Manny Hernandez - Chuck Cannistraci - Dean Perkins - Jack Moore - Bob Schmidt- John Huizar- Ron Silva- John Lindberg - Al Hilbert - Gene Klein- Carlos Holguin - Al Rosellini- Bob Burkfield - Eloy Solis - Al Confenti – Gabe Adami – John Bailey -Don Keller – Don Allen – Bob Askey – Fred Butler – Gary Symons – John Chacon – Doug Phillips – Harvey Kooy – Walt McQueston and Harold Manley
The H.A.R.D. Senior Softball League started play in Castro Valley/ Hayward in 1990. It was the result of a number of “beer league” players asking H.A.R.D. (Hayward Area Recreation District) to sponsor an over 50-softball team that would play games during the week in the daytime. The “beer leagues”, mainly representing bars on Mission Blvd. in the Hayward area, had played in a somewhat organized league on Sundays. Many of the original players that first year had played in the “beer leagues” for years. Most were retired and wanted to play during the weekdays and not at night or on Sundays.
In 1990 teams were located in Pleasant Hill, Livermore, Alameda, Martinez, Redwood City, Concord, Danville and Castro Valley. They all agreed to participate in a league. The name selected was Diablo Senior Softball League. Games were played on either Tuesday or Thursday with practice on the alternate day. I (Joe Farias) was the Director of Castro Valley Adult School and was asked by Rita Shue, (former Superintendent of H.A.R.D.), to co-sponsor the team with H.A.R.D. I set it up as an adult school class and as a certified teacher had to be present at practices and games as I was the teacher of record. Naturally I played and practiced with the team (class). Our home field was the softball field at the Community Center on Lake Chabot Road in Castro Valley. The first practice was held on March 14, 1990 at noon. Our first game was April 24th in Redwood City. No results are available from that first year. Players on that team included George Krug, Jerry Bishop, Mercer Campbell, Jake Dalton, Harold Atthowe and Manual Moura. We were a competitive team and agreed after the season that we would continue the following year.
In 1991 the league continued with our H.A.R.D. contact being Laura File. Jake Dalton became the Softball Commissioner Representative for the Castro Valley Team. A number of players joined that year including Al Hilbert, Gene Jones, Burt Rigley, John Lindberg, Roberta Pratt, Harry Francis and Ben Baptiste. Ben would be the first person to keep stats for the teams, Harry Francis would be the first designated Softball Commissioner for Castro Valley, some years later Gene Jones would have an award named after him, Al Hilbert would later be the Commissioner of the 65 league and a longtime manager (A 30 year plus teacher in San Lorenzo), John Lindberg would be a manager and a leading hitter during the 90’s, Bobbie (Roberta) Pratt has been a long time member of the league and Burt Rigley (a Deacon at Transfiguration Catholic Church in Castro Valley) was a calming influence on everyone. No results available. We played teams in Martinez, Walnut Creek, Pleasanton, Danville and Livermore. We played our games at the Community Center in Castro Valley. Senior Softball was on the move in the Castro Valley/Hayward area. “We were having fun.”
In 1992 the first game was played at the Community Center on April 2. Games were also played at Heather Farms in Walnut Creek, Concord, Pleasanton, Pleasant Hill and Alameda. We continued with one team with approximately 17 players on that team. The league was very competitive, and we had many close games with all the teams in the league. Rules were written to make an attempt to create a common ground. Jake Dalton was again our representative to the league. No results available for 1992. In 1993 the league was expanded to two teams. The Blue Team and the Red Team. The first meeting was held on March 2 at the Castro Valley Community Center. The first practice was March 4. The first game was a practice game against Alameda on March 11. Other teams in the league that year were Danville, Alameda, Pleasanton, Livermore, Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill. The Blue Team (also called Hayward Faults) had players that participated: Chuck Cannistraci, Gene Klein, Joe Farias, John Lindberg, Roberta Pratt and Larry Ross. Participants on the Red Team included: Nancy Butler, Manny Hernandez, Al Hilbert, and Bev Van Gundy. Other members of the Blue Team were Ben Baptiste, Mercer Campbell (manager), Jack Chabek, Jake Dalton, Bob Duerson, Harry Francis, James Franks, Ozzie Kuhns, Ray Magorno, Pat Malotte, Manual Moura, and Dave O’Mahoney. The Red team had John Beckwith (manager), Jim Bisenius, Mike DeGuzman, Don Driesback, Tony Hernandez, Bill Huston, George Krug, Gordon Pappas, Burton Rigley, Eugene Steve, Robert Takayama, John Young, and Patrick McDonald. Many of these players had a great history: Baptiste was our stats keeper; Campbell managed and had been an elementary principal in Hayward, Francis would be the First Commissioner, Franks was a Preacher, Malotte was great to look at, Beckwith started the year end barbeques and managed and sponsored also, Bisenius had been baseball coach at Hayward High and managed in our league, an award was named after DeGuzman, Tony Hernandez was Manny’s brother, Larry Ross was a longtime manager and excellent hitter, Bill Huston managed for a few years, Gordon Pappas was a retired music teacher, and John Young was a great pitcher and a neighbor of Bev Van Gundy. Besides the summer league we continued with a winter league through the month of November. All in all, it was a great group in 1993 and everyone had fun playing the game. The league continued to move ahead. Some leading hitters that year were Bert Rigley (.725), Eugene Steve (.625), Ben Baptiste (.618), Joe Farias (.622), and John Lindberg (.633).
Front Row: George Krug, unknown, unknown, Joe Farias, Jack Chabek
Second Row: Manuel Moura, Ray Magorno, Mercer Campbell, unknown, Jake Dalton, Jerry Bishop
Front Row: Manuel Moura, Ray Magorno, Bobbie Pratt,
Pat Malotte, Larry Ross
Second Row: John Lindberg, Jack Chabek, Gene Klein, Jake Dalton, Dave O’Mahoney, Ben Baptiste, Mercer Campbell,
Joe Farias, Bob Duerson
Ben Baptiste, Joe Farias
In January 1994 I was reassigned to again be Castro Valley’s High School Principal and thus could not be involved early on with the league. But a number of individuals stepped up to keep the league moving forward. Al Hilbert, Larry Ross, John Beckwith, Harry Francis, Chuck Cannistraci, Mercer Campbell, John Lindberg, and Eugene Steve all insured the league would continue to grow and be competitive.
Three teams Red, White and Blue were drafted. The fields at Centennial (off of Winton and Amador) were utilized by the league for the first time. The rosters showed 38 players for the three teams. Again, the teams played against were Pleasanton, Livermore, Alameda, Walnut Creek, Danville, Martinez, and Pleasant Hill. The records for the three teams were 9 wins and 15 losses for the C.V. Red, 17 wins and 6 losses for C. V. White, and 12 wins and 12 losses for C.V. Blue. Batting averages during these years were not very high as one had to get a real hit. Those keeping stats insured that a hit was a hit. In the new era a hit seems to be getting on base. Among the three teams Gary Silveria was the leading hitter at .766. Gary was a long-time mainstay in the league. Even after a hip replacement Gary continued to play until 2010. The leading hitters that year were Darrell Dolin (His first year in the league) who had 9 homeruns and batted .606, Pat McDonald (.604), Bryon West with 6 homeruns in 13 at bats, John Young (.600), and John Lindberg (.622). Gene Klein was a member of the Blue team and continues to come out and watch games. A major rule change in ’94 was the 5 run per inning except for the last inning. Prior to that a 10-5 mercy rule had been in place.
In 1995 the 50’s league expanded to four teams. The Castro Valley Reds, the Senior Swingers, the East Bay Stars and the Hayward Rowdys. The Reds were 8 and 17, the Senior Swingers were 5 and 19, the East Bay Stars were 10 and 17, and the Rowdys were 8 and 17. The competition across the hill was tough. Danville had some big guys who could hit a ton. Lots of new players were in the league. Marsh Lebowitz (became a manager), Deron Crook was a mainstay for years, Leroy Gallardo who could hit everything pitched to him, Joaquin Precidio who would manage for many years, Joe Perry who would also become a manager, Lawrence Thompson also managed and played until he had health problems, Vern Beggs who would be a Commissioner plus managed 65 plus teams and is still playing, Walt Muniz who played for many years in the league, Carl McDade (had the sweetest swing of anyone who has ever played in our league), and many other new faces. The league was off and rolling. Fields were used at the Community Center and Centennial Park. In those days and until we moved to Oliver the team members had to drag and line the fields. The homerun leaders for that year were Bryon West and Al Tirnetta. Bryon also was the homerun leader in 1994 but did not participate in the league after 1995. He batted .773 with 5 home runs. Al Tirnetta had also been an Alameda County 100-yard Dash Champion at Livermore High School. High batting averages in 1995 were Cary Walker (.657), Larry Ross (.600), and Bryon West (.773).
In 1996 the league (50’s and over) continued with four teams. Managers were Jim Bisenius, Larry Ross, Marsh Lebowitz and Chuck Cannistraci. Assistants were Al Hilbert, Pat McDonald, Mercer Campbell and Wayne Cavenaugh. There were 10 teams in the league. The Rowdys finished second with a 13-8 record. The Danville Oaks were loaded and went 19-1. For the Hayward teams the highest batting average was Arnie Castelhano (who played with the Gamblers tournament team) with a .719 average. Carl McDade had the most hits, Cary Walker was the homerun leader, and as a team the Rowdys led in all categories. John Ironside had five homeruns and is now one of our Commissioners. New players included Jerry Hogerheide (former baseball coach at Sunset High School), Hank Thomasson, who was a baseball legend in Oakland, Bernie Chalip, who was an excellent singer, Joanne DiMaggio who was related to the DiMaggio’s and the Manley brothers (Harold and Larry).
Following excerpt supplied by Jack Moore regarding Hank Thomasson: (From Oakland Tribune 1999). “Senior Softball players await the return of popular H.A.R.D. hitting First Baseman Hank Thomasson. Hank had to take a little time off this past year to fight a bout with cancer. The doctors say the cancer is all gone, and Hank can get back on the field again. Everyone in the league missed Hank, the man with a ready handshake big smile and the great bear hug. Hank loves to tell you a story once and a while also.”
In 1997 I was back to full time softball (retired in 1996). It was becoming apparent that we were doing a lot of traveling to play softball. By this time, we had four teams located in the Hayward/Castro Valley Area and discussion began about forming our own league. But this year the teams made a decision to split into two separate entities. One was called the A/B league and the other the C/D league. The Hayward area took many of the allegedly best players from the area to form the Senior Swingers. They played against the two-loaded Danville teams, the San Leandro team coached by long time baseball guru Lou Profumo, and the Alameda Islanders. The C/D league had four H.A.R.D. teams-Yellow Rose sponsored and managed by John Beckwith, the East Bay All Stars managed by Chuck Cannistrasi, the Rowdys managed by Larry Ross and the Bras and Mattos team managed by Joaquin Precidio. Other teams in that division were from Livermore, Danville, and Pleasanton. The Yellow Rose Team had a 20-3 season and were the champions of the C/D league. The top hitters in the C/D league (Hayward teams) that year were Lawrence Thompson and Joe Farias with .694 averages. Al Ferrari led the Hayward teams in home runs with 7 followed by Farias and Bisenius with 5. New players that remained for many years/some still playing included Donnie Mello, Bob Burkfield, Bill Giammona, Fred Perkins, Ron Silva, Frank Mattos, Art Hightower, Mike Carroll, Al Rosellini, Tom Quillen, and Mike Reed. H.A.R.D. continued to support us by keeping the fees low for Senior Softball. Note: The Senior Swingers, who played in the A/B league had Al Confenti, John Ironside, Carl McDade, Manny Hernandez, John Lindberg, Dean Perkins and Al Tirnetta on the team. They finished 6-17 for the year.
Front Row: Bill Giamonna, Eugene Steve, Deron Crook, Mike Reed, Bob Takayama, Gordon Pappas, Mike DeGuzman
Back Row: Paul Monroe, Jerry Hogerhide, Joe Farias, Jim Bisenius, Tom Quillen, Don Fernandes, Bill Huston, John Beckwith
Kneeling: Mike DeGuzman, Bill Giamonna, Don Fernandes, Gordon Pappas
Standing: Frank Mattos, unknown, Bill Huston, Joe Farias, Deron Crook, Mike Carroll, Jerry Hogerhide, Art Hightower
Front Row: John Young, Chuck Cannistraci, John Huizar, Mike De Guzman, Al Hilbert
Standing: Bernie Chalip, Bill Huston, Carl Mc Dade, Art Herrera, Art Hightower
In 1998 the split into two leagues continued. The Hayward team in the A/B division was the Senior Swingers managed by Marsh Leibowitz. The C/D league continued with four Hayward teams. The Rowdys (Larry Ross), East Bay Stars (also called K/P managed by Chuck Cannistraci), Yellow Rose now being managed by Al Hilbert, and the Bras and Mattos team managed by Joaquin Precidio. The C/D league added the San Leandro team, which dominated the league with a 25 -1 record. Bras and Mattos had the best record from the Hayward area with a 19-8 finish followed by the Rowdys with an 18-9 record. Gary Dalen of the Rowdys batted .720 to lead the Rowdys. Gary was one of the smoothest hitters the league had over the years. Tom Quillen led the Hayward teams in batting (.787). He also led the Hayward teams in home runs (10) followed closely by Farias (9). Notable players who made their mark in the league included Paul Monroe on the Rose who would become a Major General in the California National Guard in 1999, Darrell Dolin who was a top player for many years in the league, Orson Curtis who could hit the ball a country mile, Ray Cervantes who was adept at helping players with fielding and hitting, Cary Walker who batted .735, Dennis Sullivan who was a great home run hitter and Bob Schmidt who continued to be a major hitting threat every time he came to the plate. Some players in ’98 who didn’t have great averages but loved the game included Donnie (Little Billy) Mello, Dean Perkins (who is a legend in the softball circles and in the Softball Hall of Fame), Al Confenti who was a top tournament pitcher for the Gamblers and Frank Mattos. The Commissioners for the year were Harry Francis for the C/D league and Marsh Leibowitz for the A/B league. (Note): No information on the Senior Swingers for this year.
In 1999 things changed greatly as we formed our own league in the Hayward/Castro Valley area. We had six teams: Yellow Rose, Bras/Mattos, K/P, Carrows, H.A.R.D. 1 (Cold Storage) and the
Rowdys. Managers were Hilbert, Precidio, Cannistraci, Davis, Perry and Ross. Larry Davis had joined the league in 1998 and quickly moved into a leadership position. Other notable players not previously mentioned were Bob Waberski (Retired Fire Chief from Castro Valley), Gary Dalen who was an outstanding player, Jack Moore who has become a mainstay in the league, and Don Pelland who was a Commissioner in 1999, John Brosnan who had been head football coach at Castro Valley for 30 years, Al Proietti who now runs the Village Barber Shop in Castro Valley and Ron Silva who played after extensive surgery on his shoulder. K/P had the best record for the year going 18-5. Bras and Mattos were 17-5, Rowdys were 13-10, Cold Storage was 9-13, Carrows were 7-17 and the Yellow Rose was 5-19. Leading hitters that year were Carl McDade (.700), Darrell Dolin (.663), Gary Dalen (.816), Arnie Castelhano (.726), Bob Schmidt (.722), Farias (.705), Orson Curtis (.747), Larry Manley (.739); Arnie Castelhano and LeRoy Gallardo led the league in home runs with 6. Arnie had 71 RBI’s followed by Orson Curtis with 61 and Bob McDougall with 59.
