Fred Welser Named Big League Softball World Series Tournament Director
Fred Welser, a Little League volunteer since 1988, has been named the Tournament Director for the Big League Softball World Series, it was announced by Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball.
Mr. Welser will assume the position held by Bud Vanderberg, who retired after spending 32 years directing the Little League Softball World Series (1980-93), the Senior League Softball World Series (1980-99) and the Big League Softball World Series (1994-2011).
“Little League has had one of its World Series softball tournaments in Kalamazoo, Mich., since 1980, thanks in a large part to the work of Bud Vanderberg,” Mr. Keener said. “We are confident Fred Welser will continue the strong tradition the Big League Softball World Series now enjoys. People in that area look forward to the tournament and it is certainly something all the softball players in that division point to as tournament play begins.”
Welser, who resides in Portage, Mich., became involved with Little League as a coach of the teams his sons were on in the West Portage Little League. Mr. Welser served in several positions in the league including Player Agent and later President between 1992 and 1996.
The Michigan State University graduate, and his wife, Sandy, started their connection with the Big League Softball World Series in 1988 when they volunteered to house some of the players. After serving in that role for several years, his wife became a member of the World Series Committee. A few years later, Mr. Welser also joined the committee.
Mr. Welser recently retired from Dana Corporation as the Sales and Marketing Operations Manager. He spent a majority of his professional career in marketing positions for companies who supplied the auto industry. He also has done some consulting for a number of organizations, including the U.S. Department of Defense.
Since his retirement, Mr. Welser has teamed with his two sons, Bob and Joel, in developing a web site dedicated to college sports.
“I am committed to continuing the high level of excellence the Big League Softball World Series has exhibited through the years,” Mr. Welser said. “I am excited to continue my association with Little League, and to be able to provide an enjoyable and memorable experience for all the participants.”
The Big League Softball World Series has been held since 1982. It has been played at Vanderberg Park, named after the retired tournament director, in Kalamazoo, Mich., since 1994. The tournament features teams from around the world, and is for players between 14 and 18 years old.