The Hayward Senior Softball League was ready to begin play in March 2020 when the Hayward Area Recreation District stopped all activities at their fields due to COVID. Drafts had been held for all three leagues, uniforms had been issued, practices had been held and everyone was ready to play. But the worldwide COVID crisis stopped everything.
Some players continued to meet and hold practices in various locations in the county. Alameda, Fremont, Hayward and San Leandro provided many ball players the opportunity to continue staying familiar with softball. Masks were worn and social distancing was the order of the day.
On a national level they did hold a tournament in St. George, Utah in September 2020 attended by numerous teams from the United States. I was in St. George and played with an 80 year old team. Everyone wore masks except when they were hitting and in the field.
Thus 2020 was a lost year for the Hayward Senior Softball League. But plans moved forward quickly to get the 2021 season underway. The decision was made to continue with the teams that had been drafted for the 2020 season. This was good and bad as many players opted not to play because of COVID. Thus, new players were assigned to teams that were short of personnel. This resulted in some teams with a definite advantage. Many of the new players were excellent players and those teams that needed fill in’s gained from the additional personnel. This was reflected in the final league standings as the top team in the fifties was 18-3, in the 60’s 11-2 and in the 70’s 14-1.
The only league that was able to play all of their games was the fifties. In the beginning of the season the league was forced to close for a period of time due to a player testing positive for COVID. Thus the 60’s and 70’s played a shortened schedule. This was the 30th year of the Hayward league. Special thanks again to the Hayward Area Recreation District for all of the support and help this past year. Especially to Noel Munivez of H.A.R.D., who works closely with Chief Commissioner John Ironside and finance league coordinator Mike Carroll. Again, our website master Don Keller created a new format that is excellent. Don spends hours on registration and keeping the game stats throughout the year.
The 50’s league had 4 teams that played the full 21 game season plus playoffs. The season extended through October 14. Commissioner Steve Mastronarde had to work hard in the beginning of the season to ensure teams had enough players. New players helped round out the teams.
Teams in the fifties were the Knights managed by Doug Johnson and assisted by Matt Alberti. They were strong throughout the season. They had a record of 18-3 during the season and then won both playoff games. The second place team during the regular season was the Raiders managed by James Del Rio and assisted by Bob Frey. The Raiders were 11-10 during the regular season. In third place was the Crushers managed by Ray Watkins assisted by Raul Delgado. The Crushers had a 7-14 record. The Tigers finished 4th in the league with a 6-14 record. Mastronarde was the manager assisted by Marc Reclus.
In the playoffs the Knights won both games and were the champions. Second place went to the Crushers with the Raiders third and the Tigers fourth.
There were many players in the 50’s who had an excellent season. Don Keller has posted a Top Ten list on the website for all three leagues. The Top Ten list contains nine categories: Batting Average, number of hits, doubles, triples, home runs, walks, RBI’s, Total bases and O.B. P. Todd Evans had an excellent year as he was #1 in hits and third in batting average (.760 ). Todd was listed in 8 of the 9 categories of the Top Ten list. Bob Frey was in all 9 categories plus played all positions on the Raiders. Bob batted .738 and had the most doubles in the league. Stephfawn Thompson was in 7 of 9 categories. #1 in batting average, #1 in RBI’s plus covering the outfield like a gazelle. Dan Burbank continued his hitting stroke by being included in 6 of the 9 categories in the Top Ten list. Matt Alberti was in 6 of the 9 categories. Though he was only in 5 of the nine categories Jay Sankey led the league in home runs with 8. Jay is still one of the fastest players in the league. The leader in walks was Carla Francis. She also led the 70’s in walks. Carla has a good eye.
Even with all the adversity of COVID, lack of players at times, Steve Mastronarde did an excellent job. He has announced that he will step down as Commissioner. Thank you, Steve, for your service. Steve will continue as Chair of the rules committee.