Top Picture: 1999 Yellow Rose
Front Row: Bob Kallestad, Harrold Manley, Mike DeGuzman, Bill Giamonna, Gene Steve
Back Row: Dave Jefferson, Mike Carroll, Jackson Spindle, Terry Huey, Jerry Hogerhide, Joe Farias, Al Hilbert
Bottom Picture: 2000 Yellow Rose
Front Row: Al Hilbert, Mike DeGuzman, John Broshan, Murray Blake, Bill Giamonna
Back Row: Jack Moore, Willie McGee, DeRon Crook, Joe Farias, Steve Pan
In 2000 we again had six teams. We added 2 teams (Broncos and Francis Refinishing) to go along with the Rowdys, Bras and Mattos, K/P, and the Yellow Rose. The Rowdys had an amazing season going 21-2. Gary Dalen batted .828 (Gary was one of the best hitters ever in the league) and manager Larry Ross batted .726, Fred Perkins batted .697 to finish second to Ross. (Dalen only had 41 at bats). Carl McDade batted .696, Ken Bohi at .681, Art Hightower .658, Jack Moore .655 and Joe Farias .649. Ron Weber of the Francis team led the league in home runs with 4.
The RBI leader was the “Ageless One” Bob Schmidt with 62. Players that joined us were Bill Bolar (State wrestling champion in Castro Valley), Bob Askey who is still with us, Bob Kallestad and Frank Lateri, Pat Medieros, Ray Nobriga, Steve Solis and Ramone Dominquez. Leon Moore, later to become Commissioner, was a member of the K/P team that year. This would be the last year for Ben Baptiste keeping stats as he elected not to play in 2001. Ben spent long hours keeping stats for the league. Leon Moore would take over as statistician in 2001 and continue until 2008 when Herb and Pam Hadley plus Don Pelland would take on that responsibility. Greg Neal has worked with Herb by posting stats. The entire league appreciates the efforts of all those involved for a job well done.
Over 65 league. Concurrently with the 50 and over league, a 65 and over league had been established. Teams were from Alameda, Castro Valley (2 teams), Pleasanton, Danville and Livermore. Al Hilbert was the Commissioner of this league, but no results are available. Games were usually played on Wednesdays. Al Hilbert took on the responsibility of updating the rules each year, figuring out the league schedules and keeping everyone abreast of what needed to be accomplished. Al is one of the real “fathers" of senior softball. He has been an inspiration to all of us.
In 2001 the league continued with six teams. Players not previously mentioned that would be very involved for years included Gabe Adami (has managed for many years), Don Allen (a member of the Gamblers tournament team), Ken Bohi who was a long-time manager, Bob Gianni who made an impact with his play immediately, Howard Harrington who still is manager of the tournament team Gamblers, and the Solis brothers Steve and John. John (Tony) has been a mainstay of the league for years and one of the top hitters every year. Karen Sparks (Sparky) was a great addition to the league. She passed away a few years ago but is remembered by all those that played with her. The Rowdys again won the league with a 19-5 record followed by Francis Refinishing, Broncos, Yellow Rose, Team Toys and Bras and Mattos. Darrell Dolin dominated the league in stats. He was first in batting, first in RBI’s, first in runs, first in total hits, first in doubles, third in triples, second in home runs. His competition was Tony Solis who led in home runs and triples. The two of them were the class hitters of the league. 2001 is when I (Joe Farias) took over as Commissioner. We appreciated all the work that Harry Francis had done in the early years. Harry was active in the community serving on the Castro Valley Sanitary Board. In August of that year as we had a few concerns, so I wrote a letter to the managers. I have included it here as I think it still is something for us to think about.
August 5, 2001
With the 2001 season two-thirds complete several concerns have been expressed by some of the ballplayers in the league. I am going to address these concerns and would ask that you meet with your teams and insure they have a complete understanding of why we must try to ensure that decorum between all those involved in senior softball takes place.
1. Use of appropriate language: Players from at least two teams have expressed concerns over the use of inappropriate language (cussing) during the games. Some of them have stated they don’t want to bring their children/ grandchildren to the games because of the language. We are a diverse group of 90 men and women respecting each other and each other’s feelings regarding the use of language is important.
2. The Role of Managers / Assistant Managers: Please indicate to all your players that when they have a complaint about the other team, they should tell their own Manager / Asst. Manager and not approach the opposing Manager about their concerns. Resolving issues should take place between managers. This is also true when a team questions an umpire’s decision. The Manager/A. Managers is the one who approaches the umpire and not individual players. Also remind the players on your team that when differences of opinion take place within the team the manager should be approached to resolve those differences.
3. Sportsmanship/womanship: Concerns have also been expressed that some teams have not displayed good sportsman/womanship in some games. I personally have not seen this but sometimes in a game it can probably take place. Remind your players that this is a game where we have fun and when the game is over, we move on to the next game. We must respect everyone regardless of his or her ability levels. All of us are involved in senior softball to have a good time, get some exercise and enjoy the spirit of competition.
4. Chain of Command: For all of you military types remind your players to follow the chain when they have a complaint. If they have a concern, they should express it to their manager; if they do not feel satisfaction, they can
call me; if they are still not satisfied they can contact the Supervisor of Senior H.A.R.D. programs. I would ask that you cover the four paragraphs above with your teams this week. If you have any questions, please call me at 581-2897. Joe Farias
The Bras and Mattos team won the league with a 20-5 record followed by the Rowdys, Francis Refinishing, Yellow Rose, Broncos and Team Toys. Ken Bohi was the leader of the Bras and Mattos team along with Howard Harrington and Al Confenti. Again, Darrell Dolin was the leader in most hitting categories-doubles, triples, home runs, total hits, runs, RBI’s and third in batting average. John Lindberg (still with us) led the league in hitting with a .745 average. Sherman Boutte was a major force in the league as he was second in home runs and high in all the other categories. John Crosby was second in hitting (.725)- John was an assistant manager for Chuck Cannistraci. Tony Solis was again in the top four in all categories except triples. Draft procedures became very formal in 2002 year but seem to work as no team completely dominated.
Front Row: Bob Gianni, Harry Francis, Bobbie Pratt, Ray Cervantes, Tony Hernandez
Middle Row: John Young, Bev Van Gundy
Back Row: Jim Offerman, John Ironside, Ben Baptiste, Fred Perkins, John Lindberg, Bob Leigh, Al Tirnetta
Front Row: Tony Hernandez, Willie McGee, Jim Nelson,
Vern Beggs, Ed Jimerson, Bob Gianni
Back Row: Bob Schmidt, Ron Rebuck, Bill Huston, DeRon
Crook, Bob Burke, John Ironside, Larry Ross, Fred Butler
Front Row: Dick Dianda, Al Hilbert, Marv Peixoto, Jack Moore, Bill Giammona, Gary Giacomini,
Back Row: Pat Medeiros, Louis Alonzo, Gene Klein, Nancy
Butler, Joe Farias, Sherman Boutte
Front Row: Tony Hernandez, Tony Rhoades, Mike Padilla,
Joe Farias, Al Hilbert
Back Row: Bob Waberski, Bert Rigley, John Brosnan,
Ramon Dominques, Gary Giacomini, Marv Peixoto,
Bob Burke, Carl Mc Dade, Bert Surfield
Not Pictured: Cliff Olsen, Irene Oberra
The 2003 season saw two teams tie for the league title. Team Toys managed by Tony Solis and Yellow Rose managed by Al Hilbert finished with 15-10 records. The last stats sheet expressed appreciation to Vern Stephens (he had been a mainstay for years) who was retiring as he was turning 70. Lots of new faces in the batting rankings. Larry Ross led the league in hitting (.727) followed by Jerry Hogerheide .675.
Bob Burke was the leader in RBI’s (Bob has been one of the great supporters of the league both financially and always encouraging everyone), Gary Giacomini had the most runs and most hits (Gary is also a mainstay in the league) Darrell Dolin had the most doubles, Jim Garrison led in triples, and Tony Solis was the home run leader with 10. Other notable batting averages were Bob Fenton (Canyon High grad) (.674), Joe Farias (.671), and Gabe Adami (.663). In 2003 an incident took place that led to banning for one year a player who physically attacked another player. This is the only time an occurrence has taken place with physical contact in the 20 plus years of the league.
65 Plus league 2003. Six teams (Danville, H.A.R.D. 2, H.A.R.D. 1, Alameda, San Ramon, and Pleasanton). Al Hilbert was the coordinator for the league. The Danville Team dominated the league. By the midpoint of the season, they were undefeated. Most of the players from Hayward also played in the 50’s league. Exceptions were Vic Maes, Elwood Smith, Bob Leigh, Bob Moss, and Orville Johnson.
2004: The 2004 season saw a continued increase in ball players. Senior Softball was moving on. Leon Moore continued to do an outstanding job with the stats. It kept everyone informed. The Rowdys again had a great year going 19-5 for the year. Yellow Rose finished second followed by Francis Refinishing. Exciting new players this year included Jake Jacoby, who was a Commissioner in 2011. Jake has been a great addition to the league. Batting champion for the year was Bob Fenton (.709) who was a student for the writer of this information in 1964. RBI leader was Tony Solis; Bob Gianni (smoothest shortstop in the league) scored the most runs, Gary King led the league in total hits. Gary was a real force in this first year of play for him. Gary also led the league in homeruns. We had 96 registered players in 2004. Two players that played after lots of injuries were Ron Silva and Gene Klein. They loved to be outdoors and added flair anytime they were on the field. They represented what recreational softball is all about.
The over 65 league had two teams from the Hayward area in 2004. Al Hilbert was the Coordinator again and I was his assistant. Al was the manager of the H.A.R.D. 1 team and Vern Beggs was the manager of the H.A.R.D. 2 team. Notable players were Ramon Dominguez, Sharon Peck, Ron Rebuck and Eloy Solis on H.A.R.D. 1; H.A.R.D. 2 had Elwood Smith, Dane Hansen (Dane has been an integral part of the league as he brings all the equipment to practice held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Community Center in Castro Valley), Nancy Butler and Ken Bohi. The Alameda team had a guy named Charlie Adams (an icon in the league). The Alameda team also had Jim Garrison and Bev Van Gundy – all would play in Hayward league when we decided to have our own league. Harvey Kooy played on the Pleasanton team. Harvey would also join our league later. Don Fernandes was on the Danville team, but he had also played in our league. Don currently sponsors the Direct Sales tournament teams. Larry Divito, Gabe Adami and Fred Butler all played for San Ramon and would also join our league. Danville was the dominant team-going 6-0 in the first half of play. They ended up 12-0. Both H.A.R.D. teams finished 6-6.
The league this year was also co-sponsored by the Castro Valley Adult School. They provided funds for our picnic and for two years paid our fees when we had umpires from the Hayward ASA organization.
2005: In 2005 Team Toys took the regular season championship with a 15-7 record barely beating out Bras and Mattos. Toys were led by the Solis brothers (Steve and Tony), Bert Surfield, and Bob Fenton. Bill Giammona and Tom Quillen led Bras and Mattos. The batting leader for the year was the ageless wonder Charlie Adams (.721) with Jim Garrison second (.696). Steve Solis led the league in RBI’s. Gary King was again the home run leader while Lanny Witt (who would have a great impact on the league) led in slugging percentage. The player with the most walks during the season was Jay Goodman. It is always an honor to have the most walks. Marv Peixoto joined the league. Marv is now a City Councilman in Hayward. He would like to be playing but Council business takes all his time.
The over 65 league continued to play with two teams from the H.A.R.D. area. Danville continued to dominate going 19-0. H.A.R.D. 1 was 10-9 and H.A.R.D. 2 was 4-15. Because of the dominance of Danville discussions were started to create a local league for the Castro Valley/Hayward area. Players in the over 65 league for the first time were John Evans (later an assistant manager in the 50’s league), Bill Baker, and Carlos Holquin. After the season was over Al Hilbert, our Commissioner wrote a letter to all the managers asking whether Danville should be in a different league. They just had too many horses.
In 2005 our 50 and over league games moved to the new Oliver Complex on Hesperian. What a great facility. H.A.R.D. provided a grounds person to line the fields every Thursday. It was a great year for the league to have such nice facilities. Thank you to Mr. Oliver who donated the land and funds. The salt business was very profitable. The Over 65 games continued to be played in Castro Valley. Over 50 playoff results for 2005 (provided by Gabe Adami) were 1st place Toys; 2nd place Bras and Mattos; 3rd place Rowdys; 4th place Francis; 5th place Yellow Rose and the Knights finished 6th. In round #2 Toys just beat the Rowdys 14-13.
2006 Leon Moore was now the Commissioner having taken over from Vern Beggs who was outstanding as a commissioner. Team Toys again won the regular season championship with a 14-8 record. Highest batting average was Tom Quillen (.750) who also led the league in RBI’s. Eddie Muniz was the home run leader and slugging percentage champion (Eddie was a major power player for years in the league). Bob Burke had the most hits and was 5th in the league for batting averages. Some players who made great contributions included Steve Dietrich, Craig Germer, Bob McDougall, Marva Young, Dave Harding, Joe Serochi and Ron Benavides (long time coach at Mt. Eden). We had one player ejected from a game this year for talking back in a derogatory manner to our umpires. In 2006 we had paid umpires arranged through Castro Valley Adult School. The league has been fortunate, as we have not had many disciplinary problems over the years. Can't most people “just get along” to quote Leon Moore. Playoff results for 50 and over in 2006 found the Broncos in 1st; Bras and Mattos second; Toys third; Rowdys 4th; Rose 5th and the Knights 6th. The most exciting playoff game was the Yellow Rose over the Knights 18-17. This was the last year for the over 65 league. Danville again dominated with a 13-2 record. The H.A.R.D. teams were 2-14 and 6-10. It was difficult to compete with the teams over the hill. Al Hilbert, assisted by Joe Farias, was the manager of the Yellow Rose; Vern Beggs assisted by Larry Ross managed the H.A.R.D. team. Mike Perkins entered the over 65 league this year and would later become a manager in the league. Another long-time player Don Keller played with the Yellow Rose and would become a manager for many years. In 2011 Don managed a team in both the 60’s and 50’s league. Players in the 65 league in 2006 who contributed were Doug Phillips, Fred Butler, Cliff Olson, John Evans, Bob Leigh, and Jake Jacoby.
2007: The major decision in 2007 was to create an over 60 league of four teams. This would mean we would not have to travel to other areas of the Bay Area. Also, we would not get the daylights beaten out of us by Danville. Thus, a four-team league was created. Managers were Al Hilbert (Yellow Rose), Red/Black (Joe Farias), Vern Beggs (Rockies), and Chuck Cannistraci (Cadillacs). Rod Warren would have his debut this year. Rod managed in the 60’s league. The playoff champions that year were Hilbert ’s Yellow Rose led by Bob Gianni and Dave Hoge.
In the 50’s league in 2007 the Rowdys once again won the league championship with a 19-6 record over the Knights who were 18-7. Team Toys was third followed by Yellow Rose in fourth. The Rocking K Broncos and Bras and Mattos finished 5th and 6th. Chris Tyler managed the Knights. Chris was a real addition to our league and played until his health finally gave out. The Rowdys also won the playoffs with a 19-9 victory over the Knights. The Toys defeated the Rose for third place 20-19. Bras took fifth defeating the Broncos 25-19. Leading the Rowdys in 2007 were Craig Germer (.760) and Eddie Muniz (.684). The home run leader for the year was Greg Eby who ran like a deer. Mike Fragoso led the league in hitting .761 followed by Craig Germer .760. Garonn England led in RBI’s followed by Fragoso. The leader in home runs was Germer.
2008: The addition of Herb Hadley and his wife Pam was a great addition for the league. Pam and Herb handled the stats for the league that year. Herb would become a manager in the 60’s league in 2011. He was well known for bringing salami and coffee to games. The season was highlighted with the Rowdys going 21-3 though one game was still under protest and never resolved (my editorial comment). The Rowdys (managed by Larry Ross) were led by Russ Chandley (.733) who also managed in the league for two years, and Garonn England (.716) who was an Assistant Manager in 2011 for the Sharks; Garonn had 12 homeruns for the season. Mike Fragoso was the batting champion (.785) – Mike has been a real force, hitting and fielding since joining the league in 2007. England led the league in RBI’s, homeruns, doubles and slugging percentage.
Another new player this year was Dick Treat who was a gentleman in all aspects. Chris Hernandez, son of Tony Hernandez, played for the first time. He was awesome but could only play part time as he is still teaching. Homeruns are his specialty. The Rowdys also won the playoffs with a 14-3 victory over Team Toys. The Knights finished third in the playoffs by beating Bras and Mattos 14-13. The Sharks were 5th with a 16-12 victory over the Broncos.
