Nice Numbers

Today began the 2nd week of playing games again at Langford Park in Jensen Beach. We had enough players for 13 on each side. Not sure of the final score, but I think it was close. The hot sun beating down on the players contributed to ending the game early. 
I am getting close to returning to regular play. Today I used my 30 oz. bat (AKA going-to-right-field bat) during batting practice. Choking up on the heavier bat, I was able to drive the ball with power. For the first time in a long long time, I did a few sprints running from home to first base. I had no pain and felt I have the capacity to increase my speed. I really wanted to play. My plan is to play in a game on July 7th, but I may not be willing to wait that long.
Take-Aways: 1. This is our third game since reopening. Players were on their best behavior last week. Today a few of the players were not totally compliant. I guess we will have to have “mask monitors” on Thursday. Stay tuned.
2. With games being played at Lyngate Field without any safety rules, Legs LaPlaca queried, “What good does it do enforcing the rules here when there are no rules at Lyngate and some guys play at both parks?” My response, “We are doing the best for our players, even taking player’s temperatures. We are controlling all we can.”
3. We have already picked up four new players. One is Joe K. He was born and raised in Queens but has lived in Houston for the last 28 years. Jimmer M, Kevin H., and Mikey Maier are also new, but I have yet to meet. And a couple of Golden Ponders (who appear to good skills) have joined us. With COVID-19 cases exploding here in Florida, I am not sure how much longer we will be playing. This morning for the first time, Florida’s Governor, acknowledged that not all of the increased number of cases are due to increased testing. Stay tuned!

The Tale of Two Fields

On the Treasure Coast, our two senior softball venues are have re-opened. However, the management of Lyngate Park and Langford Park is right out of Charles Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities. Lyngate is managed by the City of Port St. Lucie while and Langford is managed by Martin County. The age group of our guys falls, who play at both fields, is the most susceptible to contract the virus.
The Lyngate grounds supervisor let Electric Mike know that Mike’s ballers could resume using the field. The only restriction was limiting the number of players on the field to 10. That’s it.
To re-opening Langford Park, a game plan and guidelines were required by Martin County’s Parks and Recreation Department. As president of the Treasure Coast Senior Softball Association, it was my duty to shepherd our set of guidelines through the Martin County safety labyrinth. Yankee Joe and Radical Tim helped in the preparation of the initial submission and revision. Between the two submissions, I spent an hour on the phone with the Martin County Parks and Recreation supervisor clarifying concerns.  Lyngate opened more than a week earlier than Langford. During the first session, only 14 players showed. All subsequent sessions, despite the direction form the Lyngate supervision, there were at least 13 players on defense in all subsequent sessions.
At Langford Park, all of the players submitted to having their temperature taken before they got near the field and emergency contact information was recorded. If anyone playing contracts COVID-19, we are obligated to inform the Martin County Health Department, Martin County Parks and Rec Department, and every player who was present on the day the infected person was at the field. The health department would do social tracing and quarantine all the affected individuals. The fences, bleachers, and picnic benches were disinfected prior to the arrival of the players. All players wore masks unless they were on the field. The softballs were sanitized between innings and the dugouts were off-limits. At Langford, 13 players allowed on defense.
Will anything happen at either field? We will have to wait and see. If none of the Lyngate players are infected, they will feel justified in their approach and Martin County overreacted. The TCSSA knows that the Martin County guidelines must be followed or the program will be shut down. But if one of our players is infected Lyngate players will say, “See all of your efforts did not make a difference.” Florida has become the new epicenter for the pandemic. That is not a good thing. I would rather be proactive than roll the dice and have no control of my chances. Stay tuned! 

Getting Closer to Re-opening!

If the country’s beginning to re-open, the return of senior softball, along the Treasure Coast, can not be far behind. The Martin County Commissions, to the chagrin of many of our players, have not yet given the ok to play. Langford Park is open to the dog-walkers or pickleball players, but not to softball. Some of our senior ballers think we should be pressuring the commissioners to let us play. I think if we give them a hard time now, they will remember it. Patience is prudent.
With us edging closer to playing, the new TCSSA Board of Directors had their first meeting. The officers are as follows: President – Disco DaveyVice President – Radical TimTreasurer – Yankee JoeSecretary – BillTrustee – Muscles 
When we do get the green light to play, we want to begin immediately. We also want a safety plan in place. To this end, Yankee Joe and I with the Board’s blessing put together some guidelines:

1. Players will practice appropriate social distancing (a minimum of 10 feet apart) when sitting in the stands or standing outside of the fenced playing area and during batting practice. The dugouts will not be used and players are prohibited from sitting or standing in them.