In the 60’s the Rockies under the leadership of Dan Burbank and Chris Olivier, dominated the shortened league. They were 11-2 during the regular season and won both of their playoff games. In second place were the Buffs, managed by Gabe Adami, with assistant Stan Chavarria. The Buffs were 7-5 during the regular season. In third place were the Diamonds with a 6-5 record. They were managed by Joe Figueroa who was assisted by Max Benavidez. The Rowdys and Mudcat Red finished with identical 3-9 records. Mudcat Red was managed by Lanny Witt and assisted by Tony Camillo. The Rowdys were managed by Jeff Hall assisted by Jim Holyoake.
Lanny Witt was again the Commissioner of the league and had to make numerous moves to ensure all teams had sufficient players. Lanny always does a great job.
In the playoffs the Rockies won both their games. The Diamonds finished second, Rowdys third, Buffs fourth and Mudcat Red fifth.
New player Keith Erickson who didn’t sign up until April 1 but was a very astute player. He was in 8 of the 9 Top Ten categories. 1st in batting average, 1st in O.B.P., 2nd in singles and 3rd in RBI’s. He is also an excellent pitcher. Also included in 8 of the 9 Top Ten categories were Dan Burbank (batting average .848) and Orvin Heidinger (Tied for 1st in home runs and 1st in total bases).
Ray Oducayen was in 7 of 9 Top Ten categories (Batting average .800). Included in 6 of the 9 categories were Mt. Eden teacher Jeff Barnes (who I remember as a student) and Stephfawn Thompson. Leading the walk category was Brian Briegleb.
The 70’s league started the season with five teams. But throughout the early part of the season teams were always short even though the bye team was invited to fill in. Finally, Bronco’s manager Don Keller and his team made a decision to fold the ship. The players were then assigned to one of the other four teams which meant sufficient players were available for the remaining games. Similar to the other two leagues the Twins dominated the regular season with a 11-2 record. The Twins were managed by Lanny Witt with Les Kimley as his assistant. In second place were the Rovers with a 7-7 record. The Rovers were managed by George Shers with Lee Schreiner as his assistant. In third place were the Olden Bears with a 7-8 record. The Bears were managed by 70’s Commissioner Joe Farias. Primary assistant “Hoss” Chandley only played in two games due to injuries. Filling in for “Hoss” during most of the season was Harold Manley. The Rowdys finished in fourth place with a record of 3-11. John Hughes was the Rowdys manager assisted by Walt McQuesten. The Broncos, until they were disbanded, were managed by Don Keller with Don Pelland his assistant.
In the playoffs the Rovers upset the Twins and took away the trophy. The Rowdys downed the Olden Bears to finish third in the playoffs.
The 70’s had a number of players that excelled. Tim Larson was in the top 10 for every category except walks. Tim does not walk. He was 1st in hitting with a .855 average, 1st in hits and doubles, 1st in Total Bases, 2nd in O.B.P. and tied for 1st in home runs. Ray Johnson, playing for the first time in the league, was second in Batting average and 1st in O.B.P. Ray is a longtime tournament player. Tom Casteen was also in 8 of the categories. He doesn’t walk either. Les Kimley, who batted .804, was in 8 of 9 in the Top Ten categories. Long time player Gary Lee was in 6 of the 9 categories. He batted .782. The leader in walks was again Carla Francis. She prides herself in being able to distinguish between a ball and strike.
With “Hoss” Chandley unable to play this year and COVID concerns we did not have any BBQ’s that were held in past years. We all hope he improves and can join us next year.
Gene Jones award winners this year were:
50’s Crushers-Nick Halatsis. Knights-Cary Mitsuyoshi
Tigers-Lee Schreiner Raiders-Carla Francis
60’s Diamonds-Steve Castillo Mudcats-Tom Casteen
Buffs-Rich Holbrook Rockies-Barry Walter
Rowdys-Lee Schreiner and Tim Larson
70’s Broncos-Don Pelland Twins-David Owles
Bears-Katy Miles Rowdys-Carolyn Comfort
Rovers-Ryan Rooker and Ginny Mayer
Special Award to Charlie Adams who played part of the season. He will be 94 in Nov.
Chris Tyler Award: Jeff Hall (This award is for a member of the Knights each year-Chris Tyler managed the Knights until his death).
Softball Heaven: We have lost 10 former players during the past two years. (There may have been more that passed but with many families opting not to publish obituaries I am not sure of my accuracy). If you know of a former player that has passed send me an email.