The 60 league again had 4 teams. Red/Black managed by Joe Farias, Yellow Rose managed by Al Hilbert, Keystone Pest Control managed by Eddie Muniz and Mattucci Tigers managed by Mike Perkins. Keystone finished first, Tigers second, Yellow Rose third and Red Black fourth. No results available on the playoffs.
2009: The Vintage Crushers won the regular season title with a 16-8 record. T-Shoppe was second at 15-9. Players not previously mentioned that had an impact on the league include Chris Bailey (led the league in home runs), Chris Hernandez (who was second in home runs playing part time), Steve Alvarez, Carl Steigerwald, Jim Coggburn, Gary Lee, Dennis Solis (another Solis brother) and Rich Jovel rounded out the hitting leaders for the year. All games were played at the Oliver Complex on Hesperian. What is great is that H.A.R.D. continues to set the fields up for the league. Dave Luna and his staff do an excellent job for the league. The entire league appreciates Dave Luna. League leaders were: Batting Average, Eddie Muniz (.761), RBI’s Garonn England, Home Runs Chris Bailey, Slugging Percentage Chris Bailey and Hits Steve Dietrich. The young bucks (Bailey, Hernandez, Dennis Solis, Mike Fragoso, England, Alvarez, John Garcia, Eddie Muniz and Gary King) were dominating the stats of the league. The tide had turned. In the playoffs Vintage Crushers came out the Champs with a 17-11 victory over the Broncos. T-Shoppe was 3rd with a 19-9 victory over the Knights. Fifth place was shared by the Sharks and Rowdys in a 13-13 tie after 9 innings. A gentleman’s agreement between old veterans Farias and Ross. In the 60’s the Red Black team won the league and the playoffs. They were led by Jake Jacoby (.792), Ed Denoncourt (.760) (6) HR, Joe Farias (.667) and Gary King (50 RBI’s). Other leading hitters in the league were Rich Jovel (.739), Gary Lee and Dick Treat (.763).
2010: In the fifties T-Shoppe claimed the regular season championship with a 16-7 record. Second were the Vintage Crushers with a 13-10 record followed by the Rowdys. John Garcia, Gary Giacomini, Bob Schmidt, Marva Young, and Ed Muniz led T-Shoppe. Ed Muniz led the league in batting with a (.819) average. (Ed was an outstanding athlete in the 60’s at Hayward High and a career Police Officer in Hayward), Tony Solis (.762) and Jim Dominguez (.762) tied for second. Marva was fourth with a (.753) average. Chris Bailey led in home runs and in RBI’s. The playoffs were won by T-Shoppe who beat the Knights in the final game. Third place went to the Sharks who were victorious over Vintage. The Rowdys defeated the Broncos for fifth place.
In the 60’s league the Mudcat Red and the Tigers finished with records of 15-6. The Reds were led by Harold Manley, Dan DeClerc, Dick Treat and Lanny Witt. Gil Jess, John Ironside, John Bailey and Gary Symons led the Tigers. Manual Rodriquez led the league in hitting (.843) with Gary Lee second (.764). Ed Denoncourt batted (.881) though he only had 43 at bats. Gary King was the home run leader with 6 homers. Carl Steigerwald was the leader in RBI’s with 49.
2011 Brought new faces into the leadership roles in the league. Mike Carroll, Jake Jacoby and Don Pelland moved to the forefront to administer the league. The league also was welcomed to the Technology Age by design of a league dedicated Website (www.H.A.R.D.seniorsoftball.com) designed and maintained by one of the leagues players Greg Neal with the photo-albums maintained by web-editor & team-mate Betty Soo Hoo.
With increased numbers both leagues (60’s and 50’s) added a team. Due to injuries, vacations and other problems some teams were unable to field 11 players for each game. The league was going to have long discussions this year to consider returning to 6 teams in each league. The Rowdys again won the league under the managerial forte of Leon Moore. Larry Ross stepped down as manager for the first time in many years. The Rowdys won the regular season and also were victorious over the Vintage Crushers (a Solis led team) in the playoffs that year. In the regular season the Sharks were third, Kids fourth, Knights fifth, Mudcat Red sixth, T-Shoppe seventh and the Broncos in 8th place. Leading hitters in 2011 were Chris Hernandez (son of Tony Hernandez who played in the league from the early 90’s), batting .833 and 9 homeruns) Teddy LaChapelle (.803), Ed Muniz (.797), Rich Podesta (.793), (Rich is also an outstanding tournament pitcher), Chris Bailey, who moved to Oregon, was again a go to player, 2nd in homeruns, second in slugging percentage, batted .738, fast as a tiger, and a nice guy. He will be missed. Other new players in those years who added to the league include Dan DeClerc, Mace McDonald, Dave DeCarli, Don Ott (fast as a super deer), Manuel Rodriques, Teddy LaChapelle, Stan Chavarria, Carl Liljedahl, and Gary Damele.
In the 60’s league the Tigers were the champions of the regular season under the leadership of Mike Perkins, but the Red/Black team headed by Mike Carroll won the playoffs. Denoncourt, Jacoby, Phillips, Carroll, and Tom Gibbany led the Red/Black team. Leading the way for the Tigers were Ross, Jovel, Perkins and Keltner.
2012 The major change in 2012 was the expansion into (8) teams in both the 50+ and 60+ leagues. A large influx of new players was signed up, as word had spread of how the “Hayward League is well organized and lots of fun, with new Commissioners, John Ironside, Mike Carroll and Greg Neal”.
Managers in the 50’s League were Gabe Adami, (Buffs), Lanny Witt, (Kids), Tony Solis, (Crushers), Don Keller, (Broncos), John Ironside, (Yellow Rose) and Larry Ross, (Rowdys). In the 50’s the addition of a number of new players with past softball league experience, raised the level of league play. Raul Delgado batted .842 to lead the league in hitting. Other newcomers, Mike Sousa with a .841 average, Pete Cordova batting .800, Selwyn (fast as a deer) Quan hit .758. Homerun leader was Don Ott (14 HR) followed by Chris Hernandez (playing part time) 13 HR and Raul Delgado’s 10 HR while leading the league with 81 RBI’s and Don Ott’s 78 RBI’s. The regular season ended with the Kids in 1st place, Knights 2nd, Rowdys 3rd, Yellow Rose 4th, Sharks 5th, Crushers 6th, Buffs 7th and Broncos in 8th place. The Kids dominated the playoffs winning all 3 of their games to win the 2012 Championship.
Managers in the 60’s league were Ed Muniz (Keystone), Lanny Witt (Mudcats Red), Chuck Cannistracci (Yellow Rose), Joe Farias (Red/Black), Don Keller (Rockies), Rod Warren (Mudcat Black), Mike Perkins (Tigers) and Herb Hadley (Rovers). 60’s League new players were led by Jim Stapleton batting .802 and Tim Larson hitting .770. The League hitting Champ was Ed Denoncourt with an astounding .881 average. With old-timers Carl Steigerwald and Ed Muniz, who were also there to round out the top (3) in hitting and almost all other categories. Steigerwald was #1 in RBI’s (65) just edging out Gary King (61) RBI’s. Muniz led the league in hits, runs and had a .808 average. Mudcat Black controlled the regular season from start to finish in first place followed by Keystone, Red/Black, then Yellow Rose, with Tigers in fifth, Mudcat Red 6th, with Rockies and Rovers rounding out the bottom slots. In the 2012 playoffs the “Keystoners” put together a solid team effort to take the 2012 League Playoff Championship.
2012 also marked the first time the League put together a fall league. Six (6) teams were assembled with a 5 game regular and a 2 game playoff format and concluding before the Thanksgiving Holiday. Lanny Witt’s Kids won this league having kept most of their 2012 roster intact. Other competing teams were Adami’s Buffs, Dave Hoge’s Knights, Cannistraci’s Yellow Rose, Tony Solis’s Crushers and Herb Hadley’s Rovers. It was a fun fall league which was enjoyed by virtually all the ballplayers.
Back Row: Jay Sankey, Luther Smith, Tim Larson, Steve Etchieson, Gary Cosby, Larry DeVito, Pat Medeiros, Manny Franco
Front Row: Chip McCarter, Ed Finkes, Selwyn Quan, Carla Francis
Lanny Witt, Carl Steigerwald
Back Row: Jim Dietrich, Glen Santos, Rich Podesta, Laverne Miller, Steve Dietrich, Tony Bartholomew, Jake Jacoby,
Bob Askey, Gabe Adami, Tony Solis,
Front Row: Willie Mc Gee, Ed Muniz, Steve Solis
Back Row: Pat Medeiros, Charlie Wanczyk, Steve Jacobson, Rod Warren,
Gary Lee, Dean Perkins, Steve Shapiro, Larry Johnson, Rich Warren, Don Sherratt
Front Row: Jim Stapleton, Jay Hendee, Junior Corsare, Fred Perkins
The 2013 Senior Softball season was highlighted by the introduction of an over 70’s league. This was the brainchild of Commissioner Mike Carroll. Women 45 and over were also able to play in the 70’s league. Four teams were created by “the ancient one” Jack Moore using his Billy Beane analysis. The teams were Rovers (Mgr. Herb Hadley), Rockies (Mgr. Larry Divito), Yellow Rose (Mgr. Chuck Cannistraci) and the Spartans (Mgr. Joe Farias). The Yellow Rose won the league championship with a 14-7 record followed by the Spartans at 12-9. But in the playoffs the Spartans caught the Rose napping and won decisively. The Rockies finished third in league action and the playoffs with the Rovers winding up in fourth. Leading hitters were Ray Garcia (.909) in 22 at bats, Larry Ross (.865) in 52 at bats, Joe Farias (.779) in 77 at bats and Jay Hendee (.778) in 72 at bats. Farias led in doubles (15) RBI’s (53) and was second in triples, runs scored and hits. LeVerne Miller led in home runs (5). Other top hitters were Don Pelland (. 758), Carol Sutherland (.753), John Lindberg (.743), Danny Klier (.735), Rich Warren (.717) and 86-year-old Charlie Adams at (. 716). Harold Manley led in hits (62), Fred Perkins in runs (45) and Jay Hendee in triples (8). Thanks to the Assistant Managers -Walt McQueston (Rockies), Gary Symons (Rovers) - though Gary had to retire early in the season due to injuries, Doug Phillips (Spartans) and Dane Hansen (Yellow Rose). Assistant Managers at all levels in the league do lots of the “grunt” work.
The best thing about the 70’s league is that it allows individuals who would have difficulty in the younger leagues the opportunity to play in a competitive situation. Kudos to Mike.
In the 60’s league Keystone managed by Eddie Muniz dominated league play (16-5) and swept the playoffs defeating Mudcat Red in the final game (17-12). In league play the Rowdys (Dane Hansen) finished second (13-8), Mudcat Red (Lanny Witt) finished third (13-8), Tigers (Ray Watkins) finished fourth (12-9), Red/Black finished fifth (11-10) managed by Tom Gibbany, Mudcat Black finished sixth (10-11) managed by Gary Lee, finishing seventh was the Yellow Rose managed by Mike Carroll (7-14) and in the cellar was the Broncos managed by Don Keller (5-16). In the playoffs the order of finish was Keystone, Mudcat Red, Rowdys, Tigers, Mudcat Black, Red/Black, Broncos and Yellow Rose. Eddie Muniz continued to be a top hitter in the league (.869) and had 68 RBI’s. The home run leader, new to the league, was Dan Moore with 11 home runs and 81 RBI’s. He batted .762. Bill Harris, also a new player, batted .806. Other leading hitters were Rick McNamara (.822), Jim Stapleton (.847). Les Kimberley (.800), Rod Warren (.759), and Carl Liljedahl (.744). Carl Steigerwald had 5 home runs, 60 RBI’s and batted .744. Jay Sankey had 63 RBI’s, 6 home runs and batted .736. Bob Montalvo had five home runs for the Yellow Rose and Gary King finished with 4. Getting the most walks were Gary Peck, Jim Stapleton and Gary Giacomni with 9. Selwyn Quan had 57 runs scored and the leaders with sacrifices were King, McNamara and Tom Wagenseller all with 5. Assistant Managers were Game Adami for Keystone, Carl Liljedahl for the Rowdys, Joe Farias with the Red/Black, Dan Borden for the Broncos, Manny Rodriquez with the Mudcat Black, Carl Steigerwald with Mudcat Red, Jay Hendee with the Yellow Rose and Bo Johansen with the Tigers.
The 50’s league had six teams this year as many of the older players opted to play in just the 60’s and 70’s league. The Crushers (managed by Tony Solis) won the league title and the playoffs. They tied with the Sharks (John Hughes) in the regular season. Both teams finished 13-7. In a playoff the Crushers won and earned the #1 seed. In third place was the Kids (Lanny Witt), fourth the Cardinals (John Ironside), fifth the Buffs (managed by Gabe Adami) and in sixth the Knights (Dave Hoge and John Preston). In the playoffs the Knights surprised everyone and made the finals. They were led by late addition Luther Smith but couldn’t quite upset the Crushers. Buffs finished third, Sharks fourth, Cardinals fifth and the Kids sixth in the playoffs. The home run leader from the Sharks was Don Ott with 14. Don batted .818 and led the league in RBI’s with 68. The batting average leader was Rich Podesta (.831) followed by Mike Amaral at (.829). Tim Larsen had the most hits (72) and most runs (68). Tim batted (.783). Carla Francis led the league in walks (11) with Steve Castillo the leader in sacrifice flies (9). Chris Hernandez led the league in slugging percentage (1.688) and was second in home runs (9). The 50’s had a number of new players who had an immediate impact in the league. One of the new players was Brian Briegleb (batting average.813, 65 hits, 48 runs, 2 home runs and 11 doubles). Assistant Managers were Dennis Solis for the Crushers, Steve Alvarez the Sharks, Eddie Muniz the Buffs, Carl Steigerwald the Kids, and John Garcia the Cardinals.
Special thanks to our three Commissioners-Mike Carroll, John Ironside and Greg Neal. Planning and directing 18 teams in three leagues takes an enormous amount of time. They must be Judge and Jury on many decisions that take place during the season. Also, to Herb Hadley and his wife who spend lots of time on keeping stats for the league. Herb is the salami king as he brings coffee and salami for everyone to share. This year second year player Larry Johnson assisted with the stats. He kept account of the 60’s league. Great to have new players step forward and help out.
Gene Jones Awards 2013
The league continued the Gene Jones awards in 2013 adding the 70’s league.
In the fifties the awards went to Stan Chavarria (Buffs), Don Ott (Sharks), Vince Cantwell (Kids), Carla Francis (Knights), Jack Moore (Cardinals) and Gabe Hernandez (Crushers). Gabe was at all the games to watch his father Manny Hernandez play ball. At 84 Manny is an icon in the league.
In the sixties awards went to Carol Sutherland (Keystone), Gary Lee (Mudcat Black), Joe Farias (Red/Black), Tony Solis (Broncos), Mike Amaral (Yellow Rose), Don Mello (Tigers), Carl Steigerwald (Mudcat Red) and Bill Harris (Rowdys).
Winners at the 70’s level were Doug Phillips (Spartans), LaVerne Miller (Yellow Rose), John Lindberg (Rockies) and Bette Soo Hoo (Rovers). Bette Soo Hoo also added outstanding pictures to the H.A.R.D. website throughout the year.
In 2013 a number of women new to the league participated. Diane Harris, Yvonne Maxwell, Liz Plunkett, Janice Zylaica and Dorothy Thompson all enjoyed playing their first season in the league. They all contributed to making the league a great place to spend the day.
Again, the end of the year picnic was a huge success thanks to the work of Mike Carroll and Mike Fragoso. Carroll’s organization and Fragoso’s cooking made the picnic a roaring end to a great season. Russ Chandley continued to have BBQ’s on Tuesday/Thursday that were attended by 25-40 players, wives and friends. He was helped by Mike Fragoso, Chip McCarter and other volunteer cooks.
