George Veldman, King of Softball
1949 - There isn't a finer pair of shoulders than big
George Veldman's. Veldman is Western Michigan's most outstanding softball
pitcher. Boyish faced George, 26-year-old, five foot, ten inch, 200 pounder
learned to throw a softball during his three-year tour of duty as a combat
infantryman in the Army. Now his windmill delivery is mowing down foes of the
crack Besteman Produce softball team.
George graduated from Hudsonville High School in 1939. He has literally become the "Mr. Softball" of this part of the state and has pitched Besteman's team to three WMFA championships. He has hurled five n-hi, no-run games and numerous one and two hitters. He averages 13 strikeouts per game.
In his high school days, he was a shortstop on the Eagles' baseball team. After graduating from high school, he worked on a farm before joining the Army's 86th Infantry Division, which saw extensive action in the Munich and Cologne sectors in Germany. This is where George learned to pitch softball. When he was discharged, he joined the Besteman team in the spring of 1946. In 1949 he was a the unanimous selection for the WMFA All-Star team and named Most Valuable Player that year.
Veldman works as a mason's tender in Zeeland and credits his job for keeping him in top shape. He hopes to be pitching for another ten years.
Also on the Besteman's team is George's brother, Bill, who is first baseman and is an excellent batter.
Created: 2 March 2009