Passing away in the past two years have been Al Confenti, who started playing in the league in 1996; Al had also been instrumental in forming the Gamblers tournament team. John Evans, who started in 2006-he was a .700 hitter in 2013.; John Brosnan, former Athletic Director at Castro Valley High School, who began in 1999; Long time manager and player Larry Ross who had been with the league since 1993. Larry was a mainstay in the league for many years. He spent numerous hours improving the league; Taylor Lyen, who played for two years after retiring from the Castro Valley School District; Rich Curley, who played with the league from 2013 but was a long time player in Newark; Former manager and player John Huizar, who started his career in the league in 1996; John Bailey, who also played on the Gamblers tournament team; Katy Brady, who was an excellent player and a teammate everyone wanted on their team; and finally Dane Hansen who spent numerous hours setting up equipment, taking care of equipment and supporting everyone. May they all RIP.
We have many players who are now unable to play due to illness, injuries etc. Good thoughts going out to Fred Butler, Bert Surfield, Jerry Hogerheide, Don Mello, Russ Chandley, Dennis Solis and Doug Phillips.
Extended Season: A four team league started October 12 on Tuesdays. Teams were composed of players from all three leagues. Managers were Jeff Hall, Ray Watkins, Barry Walter and Lee Schreiner.
2022: We need to beat the bushes for more players in order to keep the league going. Hopefully many of the players that opted out this year due to COVID will return.
Finally, a thank you to those that have worked hard to keep the league moving. Chief Commissioner John Ironside, who spends countless hours working with HARD, managers and groundsmen. John also monitors the shed where our equipment is stored to insure everything is safe. Commissioners Steve Mastronarde (50’s), Lanny Witt (60’s) and Joe Farias (70’s) work closely with managers on a weekly basis. Mike Carroll, though unable to play this year, keeps the league finances under control and Don Keller continues to do a stellar job updating our website on a regular basis.
Looking forward to our 31st year.
THE HISTORY OF H. A. R. D. SENIOR SOFTBALL 2022
Senior softball moved forward in 2022 as many players who had opted out due to COVID returned. We also had an influx of new players with excellent skills that made the league stronger. In an attempt to get more players, the fifties league was opened to individuals 48 and over; the 60’s league to 58 and over; the 70’s league to 68 and over.
The 50’s League:
The fifties league went through some growing pains during the first part of the season, but normalcy returned, and the season smoothed out and the fifties had an excellent finish. There were many games when some teams did not have enough players and had to have the opposing team furnish catcher etc. Some forfeits did result due to lack of personnel. In the regular season the Raiders finished in first place with a 14-8 record. Managed by James Del Rio who was assisted by Bob Frey. In second place were the Knights (11-11) managed by Doug Johnson with Matt Alberti as his assistant. In third place was the Crushers managed by Jay Sankey. Finishing in fourth place were the Tigers who had a variety of managers during the year, but Rich Mills assisted by Maytheni Allen finished the year as the managerial team. In the playoffs the Raiders defeated the Knights for first place and the Tigers upset the Crushers to finish third. So, Raiders, Knights, Tigers and Crushers were the final results of the playoffs.
Each year Don Keller makes a list of the Top Ten players in 9 categories: Batting Average, Hits, Doubles, Triples, Home Runs, Walks, RBI’s, Total Bases and On Base Percentage. This information is on the HARD website at hardseniorsoftball.com
The highest batting average in the 50’s was attained by Sean Brannon who was new to the league. He batted .892. Second in batting was Jeff LeBoss with an .849 batting average. The leaders in Home Runs were two new players: Eloy Ortega and Mike Kim. The leader in Walks who beat out long time walk leader Carla Francis was former HARD employee Joe Serochi. Six players made the list of the top ten in 6 or more categories. Anthony Paschal (.767 and 79 hits) and Tony Camillo (.787 and 3rd in home runs with 5) were in six of the categories. They were both new to the league and added a lot of excitement with their play; In seven categories were James Del Rio (.765,#1 in doubles and total bases) Todd Evans (.775 and 61 RBI’s) and new player David Gerds (.781 and 58 RBI’s). The only person to be in all nine categories was Bob Frey who plays all positions and hits the ball hard. Bob batted .786 , was #1 in triples and second in RBIs with 67.