H.A.R.D. Senior Softball - 2014 Season
The 2014 Senior Softball season was again a very successful operation because of the leadership of John Ironside, Mike Carroll and Greg Neal. Even with rainouts everything fell into place ending with a fabulous picnic in late September.
The 50’s league had 6 teams with the Wolfpack (Manager Steve Alvarez, Assistant Steve Suchon) and the Crushers (Manager Tony Solis, Assistant Dennis Solis) the dominant teams in both league play and the playoffs. The Wolfpack won the regular season title but then were defeated in the Championship playoff game by the Crushers. Rounding out the league standings for the 50’s league were the Cardinals (Manager John Ironside, Assistant John Garcia), Buffs (Manager Gabe Adami. Assistant Ed Muniz), Knights (Manager Dave Hoge, Assistant Ray Watkins and the Kids (Manager Lanny Witt, Assistant Carl Steigerwald). In the playoffs it was the Crushers, Wolfpack, Cardinals, Knights, Buffs and Kids.
The 50’s league had a number of excellent hitters this year. Though he just batted 28 times Luther Smith had 23 hits for a .821 average. Mike Souza, with 67 AB’s, batted .791 plus was 3rd in home runs and fifth in slugging percentage. Don Ott batted .783, was 3rd in hits, 1st in runs, 1st in total bases, 5th in RBI’s, 1st in doubles, 1st in home runs (9), and 2nd in slugging percentage. Don is also an exceptional shortstop. Rounding out the top 10 batting average leaders were Brian Brieglieb, Dave Hoge, Mike Fragoso, Jay Sankey, Mike Norell, Max Benevidez, Steve Suchon, and Mario Rodriquez. Leading the league in sac flies were Steve Alvarez, Gary Damele, and Steve Mastronarde. The RBI leaders were Mario Rodriguez (59), Steve Brown (55) and Mike Fragosa (51). Leading the league in triples was Steve Brown followed by Raul Delgado. The individual with the most patience was Max Benevidez who walked 11 times.
The 60’s league had 8 teams this year with the Tigers (Manager Ray Watkins, Assistant Dan Moore) finishing in a tie during the league competition with Keystone (Manager Eddie Muniz, Manager Rick McNamara) but because of head-to-head victories during the season the Tigers were declared the league champion. The Mudcat Red (Manager Lanny Witt, Assistant Carl Steigerwald) finished third in league play followed by the Yellow Rose (Manager Carl Liljedahl, Assistant Manny Franco), then the Broncos (Manager Don Keller, Assistant Dan Borden), Red/Black (Manager Tom Gibbany, Assistant Joe Farias) finished 7th and in 8th place were the Rowdys (Manager John Crane, Assistant Bob Wells).
In the playoffs it was the Tigers winning against Keystone 22-13. Third place in the playoffs was the Yellow Rose, followed by Mudcat Red, Rowdy’s, Red/Black, Broncos and Mudcat Black.
The 60’s continued to have many outstanding players. Jim Stapleton led the league in batting (.890) followed by Dave Reta (.855), Steve Mastronarde (.846), Gary Damele (.822) and Bill Harris (.820). Rounding out the top ten were Steve Etchieson, Dan Moore, Max Benavidez, Steve Brown and Jay Sankey. Dan Moore led the league in home runs (12), doubles, RBI’s, and runs scored. Jim Stapleton had the most walks (11) and was the leader in on base percentage. RBI’s leaders after Moore were Rick McNamara, Dave Reta, Mike Norell and Steve Etchieson. Home run leaders after Moore were Mike Norell, Steve Brown, Dave Reta, Jim Stapleton and Barry Walter.
The 70’s League wrapped up a second season with four teams battling throughout the season. Finishing in first place during the regular season was Yellow Rose (Manager Chuck Cannistraci, Assistant Dane Hansen), Spartan-Sharks (Manager Joe Farias, Assistant Manager Doug Phillips), Rovers (Manager Herb Hadley, Assistant Don Keller), and the Rockies (Manager Larry Divito, Assistant Walt McQueston). But in the playoffs the Rovers came out on top defeating the Rockies 13-7. Third place in the playoffs went to the Spartans-Sharks who defeated the Yellow Rose 14-4.
Players new to the 70’s excelled in batting with Junior Cosare leading the way (.794), Rich Jovel (.774), Dave York (.772) and Ray Garcia (.770. Rounding out the top 10 were Ed Finkes, Joe Farias, John Chacon, Darrell Dolin, Dorothy Thompson and Charlie Adams- (the 87-year-old wonder). The leading home run hitter was Junior Cosare (7) followed by Charlie Adams (4). Leading the league in RBI’s was Farias followed by Cosare and Adams. Leading the league in hits, sacrifices and doubles was Farias. Charlie Adams had the most doubles and was second in base on balls. Herb Hadley collected the most walks (10). The 70’s had 10 women who were excellent players throughout the season.
A number of individuals helped to make the season a success. Special thanks to Paul Vartanian for handling the scheduling, Larry Johnson for doing the 60’s stats, Don Keller for the 70’s stats, and to Herb and Pam Hadley for keeping us updated with the 50’s stats. Bruce Goddard for establishing the playoff scoring website, Betty Soo Hoo for her website photo editing and Greg Neal for being the Editor of the H.A.R.D. website. Again, special thanks to Mike Carroll who works throughout the year meeting with H.A.R.D. to get fields, keeping the sign-up lists and providing leadership. To John Ironside for being able to make decisions and reminding us that this is a recreational league to have fun.
Gene Jones Awards 2014
This year’s Gene Jones awards went to:
50’s-Ron Kimmel, Nick Halatsis, Loren Kensinger Don Ott, Steve Hutson and Willie McGee. 60’s-Mark Shimamoto, Liz Plunkett, Mike Carroll, Larry Johnson, Dane Hanson, John Hughes, Bruce Goddard and Steve Brown.
70’s-Abbe Kalos, Elly Divino, Betty Soo Hoo, and Al Rosellini.
Again, an extended winter league was started though many of the games were rained out. But this gives players an opportunity to continue playing throughout most of the year.
The picnic in September was a great success. Russ Chandley (puts on great barbeques) helped the Commissioners with the event. Doug Phillips, Tom Gibbany and Bill Barbaria assisted Russ in this successful venture.
Special thoughts were given toward long time player Eddie Muniz. Eddie went through a tough time with his health and passed away this past year. Eddie was a mainstay of the league for 15 plus years. Also, special thoughts for Dean Perkins. Dean has been Mr. Softball in this area for 40 years. Running tournaments, playing and giving helpful hints to younger players.
See Betty Soo Hoo’s Photo Album for 2014 Season Pictures
2015 Season- H.A.R.D. Senior Softball League
By Joe Farias
The 2015 Senior Softball season continued to grow in numbers under the leadership of John Ironside, Mike Carroll and Lanny Witt. Greg Neal continued to provide computer support even though he could not play due to injuries. Don Keller stepped forward to take over some of the major responsibilities for the H.A.R.D. Senior Softball Website. We celebrated our 25th season of H.A.R.D. Senior Softball.
The 50’s league had 6 teams with the Mudcat Black (Manager Mike Fragoso, Assistant Manager Selwyn Quan) winning the regular season title and the playoffs. Rounding out the league standings in the regular season were the Crushers in second place (Manager Dennis Solis, Assistant Manager Manny Franco), the Twins (Manager Lanny Witt, Assistant Manager Carl Steigerwald), the Wolfpack (Manager Steve Alvarez, Assistant Manager Steve Suchon), the Knights (Manager Dave Hoge, Assistant Manager Ray Watkins) and the Buffs (Manager Gabe Adami, Assistant Manager Mike Souza). In the playoffs it was Mudcat Black, Twins, Knights, Crushers, Buffs and Wolfpack. The Championship game was a one run victory for the Mudcat Black over the Twins.
The 50’s league had a significant number of new players this year that could run, hit and field. Leading the new players were three individuals: Bob Frey of the Wolfpack (BA .887, 7 home runs, 6 triples, 49 RBI’s and a .900 on base percentage; James Del Rio playing for Wolfpack (BA .810, 44 RBI’s, 19 doubles and a .817 on base percentage; Stephan Thompson with the Crushers (55 RBI’s, 5 home runs, 22 doubles, and 105 total bases. Veteran Chris Hernandez (playing for Mudcat Black) continued his home run barrage with 11 (he tied with Don Ott) plus 48 RBI’s, a .830 on base percentage and 14 doubles. Shortstop Don Ott (Knights) again was hitting the ball H.A.R.D. tying Chris with 11 home runs, led the league in RBI’s with 59 and 6 triples and 22 doubles. Though he only had 21 at bats newcomer Tom Casteen of the Knights had 19 hits in 21 at bats to have the highest batting average at .905. Barry Walter of Mudcat Black had a .825 on base percentage, 3 homeruns, 48 RBI’s and was third in batting averages (.825). Chris Oliver of the Wolfpack was 4th in batting (.823) and had an on base percentage of .823. The patience ones with 8 walks included Frey, Max Benavidez, Gary Peck and Carla Francis. Others in the top ten in batting were Vinny Cantwell (.793), Raul Delgado (.778), Bill Wilson (.776) and Max Benavidez (.775). In the top ten for home runs beside Frey, Ott, Hernandez, and Walter were Charles Mayfield, Delgado, Mike Souza, Jose Nunez and Garonn England.
The 60’s league had 8 teams in 2015. The regular league play was dominated by the Cardinals (Manager John Ironside, Assistant Manager John Garcia)) with a 16-5 record finishing 3 games ahead of the Tigers (Manager Ray Watkins, Assistant Manager Dan Moore) who had a record of 13-8. In third place was Keystone (Manager Rick McNamara, Assistant Manager Jim Stapleton) with a record of 12-9. The Rowdys (Manager Cruz Cisneros, Assistant Manager Joe Figueroa) finished 4th followed in fifth place by Mudcat Red (Manager Lanny Witt, Assistant Manager Carl Steigerwald), Red/Black (Manager Tom Gibbany, Assistant Manager Joe Farias finished in 6th place followed by the Diamonds (Manager Carl Liljedahl, Assistant Manager Duane Duchscherer) and the Broncos (Manager Dan Borden and Assistant Manager Don Keller). In the playoffs the 6th place Red/Black team knocked off Keystone and the Cardinals but in the championship game lost a close one to the Tigers. Order of finish for the playoffs was Tigers, Red/Black, Cardinals, Mudcats Red, Keystone, Rowdys, Diamonds and Broncos. The Cardinals were the regular league champions with the Tigers the playoff champs.
Again, this year veteran Jim Stapleton of Keystone led the league in hitting (.896), was 1st in on base percentage (.908), had the most walks (10) and was third in singles (69) along with 15 doubles plus second in total bases with 98. Dave Loustalot (Broncos) had only 28 at bats but had 25 hits for a BA of .893. Rounding out the hitting leaders were Rod Warren (Cardinals) .831; Steve Etchieson of the Broncos (.813), Brian Briegleb from the Diamonds (.811), John Benavidez from Keystone (.806), Rich Podesta from Keystone (.778), Tim Frederick of the Rowdys (.778), Gary Damele from the Broncos (.776) and Bill Harris (.775) of Mudcat Red. Leading home run hitters were Randy Cobb (Mudcat Red) with six, followed by John Benavidez, Ed Denoncourt, Duane Duchscherer, and Tim Bailey all of whom had 4. Leaders in RBIs were Carl Liljedahl of the Diamonds with 52 followed by Chris Olivier of the Cardinals with 51. Harris had 50 and Tigers Assistant Manager Dan Moore had 47.
In the 70’s league this year four teams continued to battle each week. The team that won both the regular season title and the playoff title was The Sharks (Manager Joe Farias, Assistant Manager Doug Phillips. Finishing in 2nd place in both the regular season and the playoffs were the Rowdys (Manager Mike Carroll, Assistant Manager Jake Jacoby), in third place in the regular league and the playoffs was the Rockies (Manager Larry Divito and Assistant Manager Walt McQueston). In fourth place were the Rovers in both the regular season and the playoffs (Manager Herb Hadley and Assistants Don Keller and Bo Johansen). The Championship game between the Sharks and Rowdys was 6-5 with the Sharks taking home the bacon behind Loren Kensinger’s key base hit.
Newcomer (Just turned 70) Steve Gellerman (Sharks) let the way in the hitting department. Second in batting average (.836), leader in home runs (13), most doubles (10), tops in RBI’s and second in on base percentage (.836). Close to him was the 80 plus year old John Chacon who was 1st in batting average by one percentage point (.837), 1st in on base percentage (.844), and 3rd in doubles. The top ten hitters for batting average beyond Gellerman and Chacon were Lucio Cosare (Rowdies) .758, ageless wonder Charlie Adams (Rovers) .736, Laverne Miller (Rockies) (.718), eighty plus Manny Hernandez of the Rockies (.696), Bo Johansen of the Rovers ((.695), Mike Carroll of the Rowdys (.692), Russ Chandley of the Sharks (.692) and Fred Butler from the Sharks (.682). Cosare had 5 homeruns with Chandley and Dorothy Thompson having four. The 70’s had 11 women playing in the league. All of them contributed to their teams.
Individuals to thank for making it a great season include: The BBQ Man Russ Chandley for serving delicious food after the games for a $5 fee. The food and the fellowship were outstanding throughout the year. Russ also handled the end of the year picnic, which was a great success; Betty Soo Hoo again for documenting what takes place on the field plus taking team photos for everyone; Larry Johnson and Don Keller for keeping everyone abreast of the stats each week. Takes a lot of time but they both are to be commended. Though Greg Neal can’t play he still gives advice, which the league appreciates. Paul Vartanian again handled the scheduling. This takes time and energy. But hats off to Mike Carroll and John Ironside. They deal with many concerns on a daily basis that take lots of time. We are very fortunate to have both of them in these key roles. Thank you, Mike and John.
Gene Jones Awards 2015
This year’s Gene Jones award were given to:
50’s: Wolfpack-Don Mello, Buffs-Carl Liljedahl, Knights-Max Martin, Mudcat Black-Manny Hernandez, Crushers-Joe Figueroa, Twins Steve Castillo.
60’s: Red/Black-Doug Phillips, Tigers-Vinny Cantwell, Cardinals-Ron Benavides, Keystone-Rick McNamara, Rowdys-Rich Curley, Broncos-Betty Soo Hoo, Diamonds-Herb Hadley, Mudcat Red-John Hughes.
70’s: Rowdys-Dane Hansen, Sharks-Yvonne Maxwell, Rovers-Bo Johansen and Rockies- Bill Germany.
An extended winter season was played with Managers and Assistant Managers: Dan Borden, Tom Gibbany, Larry Divito, Joe Figueroa, Ray Watkins, Vince Cantwell, Bob Wilson, Cruz Cisneros, Mike Carroll, Mike Fragoso and Joe Farias.
Revised and Updated by Joe Farias January 2016
See Betty Soo Hoo’s Photo Album (Here) for 2015 Season Pictures
The 2016 Senior Softball season again provided opportunities for 200 men and women to play softball for 7 months. The leadership of John Ironside, Mike Carroll and Lanny Witt again was instrumental in ensuring that the season was a success. Don Keller kept us all abreast of what was taking place through the H.A.R.D. website. Bette Soo Hoo took pictures all year long which are posted on the H.A.R.D. website. We completed our 26th season of H.A.R.D. Senior Softball. The year gave us time to reflect as we lost 14 players who played in the league. Their names will be listed on the last page. “Enjoy every day” became the mantra.
The 50’s league had five teams this year as numbers at the 50’s level continued to drop. The regular season was won for the second year in a row by Mudcat Black (Manager Mike Fragoso, Assistant Manager Raul Delgado), second place were the Crushers (Manager Dennis Solis, Assistant Manager Garonn England), in third place the Knights (Manager Dave Hoge, Assistant Manager Ray Watkins), fourth place was the Twins (Manager Lanny Witt, Assistant Manager Bob Aurigemma) and in fifth place were the Wolfpack (Manager Steve Suchon, Assistant Manager James DelRio). In the playoffs, the worm turned as the third and fourth place teams upset the first and second place teams. In the playoffs, the Knights defeated the Twins for first place and in third place was the Crushers. So, the playoff order was Knights, Twins, Crushers, Mudcat Black.
