see what we can do.” Come Sunday, he never failed to amaze me how he came up with a way to put together the things I gave him.

I made it a point to stump Steve. I once asked him what is the least number of pitches a starting pitcher could throw in a nine-inning game. He was one of the few people I asked who knew the correct answer. “Stump Steve” sessions were held at Bob Roe’s over a couple of cold ones, and for the correct answer, ask Bob, retired Journal sports editor Terry Hersom, or Google it. You may be surprised. I asked him how he knew the answer, and he told me, “I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but I know a little bit about everything.” He wasn’t bragging, but rather showing his statistical mind.

Always soft-spoken, I never heard him rant and rave, but yet he could address a bad call or slight with words.

RIP, Steve. You were a friend to more people than you will ever know. You really did make a difference. Fred Hollingshead, Sioux City

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