Sports People: Bill Fiedelman |

Sports People: Bill Fiedelman

DEVON O'NEILsummit dail ynews
Sports People: Bill Fiedelman

With some 900 players competing in Summit County Softball leagues this summer, the sport has reached epic proportions. And nobody knows its roots more than Breckenridge resident Bill Fiedelman, who has played in the county for 33 years, since he moved here from east Denver in 1972. His daughter, Dolly, was one of the best basketball players to play at Summit High in recent memory, and he still stays as active as he can, skiing an estimated 30 days per winter and playing on two softball teams, Breck Crane and CC&D/Harmless Errors. Now a real estate broker at Coldwell Banker, Fiedelman owned the often-raucous Gold Pan for 15 years and helped design the Blue River ball fields below the Dillon Dam with the late Spider Stephens.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen on a softball field in your 33 years?”About three or four years ago, some girl went absolutely crazy. She was about eight months pregnant, extremely drunk, and went out and started kicking the umpire’s truck. She destroyed his truck. It was unbelievable.”

Owning the Gold Pan must’ve been interesting. What was it like playing on that team?”When you played for the Gold Pan, there was at least 100 to 200 fans at every game, and they each had three or four dogs, and it was rowdy because they knew there was gonna be free beer afterward. You should’ve seen some of the guys on our team – bare-footed hippies; you’d never guess they were athletes. They looked like dirtbags, but some of them were unbelievable players.”

How has softball around here changed since the early ’70s?”Back then, we played at the High Tour, out on Tiger Road (in Breckenridge). There was a couple fields there that were gravel and rock. There was nobody that didn’t get a ball in the face – it was kind of ugly. But we all had a great time, and we still do.”- Devon O’Neil

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