2. Protective masks will be worn near other players and spectators.

3. Hand sanitizers will be provided on both the home and visitors’ sides of the field. Players not wearing gloves are encouraged to use the sanitizer between innings.

4. The game balls will be sanitized between innings and at times during the game when possible.

5. Players will be responsible for removing their bat from the field of play after each at-bat. If a player reaches base, his bat will be put aside. After the inning, the owner of the bat will be expected to remove it from the field of play. Bats will not be shared.

6. Any player repeatedly coughing or showing signs of a cold will be asked to leave the park.

7. Players not complying with these guidelines will be asked to leave. For the 2021 season, the board agreed to allow any player, who has paid his money and completed a registration form, may submit their name for managerial consideration. The Board makes the final call. Some of the future topics will be reviewing and upgrading our team selection process, hosting an umpire training school for managers and potential umpires, and holding a pitcher academy (to address the shortage of pitchers in our league). 
When the country shut down so did my outpatient rehab program. That left my condo gym and swimming to use; but then they  closed.  After a week of not doing much, I started walking the beach. Before my condo pool reopened, I was walking almost 4 miles a day. With the reopening of the pool, I began water exercises and  lap swimming. About two weeks ago my body flipped a switch and I was no longer in pain. My knees can be stiff and sore after a good workout, but no pain. Meeting with my surgeon last Friday, he said I have made excellent progress. Once my condo’s fitness center reopens, I need to add riding an exercise bike to my regimen. The doc said the biking builds up the quads. The doc gave me the green light to start throwing a softball and even carefully start taking batting practice. He even said I could start limited jogging. Lookout Electric Mike, our December race is fast approaching. Soon I’ll appear in your rearview mirror. You are going down! 

Can You Believe It?

3/24/16
In heroic fashion, the American Legion downed the mighty  St. Lucie Jewelry. During the regular season, the Jewelry boys had beaten the good guys 8 consecutive times. The final score of today’s championship playoff game: 15-11. Throughout the game, the Jewelry boys hit the ball hard. But we caught most of them only making a handful of errors. For the second game in a row, our team had a productive day at the plate. Even Lenny recorded 3 hits. 
The game was played on Langford Park’s field #4. On hand was a large and noisy crowd (that surprised me – come on this is senior softball. The Jewelry had a good following, who doesn’t like a winner? There was a group that was not cheering for the Jewelry, players from the other 4  league teams. That group felt the Jewelry had played the entire season with an unfair advantage as evidence by their 39-2 record. Heck at one point our team lost 10 in a row. After the game, a collective sentiment by our newfound fans: Justice was served!

What made the win extra fun was the way we did it. Our team was ahead of the Jewelry from the top of the first until the bottom of the 8th. In that frame, the bad guy (ironically their shirts and hats were black) finally took the lead 11-10. In our last at-bats, the Jewelry was confident we would quickly and quickly end the game. They would be rightly crowned champs. The good guys could have easily rationalized the loss, “We gave them a good fight to the end, but they had superior talent and did not know how to lose (like we did).” To everyone’s surprise, we did not softly end the game. The good guys erupted with 5 runs. Our last two runs scored on my double to right-center with two outs giving us a comfortable cushion going into the bottom of the 9th. Even then, many still felt the Jewelry would rally to win. 
  At the plate, I went 3 for 5, scored 2 runs, and batted in 3. My fielding today was solid. I caught 2 key liners. The 1st came in the bottom of the Jewelry’s 1st frame. It was a frozen rope over 3rd with the bases loaded and 2 outs. My back-handed stab kept the Jewelry off of the board. The 2nd was a belt-high liner, hit directly at me, to end the game. Had I been thinking like the Cub’s 1st basemen, Anthony Rizzo, when he caught the final out for the Cubs’ World Series championship, I would have put the ball in my back pocket and kept it as a memento. However, Rizzo’s move did not happen until later in 2016. The thought of pocketing the ball never crossed my mind. Come on this is senior softball.
Take-Aways: 1. It is always fun to win. Our managers remained super-positive today. Everyone was upbeat and supportive. Even when we lost the lead, we hung together. That was nice to see.
2. Our left fielder, Frankie (soon to become Split-lip Frankie), misplayed a fly ball in left field. He said, “As I was running hard toward the diamond my head kept bouncing up and down. I could not get a bead on the ball.” He came close. The ball bounced off of his glove and hit him in the face. The hard softball split his lip wide open. Nasty! He left the game and went to the ER to get stitched up. In addition to Frankie going down, Puerto Rican Joe pulled his right groin (again). He continued to play, but could not run. Earlier he had already hurt his arm. So he became a slow-moving under-handed throwing star. These tests of our team’s resiliency made the victory that much sweeter.
3. In the top of the 9th during our rally, Ralphie (who was forced into action when Frankie went to the ER) hit a blooper to short right field. The second baseman, Bruce the Builder, lumbered out to where the ball land. Their right fielder, Batman Neil, came running in fast. The two collided. Bruce rolled on to his back and said, “I’m ok.” He slowly got to his feet after being checked out by Bo. Neil tried to stand but fell back to the ground. He finally got up on all fours and remained stationary. He said, “I had the wind knocked out of me, give me a few minutes to recover.” While all of this was going on, Ralphie was sitting on 2nd base. When asked if he was all right, he gasped, “Just bring me my oxygen tank.” 
The championship picture can be found on the website. is the team picture with our trophy. Before the first game of the season, I asked Bandit about taking a team picture. He said at the time, “The only picture I want to take is after we win the championship.” Here it is (see attached):The team (from L to R)Front Row – Mac, Puerto Rican Junior, Ralphie, Fighter Pilot Ronnie, Dave #1, Puerto Rican Joe, and Cappy-the-Canadian.
Back Row – Slowmotion Bob, Lenny, Bandit, Hartland Hal,  Candy Man, and me.  The newly dubbed Split-lip Frankie is not pictured because he was at the hospital. 