Players that were dominant in 2015 continued to hit well in 2016. Raul DelGado of Mudcat Black had the highest batting average (.833) with 54 RBI’s. Dennis Solis of the Crushers batted .812 and had 63 RBI’s. Jeff Hall was third in batting average at .810. Leading the league in home runs was James DelRio with 7. He had 67 RBI’s along with a .788 batting average. Bob Frey (batting average .754) and Don Ott (batting average .709) were second in the home run stats with 5 each. Other RBI leaders were Tony Solis (55), Jose Nunez (54) and Mario Rodriquez (55) and a .766 batting average. The walks leaders this year were Steve Carvalho (12), Mark Kauffman (9), Mark Reclus (9), and Max Benevidez (8).
The 60’s league had 8 teams in 2016. The regular season champion was Keystone (Manager Rick McNamara (D), Assistant Manager’s Ed Denoncourt and Steve Etchieson). Keystone led the league throughout the season. In second place was the Cardinals (Manager John Garcia, Assistant Manager Chris Olivier); third place was Mudcat Red (Manager Lanny Witt, Assistant Manager Ken Brandon); fourth place was the Tigers (Manager Ray Watkins, Assistant Manager Bo Johansen); fifth place went to the Buffs (Manager Gabe Adami, Assistant Manager Stan Chavarria); sixth place was the Diamonds (Manager Joe Figueroa, Assistant Manager Max Benavidez), seventh place went to the Rowdys (Manager John Hughes, Assistant Manager Barry Walter) and the 8th place team was the Broncos (Manager Dan Borden, Assistant Manager Don Keller). In the playoffs again the worm turned as it did in the 50’s league. Keystone was upset by the Tigers in the second round and the Tigers went on to win the playoffs by defeating the Cardinals in the championship game. In the playoffs Mudcat Red finished third followed by Keystone in fourth. There was a tie for fifth place in the playoffs between the Rowdys and the Broncos. Seventh place went to the Diamonds with the Buffs in eighth place.
Six players batted over .800 in the 60’s league led by Ed Denoncourt (.851), John Benevidez (.850), Steve Castillo (.847), Max Benevidez (.836), Brian Briegleb (.826), and Mike Amaral (.800). Leaders in RBI’s were Dan Burbank (75) who also batted .747. Dan is new to the league but had an impact in the 50’s and 60’s. Other RBI leaders were Manny Franco (69), Larry Jones (64), Tim Frederick (55) and Tim Bailey (53). Homerun leaders were Larry Jones (8), Selwyn Quan (7) Ed Denoncourt (6) and Dan Burbank (6). Biding their time and getting walked were Max Benevidez (10), Les Kimberly (9), Brian Briegleb (8) and Jay Sankey (7).
The 70’s continued again with four teams going at it each week. Again, the winner of the regular league did not win the playoffs. This was a trend throughout the league indicating that the teams were equal this year. The regular league champions were the Rovers (Manager Tom Gibbany, Assistant Manager Betty Soo Hoo) followed by the Tigers (Manager Ray Watkins, Assistant Manager Bo Johansen). In third place was the Olden Bears (Manager Joe Farias, Assistant Manager John Crane) followed by the Rowdys (Manager Mike Carroll, Assistant Manager Carol Strickland). Once again in the playoffs everything reversed itself. The playoff champions were the Olden Bears followed by the Rowdys, Rovers and Tigers. It was a very close league with all teams almost virtually tied at the end of the season.
The hitting leaders this year were John Chacon (.808), Junior Corsare (.807), Chet Lane (.800), Doug Phillips (.765) and Rich Jovel (.741). Two of the five are over 80. RBI leaders were Jake Jacoby (48), Rich Jovel (41), Ray Watkins (40), Russ Chandley (38), John Ironside (36) and Lanny Witt (35). Leading the league in walks was Charlie Adams (11)-Charlie was 89 in November; LaVerne Miller (10), and Carlos Holquin (8). Home run leaders were Rich Jovel (5) and five players with 2. Junior Corsare, Jake Jacoby, LaVerne Miller, Dorothy Thompson, and John Ironside. The 70’s had 11 women in the league, and all contributed to their teams.
We have many individuals to thank for again making the league a success. The Hayward Recreation District is at the top of the list. Able to utilize the fields for seven months is a great benefit to our league. Sometimes we have watering concerns but in the long run the league is an excellent opportunity for senior citizens to play ball at a low cost.
The BBQ’s continued this year with the “BBQ Man” Russ Chandley continuing to create great meals for a mere $5. Russ also handled the end of the year picnic, which was a rousing success. The socialization and fellowship that takes place at these barbeques is heartwarming.
Gene Jones Awards 2016
This year’s Gene Jones awards were given to:
50’s: Crushers-Steve Hutson, Wolfpack-Steve Carvalho, Knights-Don Ott, Twins-Doug Johnson, Mudcat Black-Loren Kensinger.
60’s: Tigers-Charles Adams, Keystone-Harvey Kooy, Mudcat Red-Paul Vartanian, Cardinals-Tony Solis, Buffs-Selwyn Quan, Broncos-Eloy Solis, Diamonds-Loren Kensinger, Rowdys-Tim Bailey.
70’s: Tigers-Walt McQueston, Rovers-John Ironside, Rowdys-Nick Harper, Olden Bears-Bill Germany.
Umpires: For the first time since 2009 paid umpires were used for playoff games. It worked out well. Plans are being made to present a proposal to all players in January to consider an increase in fees for the years that would allow for paid umpires during the entire season.
This past year fourteen players that have participated in the league over the years passed away. Jake Dalton (first Commissioner of the League in the 90’s), former managers Herb Hadley, Eddie Muniz, Rick McNamara, Chuck Cannistraci, L. T. Thompson, players Danny Klier, Mickey Marasovich, Ron Silva, Jim Coggburn, Manny Hernandez, Bob Waberski, Jackson Spindle and Pedro Corcino. All of them contributed to make our league better.
We hope the best for players Donnie Mello, Larry Ross, Gary Symons and Eleanor Moore. Eleanor has been a mainstay at all games since the inception of the league.
Revised and Updated by Joe Farias January 2017
H.A.R.D. Senior Softball
The Hayward Area Senior Softball Leagues celebrated their 27th year in 2017. It was a year with more rain than we have had in the past which meant a number of games had to be postponed. But the season continued from March through September with intrigue week in and week out. Seventeen teams in the three leagues provided exercise and friendship for players and spectators.
Numbers were down this year at the 50’s level causing many games to be played with less than 10 players. Some attribute this to people working longer before retiring plus the player pool seems to be less. Injuries also were up this year causing some games to be forfeited. We need to generate more players for this level next year.
Four teams competed at the 50’s level. The Crushers managed by Dennis Solis with Assistant Manager Dan Burbank, Mudcat Black managed by Mike Fragoso assisted by Mike Sousa, Wolfpack with Manager Steve Suchon assisted by Steve Alvarez and the Knights managed by John Hughes with assistant Doug Johnson.
The regular season ended with the Mudcat Black and Crushers having the same records, but the Crushers won the league title based on head-to-head battles. Thus, the Crushers were regular league champions with Mudcat Black second followed by the Wolfpack and then the Knights.
In the playoffs Wolfpack upset Mudcat Black and played the Crushers for the Playoff Championship. Again, the regular league champion fell to the third place Wolfpack in a close exciting game. Mudcat Black defeated the Knights to garner third place in the playoffs. Thus, playoff order was Wolfpack, Crushers, Mudcat Black and Knights.
The 50’s league had six players who dominated the top 10 lists. Bob Frey, Don Ott, Dan Burbank, Dennis Solis, Matt Alberti and Mike Sousa. Sousa had the highest batting average (.816), Ott led the league in home runs (8), total bases and doubles; Burbank was tops in RBI’s (65); Frey was second in batting (.811), tops in triples, and second in RBI production. Batting leaders beyond Sousa and Frey were Mark Reclus (.809), Burbank (.773) and Ott (.759). Home run leaders behind Ott were Art Palmon (6), James DelRio (6), Burbank (5) and Chris Hernandez (5). Hernandez and Palmon only played about 70% of the time because of work etc. The leader in walks was Bob Frey followed by Carla Francis. Frey was in the top 10 in 8 of the 9 categories as was Don Ott. Burbank was in 7; Alberti, Sousa and Solis were in 6 of the 9 categories. New players in the 50’s were Todd Evans, Howard Hubbard, Tom Walpert, Ben Brack, B. Kubitz, Jim Holyoake, Joe Dimaggio, Gilbert Hofacker and Matt Alberti.
The 60’s continued with 8 teams though again injuries, vacations and work schedules caused many teams to play short and forfeits took place near the end of the season.
The dominant team throughout the season was Keystone managed by Ed Denoncourt and assisted by Selwyn Quan. Keystone’s regular season record was 18-2. The last time a team went through a season with just two losses was in 2000 when the Rowdys (managed by Larry Ross) were 21-2. Keystone was hit with multiple injuries/operations near the end of the season that hurt their chances in the playoffs. But they had an amazing year. They only lost one game but had a second loss due to a forfeit when they had numerous players out with injuries. Finishing second were the Cardinals managed by John Garcia with his assistant Chris Olivier. Third place went to the Tigers managed by Ray Watkins with his assistant Bo Johansen. In fourth place was Mudcat Red managed by Lanny Witt with his assistant Les Kimbley. The Diamonds finished in fifth place managed by Joe Figueroa and assisted by Max Benavidez. In sixth place were the Buffs managed by old-timer Gabe Adami with his able assistant Stan Chavarria. Seventh place were the Rowdys managed by John Hughes and assisted by Steve Mastronarde. In eighth place were the Broncos managed by Dan Borden and assisted by Don Keller.
But the playoffs again did not follow the usual format. The Keystone team (with multiple injuries) were defeated by the last place Broncos in the first round. In the second round the Cardinals and Mudcat Red won setting up the championship game. In a close game the Mudcat Red won the playoffs after finishing fourth in league play. Due to forfeits only two games were played on the last day of the season. The order of playoffs was Mudcat Red, Cardinals, 3rd place tied between the Broncos and Rowdys, 5th place to the Buffs, Tigers and Diamonds and in 8th place Keystone who could not field teams for the second and third round due to injuries.
Leading hitters in the 60’s league this year were Brian Briegleb (Hayward High graduate who has lived his entire life on 7th street in Hayward) and Larry Jones (Canyon High School graduate of 1972). They both had an average of .857. The leading homerun hitter in the 60’s was Dan Burbank who rounded the bases 9 times followed by Mike Sousa with 8. Larry Jones had 5 homeruns and newcomer Rich Mills and Randy Cobb had 4 round trippers. Rounding out the top 5 in hitting were Mike Amaral (.813), Tom Wagenseller (.813) and Denoncourt (.812).
The RBI leader in the 60’s was Denoncourt (73) followed by Sousa, Burbank, Chris Olivier, Steve Castillo, and Marva Young. Marva still is one of the top players in the league. She is an inspiration to everyone. Gabe Adami was the “patient” one as he led the league in walks.
In the nine categories of the top ten Jones was in 8, Wagenseller was in 7, Burbank in 6 and Briegleb and Sousa in 5. Jones led the league in batting (tied with Briegleb), on base percentage, triples, and was second in total bases, doubles and 3rd in home runs. New players in the 60’s included Gabe Tanaka, Ray Oducayer, (Ray supervises the fields on Wednesday and Thursday for H.A.R.D.), Rich Mills, P. Kiesling, Pat Doohan, Julia Gillette and Mike Natali.
This year the 70’s league expanded to 5 teams. More players were hitting the magic 70 mark. The regular season winner was the Olden Bears managed by Joe Farias and assisted by “Hoss” Chandley. The team won 16.5 games and lost 2.5. One game was a tie. Finishing second were the Rowdys managed by old veteran Jake Jacoby who was assisted by “Mr. Everything” Dane Hansen. In third place were the Rovers managed by Tom Gibbany assisted by Bette Soo Hoo. Finishing fourth were the Twins managed by “old timer” Lanny Witt assisted by new to the 70’s Les Kimbley. In fifth place were the Tigers managed by Bo “Beard” Johansen with his assistant Ray Watkins. Four teams qualified for the playoffs and again the league champion was upset in the first round. The Twins knocked off the Olden Bears and Rowdys defeated the Rovers. In the championship game the Twins fought H.A.R.D. but lost to the Jacoby Rowdys. Thus, the order of finish in the playoffs was Rowdys, Twins, Olden Bears, Rovers and the Tigers (finishing 5th in the league the Tigers were not part of the playoffs). In the nine categories that Webmaster Don Keller maintains newcomer to the 70’s league Ron Kimmel was the leader. He was in the top 10 in 8 of the nine categories. He led the league in singles, doubles, home runs, and total bases. Two players were in 7 of the categories of the top ten. “Ole Hoss” Russ Chandley and Carl Steigerwald. The “Ancient One” Charlie Adams was in 6 of the top 10 categories. Charlie was second in RBI production. He will be 90 years old in November 2017. Others in the top ten were Chet Lane (6 of the 9 categories and John Chacon and Gary Peck (5 of the 9 categories). The player with the best batting average and the RBI leader was “old timer” Lanny Witt with a .800 batting average and 53 RBI’s. Following Witt in hitting was John Chacon (.781), who is in his eighties, Chandley (.770), Vinny Cantwell (.762), and Gary Peck (.768). Three players-Kimmel, Steigerwald, and Chet Lane had 4 home runs followed by Les Kimbley with 3. RBI leaders after Witt and Adams were Gary Lee (42), Steigerwald (40) and Lane (40). The patient ones (walks) were Al Rosellini, Hansen, and LeVerne Miller. New players in the 70’s were Diane Blackwell and Dan Margailes.
Gene Jones Awards for 2017
Knights Dave DeCarli
Mudcat Blk Malia & Bob Frey
Crushers Ben Brock
Wolfpack Howard Hubbard
Keystone Dennis Cordeiro
Rowdys George Shers
Mudcat Red Margo & Chip McCarter
Diamonds Efren Sapiandante
Broncos Jack Moore
Cardinals Entire Cardinals Team
Tigers Betty Soo Hoo
Buffs Don Sherratt
Rowdys Dane Hansen
Tigers Rose Eisfield
Rovers Abbe Kalos
Olden Bears LaVerne Miller
Twins George Shers
The Gene Jones award has been given every year since 1993. The criteria are explained in the league history that is available on the H.A.R.D. Softball web site.
Chris Tyler Award
The Chris Tyler award is given annually to a member of the Knights. (The team that Chris managed for many years before he passed away). It has been given to a Knight since 2009. This year’s recipient was Don Keller (he is our H.A.R.D. working webmaster). Prior award winners that have not been listed in the history were 2013 Ray Watkins, 2014 Selwyn Quan, 2016 Doug Kurtz. Don Keller indicates that in 2015 the award was not presented.
After considerable discussion using umpires in the 50’s and 60’s was approved by a majority of the players. The positive benefit was that differences of opinion that used to take place were at a minimum. The umpires belong to the Hayward Umpires Association and have many years of experience. The cost to each player was $40 per league. Worked out to around $2 a game per player. The plan is to continue with umpires in 2018 at the 50’s and 60’s level.
Once again “old reliable” “Hoss” Chandley handled the year-end barbeque. The grunt work (setting up, getting food etc.) was supervised by Commissioner Mike Carroll. He had lots of help-Bill Germany, John Hughes, John Crane, Sharon Peck and Karl Klausner. Everyone had all the food they could consume with many taking “doggie bags” home. The league is very fortunate to have the “Hoss” as our main BBQ man. In addition to the year-end picnic “Hoss” held picnics during the regular season in the parking lot.
Steve Mastronarde stepped forward this year and assumed the Chairmanship of the rules committee. Meetings were held before the season to try and insure consistency of the rules. Still problems arose during the year regarding interference at the bases. The key word is run wide and avoid collisions. Steve is an excellent person for this committee as he is very detailed in his approach.