The fifties league did not have a commissioner for the latter part of the season, but the managers took charge and made everything run smoothly.
The 60’s League:
The sixties league expanded to 6 teams this year. It faced some tough weeks as the teams basically had 13-14 players. But the beat went on and the regular season was played as teams helped out when shortages took place. The order of finish in the regular league was Rockies in first managed by Dan Burbank assisted by Steve Etchieson; second place there was a tie between the Mudcat Black team managed by James Del Rio assisted by John Ironside and the Buffs managed by Tony Camillo assisted by Stephfawn Thompson; In fourth place were the Rowdys managed by Jeff Hall assisted by Jim Holyoake; in fifth place were the Diamonds managed by Jeff Barnes assisted by Keith Erickson; finishing in sixth place was the Mudcat Red team managed by Lanny Witt who was assisted by Les Kimbley. In the playoffs the Buffs ruled supreme by defeating the Diamonds in a close game. In third place Mudcat Black defeated the Rockies. Finishing in fifth place were the Rowdys with Mudcat Red in sixth place.
There were six players in the 60’s league that made the top ten list in 6 or more of the 9 categories. The highest batting average (.845) was James Del Rio who also led the league in on base percentage. He was in 7 of the 9 categories. Tony Camillo was in six categories leading the league in home runs with 9 and leading the league in RBI’s and total bases; Dan Burbank was in 6 categories finishing second in total hits with 62; Doug Johnson was also in 6 batting .776 for the season; Tom Knab was in 6 categories and had 7 homeruns; again, the leader was Bob Frey who was in all 9 categories. He led the league in triples and batted .772 for the season.
Lanny Witt continued as Commissioner of the 60’s.
The 70’s League:
The 70’s had five teams to start the season which meant a bye for one team each week. This worked out well as during the regular season the bye team would have players to show up and fill in when needed. In the regular league the Cardinals finished first managed by John Ironside were dominant throughout the season. In second place were the Broncos managed by Doug Johnson assisted by Jeff Hall. The Broncos had an influx of players from the Danville league that proved to improve the quality of the entire league. Third place was a tie between the Rowdy's managed by John Hughes assisted by Tye Peyton. Also tied for third was the Twins managed by Lanny Witt assisted by Les Kimbley. Finishing up in the cellar were the Olden Bears managed by Joe Farias assisted by Lee Schriener. In the playoffs things reversed themselves with the Broncos defeating the Cardinals to become the playoff champions; The Twins defeated the Rowdys for third place.
In the top ten new to the league Mark Kraft batted .879 to lead the league in batting and also led the league in on base percentage. He was in 5 of the 9 categories. Tim Frederick was in 6 categories with a batting average of .778 the highlight for him; Doug Johnson was in five categories and had a batting average of .763; Nick Halatsis and Jay Sankey were in 7 categories. They tied for the most home runs (4) ; Sankey was second in the league in batting at .841 and led the league in doubles , triples and total bases; Halatsis was first in RBIs with 53. The leader in walks was Katy Miles who bested long time walk leader Carla Francis.
Joe Farias continued as Commissioner of the 70’s.
Gene Jones winners for 2022. Each year teams award a player on their team for making significant contributions to the team throughout the year. It is named after Gene Jones ,who played in the league in the 1990’s. Gene wasn’t the best player but he encouraged everyone to do their best. The awards were given out at the end of season barbecue put together by long time player Russ “Hoss” Chandley. Again, he provided a great spread that was enjoyed by everyone. Many former players returned to intermingle with everyone. Was a great season closing event.
50's Crushers-Tony Camillo; Knights-Anthony Paschal; Tigers-Scott Shimada; Raiders-Mace McDonald
60’s Buffs-Roy Camillo; Mudcat Red-David Balfour; Rowdys-Ray Watkins; Diamonds-Bob Bohannon; Rockies-Thomas Knab; Mudcat Black-Ruben Fielder.
70’s Twins-Ed Johnson; Bears-Debbie Le-Hullings; Broncos-Roger Gonzalez; Rowdys-Junior Cosare; Cardinals-Bo Johansen.