his is the last chapter of the 2016 season. Next Monday I will begin recounting the Elks Islanders 2019 season. However, the primary audience will be the players from that team and will not be put on the blog. If you want to receive the write-up you will have to email me and then you will be added to the mailing address: <dave.messner@gmail.com>

Rising from the Ashes…

3/21/16

Like the Phoenix rising from the softball ashes, the Legion won the Treasure Coast Senior Softball 1st round playoff game burning Ace Hardware 36-14. Someone joked, “You guys had a two-point conversion on one of your five touchdowns.”  Ace is the team that destroyed the good guys, twice, just a week ago. During the game, a top Ace player landed a swan dive chasing a fly ball. He crashed to the ground dropping the ball, left the game and did not return. That was a big loss for them. Two of our good players were not present today. One had a death in the family and the other (Hartland Hal) had knee surgery this morning. Because of these absences, our manager, Ralphie, was forced to play. 
In the field, I had a line-drive putout stung my glove hand. When asked if it hurt, I responded, “I’m ok.” I also contributed an assist and a throwing error. At the plate, I went 4 for 5. One of the hits was a triple over the center fielder’s (Red Shoes) head. My second long bomb went over the left fielder’s head and rolled to the fence. It would have been a home run.(even for me), but there were pinch-runners on 1st and 2nd. The rule is that a pinch runner can only advance 1 base. So, my poke turned out to be an extremely long single. I did score 5 runs and batted in 3. 
Take-Aways 1. Having never played in a senior softball playoff game, I discovered several differences from a regular game. The game is a 9-inning affair vs. 6 innings. No mercy rule is in effect. There was an umpire for each base and they rotated each inning. The umpires were players from the two teams that did not make the playoffs. There was a crowd in the stands to watch us play and all of the bats (which are usually leaning against the first and 3rd base fences were kept in the dugout. These changes communicated that this game was special.    2. During the game, Ralphie hit a double and then called time out. After being hunched over for a while, he asked to have his oxygen tank brought to him at 2nd. The tank had a strap. When play resumed, he slung the tank over his shoulder and stuck the breathing tubs in his nose. He was now a “regular” runner. That was a new one! When he wasn’t playing in the field or batting, he sat in the dugout sucking in oxygen. Crazy!    
3. Lenny had a good game at the plate, but his base running created controversy. The first time he scored from second base, the 3rd base umpire, Helicopter Tommy, told me that Lenny did not touch 3rd. If the other team had made an appeal (which they did not do), Tommy would have called Lenny out.  After the play, both of our managers reminded Lenny that he had to touch each base! Lenny got the message. The next time he was perched on 2nd and a single went to right field, he scored. Stop everything! This time the Ace pitcher appealed the play claiming that Lenny did not touch 3rd base. The 3rd base umpire (again it was Tommy) said, “My only job is to confirm that the runner touches the base.” The Ace pitcher then appealed to the 2nd base and home plate umpires to overturn Tommy’s call. They both said that Lenny was out. Normally I do not interject myself into an argument. However, the stakes were “high” and I could not resist. I reminded all three umpires that it was Tommy’s call. The only time the other umpires should get involved would be if the 3rd base umpire requested their help. Tommy stood his ground and when the dust settled Tommy correctly called Lenny safe. Lenny gets under the skin of a number of players. This acrimony just added spice to the argument salsa. Poor Lenny! 
Now the American Legion will square off against the St. Lucie Jewelry in the championship game. This Jewelry only lost 2 regular-season games and their record stands at 39-2. Stay tuned!