This year two long time veterans of senior softball passed away. Al Hilbert (long time teacher, coach and administrator at San Lorenzo High School) passed away in early 2017. Al played in the league from 1991 until his health started to wane four years ago. Al was instrumental in setting up the over 65 league during the nineties. He also played tournament ball with the Redwood City Chiefs.
Dean Perkins passed away in September after a protracted illness.
Dean was a member of the National Softball Hall of Fame as well as Northern California Hall of Fame. Dean organized tournaments, managed the Palo Alto Chiefs and Redwood City Chiefs for years and played in our league until three years ago. You could always hear Dean.
This year the league had numerous players that suffered injuries that hindered their playing time. Some of the injuries were John “Tony” Solis-broken wrist while pitching, Doug Phillips-back surgery, Bill Barbaria-fell out of bed and hurt shoulder, Dan Borden, Ray Watkins, Stan Chavarria, Tom Gibbany-shoulder-will be out for 8 months, Jill Plunkett-broken jaw, and lots of hamstrings, achilles pulls.
There was enough signup in October to have a winter league season of 10 games. Managers for the four teams are Doug Johnson, Steve Mastronarde, Steve Alvarez and Joe Figueroa. All teams had players from all age groups.
As our league grows older, we have many that need good thoughts to go their way. Eleanor Moore, Donnie Mello, Larry Ross, John Evans, Gary Symons, Tom Gibbany, Paul Monroe, Al Confenti, Garonn England’s wife, Nick Halatsis who lost his wife near the end of the season,
Also, good thoughts for those that have/or will have had knee/hip/shoulder/other replacements-Carol Sutherland, Ed Denoncourt, Bette Soo Hoo, Jake Jacoby, Raul Delgado, Mario Rodriguez, Steve Jacobson.
Looking onward to 2018. This past season had more forfeits and teams playing with 8 or 9 players since the league started in 1990. Playing a big role were the number of injuries that occurred throughout the season. Injuries along with work schedules, vacations all hit the 50’s and 60’s leagues throughout the season. Both the 50’s and 60’s need to beat the bushes for players so that we can continue to have 8 teams at the 60’s level and 4 teams at the 50’s level. In the 70’s, which expanded to 5 teams this year, players that had a bye could show up and fill in for a team that was short. This seemed to work well.
The toughest position in the league is being the Chief Commissioner. The league is very fortunate that John Ironside is in that role. He has to deal with new situations every week and makes the best decisions that will benefit the league and the individuals playing in the league. John also spends hours setting up the database for the drafting of players-a major monumental task. His primary helper is Commissioner Mike Carroll who handles the logistics-getting equipment for the teams, ensuring the right balls are used, organizing the picnic at the end of the year, plus willing to listen to all points of view. He and John make a great team. Lanny Witt-the third Commissioner- has more of a behind the scenes role but his experience in managing teams both in the league and in Northern California is beneficial to everyone. Without these three gentlemen things could be chaotic.
Senior Softball 2018
The Hayward Senior Softball League completed 28 years in September with the league playoffs finishing on September 20, 2018. Numbers were slightly down this year, but the three leagues had 15 teams playing from March through September. The league wants again to thank the Hayward Area Recreation District for all of their support and help over the past 28 years. Having excellent fields to play on each week gives senior citizens-both men and women-an opportunity to play softball and socialize after the games are completed. A special thanks to Noel Munivez who works closely with Commissioner Mike Carroll to insure we have available fields and excellent coordination with the H.A.R.D. staff.
The 50’s league had 4 teams that played a 20 game season with an additional two games in the playoffs. Injuries, vacations and work schedules sometimes left teams short of a full team, but methods were initiated so games could be played.
The teams were the Crushers, managed by Dennis Solis with Assistant Manager Dan Burbank, Mudcat Black, managed by Mike Fragoso assisted by Michael Sousa, Knights, managed by Doug Johnson assisted by Matt Alberti and the Raiders managed by Steve Suchon assisted by Steve Carvalho.
The regular season ended with the Knights winning the league title by one game over second place Mudcat Black. The Crushers finished third with the Raiders bringing up the rear.
Again, things turned topsy-turvey in the playoffs. The fourth place Raiders (who were 6-14 during the regular season) upset the first place Knights (14-6 during the regular season) in the first round and then defeated Mudcat Black in the Championship game 16-12. The Raiders waited until the playoffs to break out of their slump. Thus, the playoff order was Raiders, Mudcat Black and a tie for third between the Knights and the Crushers. They played to a 23-23 tie.
The 50’s league had 7 players who dominated the top 10 (Consists of 9 categories) lists. Many of them also dominated in 2017. Bob Frey, Don Ott, Dan Burbank, Matt Alberti, Mike Sousa, Selwyn Quan, and Todd Evans. Todd Evans had the highest batting average (.833), Ott and James Del Rio led in home runs and Alberti and Burbank tied for the most RBI’s. Batting averages behind Evans were Sousa .793 and Burbank .786. Selwyn Quan had the most singles, Burbank the most doubles, and Evans the most triples. Max Benavidez led the league in walks with the On Base Percentage leader being Evans. Total bases leader was Ott. Bob Frey was in the Top Ten in 9 of the 9 categories. Evans, Burbank, Alberti and Sousa were in 8 of the nine categories. Ott and Quan were in 6 of the 9 categories.
New players were Steve Harger, Rob Sanchez, Joel Forrest, Robert Voellinger and Tom Anderson.
In the 60’s there was just six teams this year. Numbers were down as a lot of players opted to just play in the 70’s league.
The dominant team at the end of the season and in the playoffs was the Cardinals even though they were sitting in last place after three games into the season. Managed by John Garcia, who was assisted by Chris Olivier, the Cardinals had a 16-4 record for the year just edging out the Tigers who were 15-5. Bill Barbaria assisted by Steve Mastronarde managed the Tigers. In third place was Mudcat Red, managed by Lanny Witt, who was assisted by Michael Sousa. In fourth place were the Diamonds, managed by Joe Figueroa, with Max Benavidez his assistant. In fifth place were the Buffs, again managed by Gabe Adami, assisted by Stan Chavarria. In the cellar were the Rowdys, managed by John Ironside, who was assisted by Jeff Hall.
In the playoffs Mudcat Red and the Cardinals had a great championship game with the Cardinals winning by one run. Finishing third in the playoffs were the Tigers, followed by the Buffs, Diamonds and Rowdys.
Players at the 60’s level who had great years were Dan Burbank, Larry Jones, Steve Mastronarde, Steve Etchieson, and Jay Sankey.
Mastronarde led the league in hitting with an average of .873, followed by Jones at .840, Etchieson .829 and Mace McDonald .814. Mace returned to the league after an absence of a few years. The leader in doubles and home runs was Burbank, Jones had the most triples and Dan Moore led the league in singles. Bill Barbaria was the leader in walks with Burbank the leader in total bases. Mastronarde had the best On Base Percentage. RBI’s leaders were Burbank, Jones, Oducayen, and Marva Young.
Jay Sankey was in 8 of the 9 Top Ten categories; Burbank and Jones were in 7 and Dan Moore was in 5.
Marva Young, long time player in the 60’s, has indicated she will be moving to Scottsdale, Arizona. She has been one of the best players in the league for years. She has been one of the cornerstones for the Buffs. She will be missed.
New players in the 60’s league were Ed Rathburn, Jeff Barnes, Ruben Fielder and Mark Hertz. I knew Jeff as a student at Canyon High School in 1972. He is currently teaching at Mount Eden High School.
The 70’s league again had 5 teams that were evenly matched throughout the season. At one point midway through the season four of the teams were tied for first place. In the end the Olden Bears, who lost their first three games, won the league with a 10-6 record. The Bears were managed by Joe Farias with Russ Chandley (Hoss) the assistant. The Twins were Co-Champions also with a 10-6 record. Lanny Witt was the Twins manager assisted by Les Kimley. The Bears received the #1 seed as they scored more runs in the four games with the Twins. They had split their series. The Broncos finished third managed by Don Keller with assistance from Karl Klausner. In fourth place were the Rowdys, managed by John Hughes, with his assistant Walt McQueston. In fifth place were the Rovers, managed by George Shers, with his assistant Gary Peck.
In the playoffs the Bears defeated the Broncos by one run in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Twins were defeated by the Rowdys. The order of the playoffs was Bears, Broncos, Rowdys, Twins and Rovers.
The 70’s league had a number of players that excelled. The leader in batting average was Carl Steigerwald at .880. He was followed by the “second ageless wonder” John Chacon at .825, Lee Schreiner .824 and Lanny Witt .824. The first “ageless wonder: Charlie Adams batted .766. Charlie will be 91 in November. Three players led in homeruns-Ron Kimmel, Tom Casteen and Rich Jovel. Kimmel also led the league in doubles, triples, RBI’s and Total Bases. Lee Schreiner led in singles and On Base Percentage. The most walks title went to Carlos Holguin. New players in the 70’s were Craig Williamson, Linda Dobb and Ron Fountain.
Kimmel and Wilson Leong were in the Top Ten list 8 of the 9 categories; Tom Casteen was in 7 of the 9, Joe Farias 5 of 9 and Lee Schreiner in 4 of the 9.
Gene Jones Awards for 2018
Knights John Benevidez
Mudcat Blk Mike Fragoso
Crushers Max Benevidez
Raiders Vince Cantwell
Rowdys Carol Sutherland
Mudcat Red Wilson Leong
Diamonds Don Keller
Cardinals Jim Holyoake
Tigers Patrick Kiesling
Buffs Marva Young
Rowdys Ginny Mayer
Broncos Sharon Peck
Rovers Nick Harper
O. Bears Diane Blackwell
Twins Larry Divito
The Gene Jones award has been given every year since 1993. The criteria are explained in the league history that is available on the H.A.R.D. softball web site.
Chris Tyler Award
The Chris Tyler award is given annually to a member of the Knights. (The team that Chris managed for many years before he passed away). It had been given to a Knight since 2009. This year’s recipient was John Benevidez who tragically passed away during the season. He had played a game in the morning for the Diamonds.
Umpires Add to the game
We again had umpires for the 50’s and 60’s league. It made playing the game a breeze, as we did not have to hustle to find someone who knew how to umpire. In my opinion one of the best moves we have made for the league.
The league is very fortunate to have someone like “Hoss” Chandley who loves feeding people. This year’s end of the year picnic was outstanding. With lots of helpers-John Hughes, Bill Germany, Sarah Hippolito, Sharon Peck, Jim Keltner, Al Antonini, and Jerry Caviglia plus John and Paulette Crane. Russ continued to hold barbeques during the season that drew more than 60 people. Russ is a true gentleman who adds a lot to the league. He puts out great meals.
Steve Mastronarde continues in his role as Chair of the rules committee. He outlined in detail the rules for running the bases. Base running has always been a problem but with Steve’s setting the standards things improved during the season.
This year the league lost their #1 fan when Eleanor Moore passed away after a lengthy stay in nursing homes. Eleanor was at every game that Jack Moore played for years except when she had a hair appointment. Eleanor was a friend to everyone and took care of the children while their parents played. Everyone misses her. A celebration of her life was held at the ballpark with a BBQ put on by Russ Chandley and his crew. Over 150 friends of Eleanor’s attended the Celebration of Life. Later in the year John Benevidez passed away after playing in a game in the morning. John was an excellent player and an inspiration to everyone on the field. There was standing room only attendance at his funeral in Fremont. Other former players that passed during the year were Leroy Gallardo who was a top-notch player on tournament teams and Clare Kruse who was an exceptional player.
Numerous injuries again hit the league H.A.R.D. A broken foot for rules guy Steve Mastronarde, extreme hamstring pull by Dennis Solis, Glen Santos had a back injury, hamstring intermediate pull for Brian Briegleb, knee injury for Sarah Hippolito, long time player Mike Fragoso had a serious stroke but using a walker was at the final game and the yearend picnic. There was an assortment of minor injuries that kept players out of games.
Four teams were organized by Steve Mastronarde to play a 9-week season beginning October 2. Managers were Cruz Cisneros, Jeff Hall, Barry Walter and Steve Mastronarde. The cost to each player is $10 for the season. If it rains, there will be no makeups. It is great to see Steve stepping up to be a leader in our league. We need new young blood to keep the league going.
The league has many players who are undergoing treatment/living in Assisted Living but still enjoying life. Best to Don Mello, Doug Phillips, Nick Harper, Pat Medeiros, John Evans, Gary Symons, MG Paul Monroe, Garron England’s wife, Loren Kissinger’s wife, Jerry Hogerheide, Carlos Holquin who lost a son recently, and Junior Cosare’s wife.
Looking ahead to 2019. Everyone needs to beat the bushes and get more individuals to join us on the softball field. There were times this year when teams had to play short and, in some cases, had to forfeit games due to lack of players. Anyone having ideas on how we can get more bodies let one of the Commissioners know. Playing senior softball is one of the best values around.
The league has been very fortunate to have John Ironside as the Chief Commissioner for the past few years. John has been able to mitigate differences and make sure that everything stayed on an even keel. He has spent a great deal of time setting up the database at the beginning of the season and running the drafts to insure equity among the teams. Mike Carroll continues to run an efficient operation in balancing the books and being the main contact with H.A.R.D. Lanny Witt is an experienced softball manager in our league plus has a tournament team-he has been a guiding force in the league.
But next year the preliminary discussions are to have a Commissioner for each league. John Ironside would still provide oversight, but each league would have an individual that would coordinate the activities of their league. Don Keller, who is a master at keeping everyone up to date on the website, has agreed to take care of the registration process. He has developed an online registration system that will be utilized for 2019. Tentatively the Commissioner for the 50’s will be Steve Mastronarde, 60’s Lanny Witt and 70’s Joe Farias.
Year-end and year out practices are held at the Castro Valley Community Center. The person that takes responsibility in ensuring that equipment is available is Dane Hansen. Dane is one of the “good guys” of senior softball. He is at the softball field early and stays late. Everyone appreciates all the efforts that Dane gives to the league. Practices will move to Thursdays during the next few months.
WHAT IS IN THE FUTURE?
As always questions are asked after each season. Umpires (shall we try to hire ASA umpires again?), runners from home, how many should be on a team to ensure a team can play all the games during the season, should we start an over 70 league, how do you assign new players during the season, should we have bye weeks for tournament players, should we keep batting averages, draft procedures, what days of the week we should play, etc. etc.
GENE JONES AWARD-The Gene Jones award was started in 1993 in honor of Gene Jones who lived in Castro Valley and was one of the original senior softball players. Gene lived on Seaview in Castro Valley and loved to play softball. He was not an MVP but loved the game, was an encouragement to everyone and set the tone for the senior softball league. Even after he was sick, he would come to the ball field and take an active part as a participant. To honor him the league voted that each team would select one person on their team to honor Gene Jones. Not necessarily the best player but one who worked H.A.R.D., loved the game and represented the values and work ethic that Gene displayed during his time on the softball field. In 1993 the honorees were Bob Duerson and Gordon Pappas. In 1994 Manny Hernandez, John Lindberg, and John Beckwith. In 1995 Mike DeGuzman, Bob Duerson, Jerry Neeley, and Bert Rigley. In 1996 Bob Duerson, John Beckwith, Tony Hernandez, Carl McDade and George Krug. (No record of 1997 or 1998). In 1999 Ron Botello, Deron Crook, Tony Hernandez, Mercer Campbell, Dave Jefferson, Millie Peck, Joe Perry, Jackson Spindle, Hank Thomasson, Danny Taveres, and John Young. In 2000 Tony Hernandez, Ed Jiminson, Willie McGee, Jerry Hogerheide, Bernie Chalip and Karen Sparks. In 2001 Ramon Dominquez, John Lindberg, Don McBride, Mercer Campbell, Bob Schmidt, and Howard Harrington. In 2002 John Lindberg, Jack Moore, Frank Mattos, Eugene Steve, Vern Beggs and Bobbie Pratt. In 2003 Bobbie Pratt, Al Hilbert, Ron Silva, Gary Silveria, Bob Burkfield, and Vern Stephens. In 2004 Jim Garrison, Bill Giamonna, Nick Harper, Bob Schmidt, Ron Silva, and Ken Teague. In 2005 Charlie Adams, Mike Carroll, Tom Quillen, Ron Silva, and Bert Surfield. In 2006 Gene Klein, John Brosnan, Walt McQueston, Tom Quillen, Ramon Dominquez, and Bob Schmidt. In 2007 Mike Carroll, Walt McQueston, Leon Moore, Jack Moore, Bobbie Pratt and Bert Surfield. In 2008 Mike Perkins, Chris Tyler, Al Hilbert, Jim Coggburn, Dane Hansen, and Carla Francis. In 2009 Kwok Chan, Gary Giacomini, Dane Hansen, Al Rosellini, Lawrence Thompson, and Chris Tyler. In 2010 Mike Amaral, Nick Harper, Laverne Miller, Don Keller, Dane Hansen and Mike Carroll. In 2011 Dane Hansen (50’s and 60’s), Doug Kurtz, Dave Hoge, Manny Hernandez, Roger Gonsalves, Ed Finkes, Willie McKee, Ron Silva, Betty Soo Hoo, Richard. Warren, John Lindberg, and Gary Giacomini. 2012 Gene Jones winners included (60’s) Jim Stapleton, Gary Symons, Elly Divino, Larry DeVito, Frank Mattos, Gabe Adami, Ron Silva, Dane Hansen and Betty Soo Hoo. (50’s) winners Don Ott, Larry Divito, Frank Mattos, Bob Burkfield, Dick Bellefeuille, Pedro Corsino, Gary Giacomini, and Paul Vartanian. A Gene Jones Plaque is in the trophy case at the Senior Center on Redwood Road.
