There are many individuals that helped put Mesquite on the map, but one stands out a little taller than the rest. ‘Mr. Softball’, as he is known by aficionados of the sport of softball, Frank Pati is retiring at the end of the year. It has been twenty years since Tacoma native Pati decided to hold a softball tournament in Mesquite. “I told my marketing department workmates Vicky Hughes and Debra Davidson at the former Oasis Hotel Casino of my intentions but he had no idea how to start,” said Pati. “We had twenty teams that first year, thirty the next and 40 the following. I worked the fields, concession stands and ran the tournaments.”
Pati and his late wife moved to Mesquite from Palm Springs, Ca. in June 1993 and began his journey of making Mesquite known throughout the U.S. and Canada as the ‘western capital of softball tournaments’. The tournaments growth was attributed to Pati’s marketing skills utilizing the Huntsman Senior Games as a catalyst to expand into the Can-Am Tournament. “I received a call from a team in Canada who wanted a practice location prior to the Senior Games in St. George,” added Pati. “I said why don’t I hold a tournament in Mesquite, the week prior and call it the Can-Am.” You know by the lights at the stadiums a tourney is in town. Pati was named ‘Citizen of the Year’ for the state of Nevada by Governor Brian Sandoval in 2012 for his contribution to seniors
Pati plans to live part of the year in Palm Springs and the rest in Mesquite. He intends to travel up the coast to Washington and spend time with his children before arriving back in Mesquite in the spring. “I will do some consulting work and help out where I can. They are starting an ‘80’ and up softball league in Palm Springs and I intend to play,” said Pati.
Pati introduced his friend of 47 years, Bob Tibbitts, who will take over as director for the tournaments. Tibbitts and Pati met well they worked for the News Tribune in Tacoma. Tibbitts moved to Mesquite in 2012 and has been working with Pati this year. The Winter Classic Tourney is Pati’s last as director.