Before the Playoffs Begin: Special Edition

3/18/16
Reflecting on a frustrating Thursday (double loss), I am pledging to make some attitudinal changes and goals. I will enjoy playing the game and leave the disruptive antics and off-task behaviors to others. At the end of the season (which is close at hand) I will focus on my trip to Coronado, CA to visit my ailing brother, John. Helping him will allow me to clear my head and get things back into a proper perspective.  When I return from SoCal it will be back to playing pick-up softball for the love of the game. Gathering stories and sharing them with you will add more joy to my life. Our team’s continual losing is bringing me down. I was playing softball for fun, but my competitive makeup seems to not allow me to leave it at that. Sonny Boy, who competed in swimming at the international level claimed that the desire to win is driven by a person’s insecurity. If you are secure with who you are, you do not let external forces define who you are. As we age, it is said, we become less competitive. It would be hard to draw that conclusion based on how many of the senior ballers act on and off the field.
Today’s Takeaways: 1. The first Treasure Coast Senior Softball Association playoff game for the American Legion will be on the best softball field in the area, Lyngate Park. Maybe the change in venue will help snap the Legion out of its funk. We can’t go any lower. If we don’t win our season mercifully comes to an end. Stay tuned.

 2. The Islanders, my team in the St. Lucie Senior Softball League, just got stronger. Joe May (aka Batman) is considered to be one of the best players in that league. He has returned from somewhere (?) and will play his first Islander game of the season on Wednesday vs. the Falcons in the 1st round of the playoffs. During batting practice, he was able to place the ball with power. I was told that he is a great middle infielder. According to our manager, Skinny Paul, “Joe is the kind of player who makes everybody around him better. He helps keep things positive and people working together.” I told Paul that I thought he had done a nice job of that. He said, “I have worked hard to get things to come together. For Joe, it comes naturally.”
3. The Islanders practiced today in preparation of opening the playoffs next week against the Falcons. In our last head-to-head competition, we beat them 17-2. (Editor’s note: The 2016 story is about the Legion and not the Islanders.  However, the result of this game adds an interesting twist. The Falcons did play the Islanders in the playoff game and edged them out for the victory. They went on to beat the Butcher Boys to win the St. Lucie County Senior Softball playoffs. That is why they play the games).  