MIKE DEGUZMAN AWARD-The Mike DeGuzman award was first given in 2002 after Mike had passed away. Al Hilbert, then the manager of the Yellow Rose, created this award in honor of Mike. Mike was a Yellow Rose player for many years and always gave his best. The award was given from 2002 through 2010 to a member of the Yellow Rose. In 2002 Joe Farias; in 2003 Carl McDade; in 2004 Dane Hansen; in 2005 Don Mello; in 2006 Mike Perkins; in 2007 Bert Surfield; in 2008 Manny Hernandez; in 2009 Walt McQueston; and in 2010 Al Hilbert. A plaque is in the trophy case at the Senior Center on Redwood Road.
CHRIS TYLER AWARD: The Chris Tyler award (given by the Knights) was given each year to a member of the Knights who epitomizes the dependability, sportsmanship, and personality to further the goals of the Senior Softball League. Recipients have been John Huizar in 2009; Efren Sapiandante in 2010 and Carla Francis in 2011. Bob Burkfield received the award for 2012. Bob was part of senior softball for many years.
WOMEN IN THE LEAGUE: Throughout the years, women have been an integral part of the league. The first woman to become part of the league was Bobbie (Roberta) Pratt. Bobbie has been with the league since 1991. Recently she had a hip replacement so did not play. She will be back. The second woman to play and is still with us is Bev Van Gundy. Bev has been an excellent player and in addition plays on tournament teams. Pat Mallote (1993) was the third woman to play in the league. She played for three years before moving. Jo Ann Dimaggio played for a short time followed by Millie Peck, Beryl Jones, Molly Everhart in 1999, Irene Oberra (2003), Sharon Peck (2004), Carla Francis (2006), Karen Sparks (1999), Marva Young (2006) (Marva is a long-time coach on high school softball in San Ramon), Mary Warren and Carole Sutherland (2010) and most recently Betty Soo Hoo (2011). Irene Berra is a National Masters Champion in Track and Field each year plus an avid tennis player. Since 2011 we have had many new women join the league. Katy Brady, Abby Kalos, Camille Rogers, Sharon Peck, Ginny Mayer, Dorothy Thompson, Ruthanne Crawford, Rose Eisfield, Yvonne Maxwell, Malia Frey, Liz Plunkett, Janice Zylaeia and Diane Harris.
ADDENDUMS: Players from the league who have gone on to softball heaven: George Krug, Bob Takayama, David Ulaberry, Gene Jones, Bob Duerson, Mercer Campbell, Bruce Allred, Jerry Neeley, Jack Chabek, Mollie Everhart, Bill Giamonna, Mike DeGuzman, Carl McDade, Hank Thomasson, Ramon Dominguez, Chris Tyler, Dick Treat, David O’Mahony, Hal Attahowe, Lee Kruse, George Krug, Tony Hernandez, Cary Walker, Jim Nelson, and Frank Williams, Michael Whitener, Karen Sparks, Walt Muniz, John Beckwith, Manual Mora, DeRon Crook, Gene Steve, John Young, Gordon Pappas, Bob Leigh, Joaquin Precidio, Joe Perry, Dan Burbank Sr., Ray Mogorno and Harry Francis.
COMMISSIONERS OF THE SENIOR SOFTBALL LEAGUE:
The Senior Softball league has been very fortunate in having an excellent group of individuals serve as Commissioners over the years. Jake Dalton was our first representative to the Diablo Softball League. His title was not Commissioner but that was the role he played for the teams from Castro Valley. Jake played for many years and he set the standards that are still in place today. Following Jake was Harry Francis. Harry was a long-time businessman in Castro Valley (owned Francis Refinishing) who sponsored a team in the league until his retirement from softball. Harry served as a Director on the Castro Valley Sanitary Board. Harry guided us through the early phases of the league and was also a top player in the league. Joe Farias (Me) followed Harry as Commissioner. I had lots of help from old timers Al Hilbert, Larry Ross and Chuck Cannistraci. Vern Beggs followed me as Commissioner and was instrumental in getting “leagues of our own”. Leon Moore who had been doing the stats and write-ups for years followed Vern. Leon worked on getting the league to have six teams and was in charge when we went to our own over 60 league. No more long-distance traveling. Leon stepped down in 2011 and was replaced by the “trocha”. Assuming leadership responsibilities in 2011 were Jake Jacoby, Don Pelland and Mike Carroll. They divided the responsibilities and made everything run efficiently. In 2012, long time player John Ironside, and a returning Mike Carroll will be joined by relative newcomer Greg Neal, to fill the leagues leadership roles. In 2017 Ironside, Carroll and Lanny Witt will continue as Commissioners.
SPONSORS: Over the years we have had many sponsors for teams in the league. One of the first was Francis Refinishing- a business in Castro Valley owned by Harry Francis who was the first formal Commissioner of the league; Don McBride owned a Toy Company and sponsored Team Toys and also played; Carrows sponsored a team that was managed by Larry Davis; The Rowdys have had sponsorship from A Street Café, Best Burgers and the Village Barber Shop. Leon Moore bought hats and sponsored the Rowdys for many years. John Beckwith sponsored the Yellow Rose for many years. John, who also played and managed in the league, continued to umpire after he had two brain operations for cancer. Support in the 90’s also came from Casa Sandoval-a retirement complex in downtown Hayward. The Sharks were sponsored by Bob Burke from their inception; The Kids, were sponsored in 2011 by Lanny Witt; T-Shoppe was sponsored by John Garcia of Transportation Shoppe; the Knights were sponsored for many years by Chris Tyler; in the 90’s US Cold Storage was sponsored by Joe Perry; Bras and Mattos had early support from Bras Monument Co. located on Mission Blvd; Keystone has been sponsored by Steve Dietrich; Matteucci Tigers were, sponsored by Alexandra Matteucci-Perkins; Red and Black was originally sponsored by Joe Farias and MG Paul Monroe; Don Keller has been the benefactor for the Broncos and the Rockies ; Kaiser Hospital donated funds in the 90’s to sponsor a team managed by Chuck Cannistraci. In 2012 the T-Shoppe team became a new team named the Buffs and continued to be sponsored by Stan Chavarria.
SPOUSAL/FRIEND SUPPORT: Over the 20 years we have had many wives, girlfriends, and significant others who have supported the teams and their heroes. Among those who have been to game after game include Eleanor Moore, who attends all the games that Jack plays-she is an inspiration to all of us. Manny Hernandez’s wife Vivian attended all the games until her passing last year. She was a great supporter of Manny and her brother-in-law Tony. John Huizar’s wife Alice also attends all the games and has attended for 15 plus years; Lin DeGuzman was always at the games when Mike was playing; Frank Mattos always has a huge cheering section with his wife and other members of the family; Dick Bellefeuille’s Dad and his Uncle attended all of Dick’s game. His Dad passed away two years ago but was attending regularly just before he died; Al Rosellini’s wife attended all of his games until this year when her health couldn’t allow her to be at the games; Sally McDade and many members of the McDade family were always at the games when Carl played; Ruth Hightower (Art Hightower’s wife) was at all the games Art played in. She was a great supporter of Senior Softball, as was Carlos Holquin’s wife Marian.
AFTER HOURS SOCIAL EVENTS: In the early days of the league when a game was over drinks were always brought by the home team. Players would stand around and tell how it might have been if they had made a particular play. This type of social gathering was a part of the league. Players enjoyed learning about each other and sharing stories. About three years ago many of the players on Thursday would meet in the parking lot at Oliver after the games and share a drink and tell old war stories. This then evolved into Hot Dogs being served and now has become a regular feast for the players that attend. Credit for this goes to Russ Chandley who is behind the Thursday event. Russ has had many helpers-Vinny Cantwell, Carl Steigerwald, Lanny Witt, Chris Bailey, Chip McCarter, and Doug Phillips. Those that attend either bring a dish or provide money to offset the cost of the food being served. As many as 60 have partaken on a Thursday but most of the time it is 30-35 players and some wives, girlfriends etc. The barbeque/social hour starts about 11:30 and has been known to continue to 5 or 6 in the evening. Russ Chandley has created a great opportunity for players and their friends to socialize and enjoy each other’s company.
END OF YEAR PICNICS: In the mid-nineties John Beckwith, sponsor, player, manager, and later umpire after he had brain surgery, started the annual end of the year picnic. It was held at the picnic grounds of the community center after the last games of the year. John always made chili beans at home and insured everyone tried them. He would do all the shopping (I was his assistant shopper) at Costco two days before the event. In those early years, spouses, girlfriends and others did the serving, cooking and clean up. Lin DeGuzman, Eleanor Moore, Lois Pickett, Dorothy Giamonna, Ann Farias, Ruth Hightower and others made the picnics a success. Awards were given out and short speeches were held. When we moved to Oliver there was a perfect site for a picnic. The tradition has continued and is an opportunity for family members to become acquainted with the players they have heard about all year long. This last year Mike Carroll and his fellow Commissioners did the bulk of the planning and organization. But many others chipped in and cooked, cleaned up and insured everyone was fed well. John Beckwith would be proud that his tradition has been carried on.
BATTING AVERAGES OVER THE YEARS: There have been discussions over the years as to whether we should keep statistics. When votes are taken the majority always want to continue with them. In my opinion what has happened is that we have inflated averages over the years. I did a comparison of three seasons. 1993, 1998 and 2011. In 1993 we had 38 participants on two 50’s teams. One player batted over .700, 8 batted over .600, 9 batted under .300. In 1998 we had 66 players in the league. 3 batted over .700, 12 over .600, 21 over .500, 17 over .400, 8 over .300, and 5 over .200. In 2011 we had 111 participating in the 50 league. Two batted over .800, 22 batted over .700, 55 batted over .600, 11 batted under .300. One can say that it is better for one’s self esteem to inflate averages, but some old timers feel a hit should be a hit. Larry Ross stated this weekend (November 12-13) that the new technology of bats makes a difference. Maybe so but I for one would like us to go back to the 90’s and make sure a hit is a hit.
AGE OF THE LEAGUE: In 2011 we had 15 players over 80, 46 players over 70, 33 players over 65, 30 players over 60 and 19 players between 50 and 59. Based on these figures supplied by Greg Neal the age of league is getting older. That is what Senior Softball is all about. Seniors playing for life.
INJURIES/ACCIDENTS/REPLACEMENTS: In the 26 years of existence there have been two serious injuries. 1. In 1999 at a practice session at Castro Valley on November 30th long time player Gene Klein was hit by a line drive in the head. He had been talking to the second baseman and the ball was hit and struck him in the head. Gene spent the next 26 days in the hospital and rehab. First, he was at Eden and then at Kaiser Hayward. He was then moved to Kaiser Vallejo for rehab. Gene continues to wear a helmet to protect himself. We were very fortunate that Gene recovered so well and continued to play. The second major injury took place at a game in Castro Valley in 1997. The Yellow Rose was playing a game and DeRon Crook was umpiring behind the plate. He was in the process of cleaning the plate. Mike Reed, who still plays in Danville, was taking practice swings. He inadvertently took a practice swing that hit DeRon in the head. Blood spurted everywhere. Al Hilbert sprinted to the Fire Station to get help. DeRon spent two nights in Eden Hospital. He recovered and continued to play until he died. Not sure of the year but Mike Amaral (who now plays in our league) was hit in the eye and faced severe eye problems. At that time, he was playing for the traveling team that played teams in the valley (Danville etc.) Mike has made a full recovery. We have had two incidents of heart problems on the field. In 2010 Bob Burke, long time sponsor & outstanding player, had a heart attack on the field. We are fortunate that former firemen (John Ironside and Chris Bailey) quickly diagnosed the problem and 911 was immediately called. Bob was rushed to St. Rose and had an operation in 20 minutes. He recovered to play in the 2011 season. This past season Willie McKee had breathing problems and 911was again called. Willie was transported to the hospital and has fully recovered. He came back and played during the latter part of the season. We have had an assortment of injuries over the years: torn Achilles tendons, hip and knee replacements, torn shoulder muscles, broken noses from balls hitting a player, broken bones from being hit by a ball, broken wrists from two players crashing into each other, strained calf muscles, groin pulls, broken fingers etc. But in the long run in 26 years the game has gone on in spite of all the muscles tears and other injuries.
ALAMEDA / NEWARK SOFTBALL LEAGUES OUR NEIGHBORS: Over the years we have enjoyed a close relationship with the Alameda Senior Softball Organization and the Newark Softball Night League. Many of their players now participate in our league. From Alameda, we have the ‘icon’ Charlie Adams, Bev Van Gundy, Dick Bellefeuille, Walt McQueston, John Busby, Gil Jess, Gary Symons, Charles Wancyzk, Jack Moore and others who have since retired. (Jim Garrison). The Alameda group plays at Tillman Park and were led in their early years by Lou McElroy, Sam Wales, Don Young and Jack Stevens. Stevens, Wales and Young are in their 80’s and still playing at the Alameda complex. We have lots of players from Newark over the years. Newark early on had a night league two nights a week that many of the current players were part of over the years and still play in the night league. Witt, Alvarez, Allen, Confenti, Harrington, Rosellini, Steigerwald, Drambosio, and many others.
Senior Softball 2019
The Hayward Senior Softball League completed 29 years in September with the league playoffs finishing on September 19, 2019. Numbers slightly increased this year. The three leagues had 15 teams playing from March through September. Rainouts caused a number of games to be cancelled. The league wants again to thank the Hayward Area Recreation District for all of the support and help over the past 29 years. Having excellent fields to play on each week gives senior citizens-both men and women-an opportunity to play softball and socialize after the games are completed. A special thanks to Noel Munivez of H.A.R.D., who works closely with Mike Carroll. Mike is the point man with H.A.R.D. plus handles the finances of the league. The H.A.R.D. ground crews this year were excellent. Ensuring that the fields were in good condition for every game. Also, a big thanks to Don Keller. Don maintains the website, posting standings and batting averages each week. In addition, this year he handled the registration of all players. Don devotes many hours each week to the league. Thank you, Don.
The 50’s league had 4 teams that played 20 of the 21 games scheduled this season with an additional two games in the playoffs. Injuries, vacations and work schedules sometimes left teams short of a full team, but methods were initiated so games could be played. New 50’s Commissioner Steve Mastronarde was masterful in working with the teams to ensure each team had sufficient players. We had 15 new players in the fifties.