Answering Sonny Boy’s Questions

My son, aka Sonny Boy, requested an update on several softball-related topics. So we will take a break from retro-reporting on the 2016 Legion team that is falling apart in front of our eyes.
1. Is there any update on the future softball season? The Treasure Coast Senior Softball Association is currently in a holding pattern. It is difficult to speculate when Langford Park will reopen. That is the Martin County Parks and Rec’s call to make. For the players willing to risk exposure to COVID-19, they could begin pickup games as soon as the fields reopen. All of the players would be notified via email. I will not be going to the fields until I have greater certainty that I will not be exposed to the virus. My wife has a compromised immune system so I must take greater precaution.  
Long-range, if things return to the normal our 2021 season will begin on Monday, January 4th. We will play 40 6-inning games with a doubleheader on each play date. The regular season would end on Thursday, March 11th. Monday, March 15 would be a make-up date. The first round of the playoffs would be on Thursday, March 18th and the playoff championship game would be on Monday, March 22nd. To conclude the season, the Kingfish-Tony K All-Star game on would be played on Thursday, March 25th. 
2. What’s going on with the new board and what will be your (Davey Messner’s) role? The new board of Tim Rocklein, “Muscles” Bob Ernst, Yankee Joe Faggione, Bill Schmidt and I have not met yet. At our first meeting, we will determine officers and duties. We will also review the findings from the player surveys completed last month (that seems like a long time ago). Some of the topics to be addressed are the following: How will teams be selected? How will managers be selected? How many players will be on each team? Should we have a reserve player pool for players not selected in the draft?Will we hold an umpire school for all of the umpires that will be used next season? Will we hold a pitchers clinic to expand our pool of potential pitchers? I am entering my 4th year on the board and my term will end March 2021. Bob and Tim are in their 2nd year on the board and their terms also end March 2021. This is Joe and Bill’s first year on the board and their terms will end March 2022.  3. How is your (Davey Messner’s) rehab/recovery coming? I had my 1st knee replaced in September 2019 and my second knee replacement surgery at the beginning of  February 2020. So I am a little more than 2 months into the rehabilitation on my latest replacement. Due to the COVID-19 quarantine, my out-patient rehab was cut short. Next, when my condo’s weight room and pools were shut down, I shifted my rehab exclusively to walking on the beach. Currently, I am walking more than 2.5 miles every morning. In May, I will see my surgeon and will make any adjustments to my rehab with his guidance.  
4. What are you doing to keep your softball skills sharp?At this time, I am focused exclusively on rehabbing my knee. After my meeting with my doctor in May, I will seek out other players to start throwing a softball around. I will gradually work toward 10-minute sessions 5 times a week.  As per a recommendation by Larry Peloquin, I will start running short distances in July and build that up during July and August. My ultimate goal is to have a foot race (from 1st to 2nd) with Mike Kelleher in December. I will start swinging a bat in June moving toward taking batting practice in July. My ultimate goal is to return to playing in pick-up games by August/September.  5. What are your thoughts about COVID-19 and what are you hearing and seeing in Florida?  I believe the COVID-19 virus is still deadly and the number of cases occurring in Florida and throughout the country is being underreported. A case in point is the unwillingness of nursing homes to share the number of cases and deaths that have occurred within their facilities. Folks would be freaked out if the real numbers were shared.  Here in Florida, social distancing has been haphazardly followed and enforced. The vast majoring of the senior population in our area falls into 2 categories. One group is freaked out and hyper-vigilant and the other group is quite casual in their approach of social distancing and acts like nothing is going on. So far the number of cases and deaths in St. Lucie and Martin Counties have been relatively low. However, I noticed that the numbers are starting to creep up and we are a ways away from reaching a plateau. Our governor is going to do whatever the president tells him to do. So Florida will be a state leading the charge toward returning to “normal”. My wife and I are going to be much more cautious. My prediction is that  Florida will suffer through a 2nd wave of the virus. We will really not return to “normal” until there is an effective vaccine and our population has been properly inoculated.  To circling back, where do things stand? My prediction is that senior softballers will push to return to the diamond ASAP. The Parks and Rec folks control that decision. I will likely not be at the field when it does.

When Will It End?

3/17/16 Today the Legion lost twice to the last-place team. That runs our losing streak to ten games. We lost the first game 14-3 and gave away the second 10-9. In the second game, I would have come up in the top of the last inning with the score tied and the bases loaded. But due to a running error, the third out was made and the bat was taken out of my hands. In the bottom of the 6th, the bad guys pushed a run across the plate to win the game.
Today I went 2 for 5 with a hit in each game and a run scored in each game. In the first game, we had ten errors in two innings leading to them scoring ten runs (the maximum number). It was quiet at the hot corner. The other fielders were having all the “fun”.
Take-Aways: 1. Many of our players want the season to end and are not planning beyond losing next Monday. After we got crushed in the first game, I asked Bandit if he was open to any suggestions for the second game. He said, “Let’s hear what’d you got.” I told him we needed to make big changes to shake things up. I spelled out my suggested changes. He responded by telling me why we were not going to change anything. There you go.   2. After the game, I ran into one of the guys who was involved in the decision to add players to the other teams. His team benefitted by the changes. I shared the sentiment of our team that this was a tainted season. I went on to explain why we felt that way. He immediately changed the subject confirming to me that our team’s assessment was right on. It is time for the season to be over and to take a break from playing. When I return to the diamond, we will just be playing pick-up games for fun. The joy of the game should return. Even though we are now repeatedly getting thumped we will battle to the bitter end. Quitting is not an option. That is how we were taught to play the game. 3. Lenny showed up today but complained that he had pulled his hamstring. Trying to be our catcher, he appeared to be in pain on every pitch. And if a pitch was not hit, it rolled to the screen. Midway through the second game, he finally took himself out of the game. In hindsight, he should have rested his leg and not played. At one point, our shortstop turned to me and said, “With Lenny having to walk to the screen, pick up the ball and then throw it back to the pitcher, he has single-handedly extended our game by at least fifteen minutes. When the game is slowed, the fielders tend to lose focus which leads to poor play in the field.

Is the Legion Done?

3/14/16
Today Ace Hardware thumped (hard) the Legion twice 13-5 and 12-0. Too many errors and a hitting power outage led to our downfall. We were lethargic and did little to pick each other up. There is a pall over the team and it feels like our good season is slipping away. 

Getting up only four times (and I batted third in our lineup), I had three hits, drove in two runs, and scored twice. Big deal? In the field, I snagged a pop-up and caught a ball for a force-out. It was pretty quiet at the hot corner. 
Take-Aways:
1. Our team is ailing and there is no relief on the horizon. Earlier in the season when all of the other teams had health problems, they added quality players that improved their teams. One of our coaches summed it up this way, “We are the only team that did not add players to improve our roster. It is now a tainted season. Leave it at that.” What happened to the phrase “you play the hand you were dealt”? I am sure the other teams would say something like, “You guys are losing now, your complaining is just sour grapes.” 
2. Our team will end the season with a reduced roster and none of these players will be replaced. Our player who was taken in the second round of the draft (Puerto Rican Joe) has a pulled hamstring and hurt his throwing arm. He is still trying to play, but he can’t move and has to throw the ball underhanded. Another player (Hartland Hal), who is one of our better hitters, is having knee surgery on Monday. A third player is going through his second battle with the flu (Ontario Joe). Even Lenny is hurt. He said his heal is in such pain, he can hardly walk on it and may not play on Thursday. Addition by subtraction?
3. With the team’s poor play, the frustration with Lenny has bubbled over. One of the players said, “Lenny is trying to tell everyone how or where to play? He needs to just catch the balls hit to him and shut up.” In the game that I missed last week, one player claimed that while playing 2nd base, Lenny made ten errors. Exaggeration much? As a team, we are imploding. Our self-imposed flogging will continue until our team morale improves. Most of the guys can’t wait for the season to end. Unfortunately, I am having a great season, but watching my team fall apart diminishes my success. 

A Bad Day for the Legion

3/7/16
Today the American Legion produced a half-hearted performance and dropped a pair to Shuckers: 9-7 and 19-6. We made our share of errors (I had a fielding error) and their team had a strong hitting day. When the good guys make errors and the bad guys hit the ball well that is a recipe for defeat every time. 
In general, my fielding was solid recording 3 putouts and 3 assists. I got lucky backhanding a foul line drive and catching a one-hop screamer that bounced over 3rd base. Both balls were hit by the same batter, Papa. He must have felt snake bit. My solid hitting returned going 4 for 4. But these hits did not contribute to a victory. I used the middle of the field to record 3 of my 4 singles. The 4th went to right field. When I come to the plate and the bad guys are trying to set their defense against me, I love hearing, “He can go anywhere.” 
Take-Aways: 1. In another game on another field at Jensen Beach, the St. Lucie Jewelry was set to play Surfside. Surfside forfeited because not enough of their players showed up to play. The lack of players was in protest to the feeling that the Jewelry has an unfair advantage in the league  (that’s what I heard – but never confirmed). The claim was that the Surfside players were not going to play under these circumstances and didn’t. 
2. Wisecrackin’ Pete is a player on the Shucker’s team who coached 3rd but did not play today. While I was playing 3rd, Pete and I were able to have a running conversation throughout the 2 games. This type of exchange enhances the playing experience. I learned that he had been an NYC cop and a paramedic. He said there were two guys playing softball in Jensen Beach who were alive because of his quick response to each player’s heart attack on the field. Wow!
3. Lenny hit a grounder to the shortstop. The shortstop’s throw was to the home plate side of 1st. The 1st baseman, Motorcycle Teddy, went to catch the poor throw and got creamed by Lenny. Both went down in a tangled heap. In his earlier days, Teddy had been a professional motorcyclist who had broken many bones in his body while competing on the track. He is quiet and reserved, but a really tough dude. While Teddy lay motionless, Pete did a thorough assessment.  After Pete’s 10-minute inspection, Teddy was back on his feet and continued playing after saying, “I’m o.k.” I was amazed. As Lenny, who was not phased by the collision, and Teddy were getting up, Lenny complained that Teddy had dropped the throw and he should be safe at 1st. Teddy did not drop the ball and our league’s #1 goal is to play safely and not get hurt. Take your pick, Lenny was out because Teddy caught the ball with his foot on 1st base or Lenny was out for interfering with Teddy’s ability to catch the throw.  Lenny loses either way. Poor Lenny, poor Teddy.