The four teams in the league were the Crushers, managed by Steve Alvarez with his assistant new player Jeff LeBoss, Tigers managed by Steve Mastronarde assisted by Ray Watkins, Knights managed by Doug Johnson assisted by Matt Alberti and the Raiders managed by Steve Suchon assisted by James DelRio.
The regular season ended with the Tigers winning the league title by one/half game over the second place Crushers. The Raiders finished third with the Knights bringing up the rear. In the playoffs the Tigers and Crushers won their opening games and played for the playoff championship on September 19 with the Crushers dominating the game and were crowned the playoff champions. Third place in the playoffs went to the Raiders who defeated the Knights by one run.
The 50’s league had a number of new players: Kraig Whitney. Jeff LeBoss, Tim Orr, Thomas Knab, Vaughan Watson, David Rutherford, John Von Seeburg, Dennis Black, Anthony Paschal, Kevin Pon, Mitch Miloslavich, Charles Keeton, Sean Brannon, Cary Mitsuyoshi and Tony Camillo. All of these players brought the level of the fifties to a higher plateau. Returning to the fifties league were two outstanding players-Stephfawn Thompson and Raul Delgado.
New players emerged being at the top in a number of categories this year. First year player Jeff LeBoss led the league in homeruns (9) and RBI’s (88). In the top ten categories Jeff was in 7 of the 9 categories. Two players were in all 9 categories (Batting average, singles, doubles, triples, home runs, walks, RBI’s, Total bases and On Base percentage). Bob Frey (CVHS graduate) and Matt Alberti (Swim Guru) were in all 9. The one category that some don’t make is the walk category. Don Ott, Raul Delgado and Stephfawn Thompson were in 8 of the 9 but didn’t walk much. The top batting average was attained by Raider Andrew Cumming (.839). Andrew’s father played in the 70’s league for 4 years before he passed in 2017. Ott was second in batting average at .829 followed by Stephfawn Thompson at .816. Also, in the .800 range was Matt Alberti at .800. The leader in walks was Max Benevidez with 19 followed by Carla Francis with 12 and Steve Mastronarde with 10. Carla usually wins the walk category, but Max had a careful eye this year.
In the 60’s there were six teams again this year. John Garcia managed the Cardinals. The assistant manager was Chris Oliver; Don Keller managed the Rockies with assistance from Joe Farias; Mudcat Red managed by Lanny Witt assisted by Les Kimbley; Diamonds managed by Joe Figueroa assisted by Max Benavidez; Buffs managed by Gabe Adami assisted by Stan Chavarria and the Rowdys managed by Jeff Hall assisted by Jim Holyoake. The Commissioner of the 60’s was long time player Lanny Witt. The top team of the regular season was the Cardinals who finished one game ahead of the 2nd place Buffs. The Diamonds finished in third place followed by Mudcat Red, Rowdys and the Rockies. In the playoffs Mudcat Red upset the Cardinals in the first round and the Buffs defeated the Diamonds. The Championship game was 12-10 with the Mudcat Red team winning over the Buffs. Third place in the playoffs went to the Cardinals who defeated the Diamonds in a close game. The Rowdys ended up 5th in the playoffs getting a forfeit from the Rockies.
The 60’s had a number of players that had moved from the 50’s league plus some new first-time players. New players to the league were Dennis Black, Orvin Heidinger, Anthony Paschal, Tom Walbert, Tony Camillo, Roy Camillo, Herman Chibnik, Wayne Sakuda and Nick Gazelas.
The highest batting average in the 60’s was Jeff Barnes at .840. Jeff (a teacher at Mt. Eden) only batted 25 times as he joined the league late. But newcomer Anthony Paschal with 59 AB’s after joining late had a .831 average. Larry Jones was at .797 with Tom Wagenseller following at .788. The home run leader again was Dan Burbank with 6 dingers. Dan also was in the top 10 on 6 of the 9 categories. Two players were in the Top Ten in 8 of the 9 categories. Tom Wagenseller and new player Tony Camillo. Larry Jones (Canyon High School graduate) and Anthony Paschal were in 7 of the 9 categories with the leader in walks Buffs manager Gabe Adami.
At the year ending picnic long time player and manager John Garcia announced that this would be his last year. Best of luck to John. The league will miss him.
The 70’s league continued with 5 teams this year. With full rosters at the start of the season there were many times when teams were short due to individuals being away on trips, injuries, and appointments or unable to play. The Rowdys were managed again by veteran John Hughes with his assistant manager Walt McQuestren; Twins were led by Lanny Witt assisted by Les Kimbley; Rovers were managed for the second time by George Shers assisted by Lee Schriner; Broncos had as manager long time veteran Don Keller assisted by Harold Manley and the Olden Bears were again managed by Joe Farias assisted by “Hoss” Russ Chandley. The league was a tight race until the end of the season but the Rovers, who had gotten out to a fast start, managed to hold on and win the league by a half game. The Twins finished second, Olden Bears third, Broncos fourth and Rowdys brought up the cellar. In the first round of the playoffs the Twins defeated the short-handed Olden Bears and the Rovers won over the Broncos. In the championship game the Twins won by a big margin over the Rovers to be playoff champions. The Olden Bears defeated the Broncos for third place.
New players in the 70’s league this year included Gerald Curry, Debbie Le-Hollings, Bill Galameau, Jerry Job, John Hunt and Katy Miles.
Two players in the 70’s batted over .900. Leading the way was Steve Castillo at .909 followed closely by Lanny Witt at .904. The next four highest averages were Les Kimley .838, Lee Schreiner .815, Tim Larsen .797 and Bo Johansen .797. Leading the league in home runs was Tye Peyton with 5 long ones. In the Top Ten categories Tim Larson was in 8 of 9, Rich Jovel, Ron Kimmel and Lanny Witt were in 7 of 9 with Bo Johansen in 6 of 9. The leader in walks was a new player this year Katy Miles. She beat out Carla Francis who has traditionally been the walk leader in the 70’s.
Long time player John Crane announced that this would be his last season. He has sponsored the Olden Bears and purchased new uniforms for the team this year. His wife Paulette will be missed as she was the long-time scorekeeper for the Bears.
Special Events in 2019
This year the league celebrated three players who are turning 90 or 90 plus. A BBQ was held in July to honor long time players Bob Schmidt, Jack Moore and Charlie Adams. Moore turned 90 in August and Schmidt will turn 90 in November. Adams will be 92 in November and played in the 70’s league and on the Chiefs-an 80-year-old tournament team. Many former ball players attended the BBQ to honor Jack, Bob and Charlie. Some drove from Sacramento and beyond to honor these three legends. Howard Harrington, Gary Symons, Jerry Hogerheide, John Lindberg, John Chacon, and Gary Giacomini were among the former players that attended the BBQ. Thanks to “Hoss” Chandley for putting out a good spread of food.
The following article was in the July 30, 2019 edition of the Tri City Voice.
Headline: SOTBALL IS FOR EVERYONE, LIFE IS A PITCH
Article and photos by Marisol Cabrera
It was a hot summer day at Oliver Park; it was the bottom of the sixth inning and Diane Blackwell was next to hit. She was focused, determined. A team member in the back was yelling words of encouragement. When Blackwell saw the ball come within striking distance, hit it as H.A.R.D. as she could and once the bat hit the dirt, ran to first base with the speed of a teenager. Every time she ran a base, people were amazed at her speed. Although Blackwell has the moves of a young athlete, she plays for the 70+ senior softball team, the Rovers.
The Hayward Senior Softball League got its start in 1990, when retirees who played in local “beer leagues” (so named because they represented different bars along Mission Boulevard) wanted to form teams that could meet on weekdays rather than in evenings or Sundays. Joe Farias and Rita Shue co-sponsored the league with H.A.R.D. (Hayward Area Recreational District), and teams of players in their 50s, 60s, and 70s joined from Pleasant Hill, Livermore, Alameda, Redwood City, Concord, Danville, and Castro Valley.
On July 23, the League honored three of their long-time players, two who will be turning 90 years old and one who will be 92 years old this year. Charlie Adams, 91, Jack Moore, 89, and Bob Schmidt, 89, were honored at a BBQ celebration at Alden E. Oliver Sports Park in Hayward. Friends, family, and current and former players joined the celebration.
In the history of senior softball handbook, Joe Farias and Al Hilbert expressed how Charlie Adams competes with the same enthusiasm that he has always exhibited and maintains excellent overall softball skills.
“He’s at the top of his game competing with people who are 20 or 30 years younger, and he’s competing at a high level. He’s my hero,” said David Adams, Charlie’s son.
In 1947, Adams would go watch softball games at a nearby park after finishing work at a bowling alley in Oakland. After some time, he was asked to join the team and so he began playing. He later joined the senior softball league in Hayward.
Adams was asked to join the senior team Redwood City Chiefs and travel to Florida. They qualified to play the Softball World Series in 1997 in Salt Lake City. He served as a pitcher for eight games and lost only one. That year, the Redwood City Chiefs would win their first Softball World Series. “The manager asked me if I wanted to go to Florida with them and, as a joke, I said, “I don’t have enough food stamps for that trip,” said Adams.
He was inducted into the National Senior Softball Hall of Fame in 1999 and the NorCal Senior Softball Hall of Fame in 2016. Adams considers retiring from the league this year due to medical procedures.
“Every morning before I get up, I wiggle my big toe and I thanks the man upstairs that I’m still here,’ said Adams lightheartedly.
Jack Moore served as a player, manager and trusted advisor in the league from 1998 to 2018. He has been associated with H.A.R.D. since he graduated high school in 1947. Moore had always played sports and later found an associate and started a volleyball, bowling and softball sports team that lasted for 15 years. Moore would later start his own basketball team under H.A.R.D.
“He has instructed many of us on how to play ball because he has a good mind about what should be done.,” said Farias of Moore. Moore learned about the softball league in Hayward through his wife Eleanor, who encouraged him to play and had been a beloved volunteer to the team for many years. (Eleanor Moore passed away in 2018.)
“I was through with Babe Ruth, I had been coaching Babe Ruth with my son until he was 21 years old, so I wasn’t doing anything except bowling twice a week,” said Moore.
Before softball, Moore got drafted into the Korean War and received orders to go off to Korea seven months prior to his discharge. After that, he went on to become a dental technician but remained in sports for most of his life.
Although he is no longer playing, Moore expressed how lucky he is to be able to live a good life and to have participated with players like Bob Schmidt, who he says was outstanding and “a big hitter,” and Charlie Adams who is “mister everything.”
“Everybody’s welcome, we would have fun. That’s what senior softball is all about, is making new friends, keeping fit, getting to exercise your mind,” said Moore.
At 60 years old, Bob Schmidt remembers not having much to do. When he saw an ad about a senior softball league in Castro Valley, he decided to join. He would go play for the Rowdy’s. “I played only fast pitch, and this was slow pitch, so it was totally different concept, but I kind of got used to it. Twenty-five years later, I said I’m done,” said Schmidt.
Schmidt recently retired from playing ball due to medical conditions but his joy for the game and the good memories he had will remain. “I remember winning the championship a couple of years. Just the fact that we were playing ball, that’s the concept that I cared about. Getting up in the morning and putting in seven or nine innings and going home. I had a great time, it went by fast,” said Schmidt.
He recalled meeting Moore when they both bowled for the same team and later played for the Redwood City Chiefs. He met Adams later in the Senior Softball League.
SENIOR SOFTBALL LEAGUE
The senior softball league in the Hayward area has expanded over 29 years from having 18 participants to reaching over 200 men and women. The program was established thanks to the support of H.A.R.D. Many participants and players are from Hayward, but some are from different cities of the Bay Area.
Current commissioner of the 70’s league, Joe Farias, has been part of the league’s organization and along with other commissioners has dedicated his time in continuing to grow and encourage others to participate.
Gene Jones Award Winners 2019
Knights Randy Cobb
Raiders Kevin Dundon
Tigers Anthony Paschal
Crushers Max Martin
Mudcat Red Lee Schreiner
Rowdys Reuben Fielder
Rockies Steve Castillo (2nd Gene Jones award)
Buffs Ray Watkins
Cardinal Mike Souza
Diamonds Harvey Kooy (2nd Gene Jones award)
Olden Bears John and Paulette Crane
Rowdys Brooks Dyer
Broncos Sharon Peck (2nd Gene Jones award)
Rovers Dane Hansen (10th Gene Jones award)
Twins Ginny Mayer (2nd Gene Jones award)
Chris Tyler Award
The Chris Tyler award is given annually to a member of the Knights. (The team that Chris managed for many years before he passed away). It has been given to a Knight since 2009. This year’s recipient was Steve Harger. Manager Doug Johnson of the Knights said, “Steve is one of those players everyone wants on their team.”
This year we lost a number of former players who had been active participants in the league. Mike Fragoso, who managed for many years and was an outstanding shortstop. He was always diving to get a ball. Orville Johnson who played for two years in the league. Orville had been a long time Principal in Newark. I played slow break basketball with Orville in 1968. Nick Harper, who was a Viet Nam veteran, but continued to play in the league even though he was having numerous health concerns. George Cumming, who played in the 70’s league the first year it existed, passed away in 2017. George played in the 70’s for four years and now his son is playing in the fifties league. In mid-September former player Major General Paul Monroe passed away. Paul had been the sponsor of the Red and Black 60’s team in the late nineties. He gave up softball when Governor Gray Davis appointed him Adjutant General of the State of California. Paul was a close friend of mine. I served in the National Guard with him for over 30 years.
Umpires Add to the game
We continued with umpires for all three leagues. It makes playing the game a breeze, as we do not have to hustle to find someone who knows how to umpire. In my opinion one of the best moves we have made for the league. Though at times even with umpires there seems to be disagreement but only for a moment.
The league is very fortunate to have someone like “Hoss” Chandley who loves feeding people. This year’s end of the year picnic was outstanding. With lots of helpers-John Hughes, Ed Johnson, Tom Gibbany, Sharon Peck, and John and Paulette Crane. Russ had two BBQ’s this year. The first was to celebrate the birthdays of Bob Schmidt, Jack Moore and Charlie Adams. The second was the year-end picnic attended by over 130 people. “Hoss” has a neighbor who again helped out immensely for both BBQ’s.
Steve Mastronarde continued in his role as Chair of the rules committee. He made sure that managers and assistant managers read the rules and hopefully transferred the information to their teams.
Numerous injuries again hit the league. There was an assortment of minor injuries that kept players out of games. In the last game of the season, I was hit with a line drive in batting practice by my manager. Result was a small fracture in my foot. So, no playoffs, no Medford and no Las Vegas. Last year in the fifties for me after 29 years.
Extended Season (Fall League)
Four teams were organized by Steve Mastronarde to play a 8-week season beginning October 1. The cost to each player is $10 for the season. If it rains, there will are no makeups. Managers include Barry Walter, George Shers, Doug Johnson and Jeff Hall.
The league has many players who are undergoing treatment/living in Assisted Living but still are enjoying life. Best to Don Mello, Doug Phillips, John Evans, Gary Symons, Gene Klein and Bert Surfield.
This year the role of Commissioners changed from past years. Each league had a Commissioner with the Chief Commissioner being John Ironside. In the 50’s Steve Mastronarde was the Commissioner; 60’s was Lanny Witt; 70’s was Joe Farias. The Commissioners in each league worked with the managers to sort out any concerns and to ensure things went smoothly. This seemed to be effective. Mike Carroll continued to be excellent as Finance Guru with Don Keller handling the website along with registration. Don keeps things going week to week.
Thoughts on the year
The 2019-year added a number of new players to the league though many old timers opted not to play. Articles in the press and word of mouth are necessary to keep the numbers going for the league. This coming year we will celebrate 30 years of existence. We need to beat the bushes to get more players. To show how the league evolves. In 2012 we had 116 players in the 60’s league. This year 57 of those players are still participating. Less than 50% of those that played ‘60’s in 2012 are still playing. So, with turnovers we need to attract more participants.
FINISH: Those of you that read this on the website please let me or Don Keller know of any errors or omissions. Trying to be accurate over 20 plus years is a challenge but with help from Al Hilbert, Gene Klein, Jerry Hogerheide, Greg Neal, Larry Ross and others we now have a historical record.