Each year a member of the Knights is awarded the Chris Tyler award. Chris was a long-time manager in the league who passed away at a young age. The award in 2022 went to Thomas Knab.
Late in the season the Grounds person for our fields suffered an injury that sidelined him for some time. Three individuals stepped up and would be at the fields early in the morning to set the fields for play. Thanks to Thomas Knab, Pat Kiesling and Jim Holyoake for all their help.
This year we lost one of our long-time players and manager. Gabe Adami who was part of the league for over 20 years passed in late 2021. We also had players that were sidelined for a portion of the year. Gil Jess suffered a stroke but has returned to take batting practice. Dennis Solis is still recovering from a stroke he suffered nearly a year ago. In October former player David Hoge was hit by a car in St. George and received multiple injuries. He was with the Prime Time tournament team managed by Lanny Witt playing softball at the Huntsman Games.
Winter League: Five teams were formed to play in a Tuesday winter league that took place for 10 weeks in October and November. Managers were Thomas Knab, Barry Walter, Jeff Hall and James Del Rio.
We again had excellent support from the umpire’s association. Since using umpires again things seem to be much calmer on the field.
We have lots of kudos for H.A.R.D. and their support of our Senior Softball program. Especially we want to thank Noel Muniez who keeps us abreast of what is going on throughout the season. When the Grounds person was hurt Noel also pitched in to get the fields ready.
A big thanks to Don Keller who keeps the website up to date. Each week he compiles the statistics and keeps account of the schedules, rainouts etc. Don is a tremendous asset to the league.
Mike Carroll continues to handle the finances of the league. Though he is not ready to play yet his accounting of the books keeps us solvent.
Finally, the work that John Ironside, Chief Commissioner, does for the league keeps things rolling. John is a great listener who knows how to address any concerns that arise during the season. John’s credo is “Let’s just play ball”
This year we had a number of younger players that put forth efforts to improve the league. We need these younger players to step forward to keep the league going. Players that stepped up to help in many areas included Doug Johnson, James Del Rio, Bob Frey, Thomas Knab, Jeff Hall, Jay Sankey, Tony Camillo, Barry Walter, Scott Shimada, Jeff Barnes, Rich Mills, Dan Burbank, Tye Peyton and Keith Erickson. There were others but my memory is not what it was 32 years ago when the league started.
Season #31 is a wrap.
THE HISTORY OF H. A. R. D. SENIOR SOFTBALL 2023
Hayward Daytime Senior Softball started their 32nd year with a lack of enough players for all three leagues. So the initial draft was for a 50/60 league and a 70’s league. But through the hard work of Bob Frey, with help from Tony Camillo and others, phone calls were made to potential players to play in a Thursday 50’s league. A number of players were not available on Tuesdays but could play on Thursdays. They were able to get enough players for four teams. Thus we had three leagues again. Each week was a challenge for the 50’s teams and players from the other two leagues would show up to ensure each team had enough players. As we did not have paid umpires in the 50’s league some players from teams from the other leagues would umpire.
The 50’s League played a 12 game season. Finishing the league in first place was the Outlaws, managed by Bob Frey assisted by David Gerds; in second place were the Mudcats managed by Doug Johnson; third place was the Sandlot Legends managed by Tony Camillo assisted by Jeff LeBoss; fourth place was the Tigers managed by Barry Walter assisted by Jeff Hall.
In the end of the year playoffs the Outlaws defeated the Mudcat team 20-8. The Sandlot Legends and the Tigers did not play so they both finished 3rd in the playoffs.
Each year Webmaster Don Keller makes a list of the Top Ten players in 9 categories for each league. Batting Average, Hits, Doubles, Triples, Home Runs, Walks, RBI’s, Total Bases and On Base Percentage. This information is on the HARD website at hardseniorsoftball.com.
The player with the highest batting average in the 50's league was a new player Dan Bejarano who had a .927 average. Second in average was Todd Evans(.870) who also led the league in triples and was in the top ten in 7 of the categories; Third in average was Bob Frey (.851) who was in the top ten in all nine categories. Listed in 6 of the top ten was David Gerds who led the league in the number of hits. Tony Camillo was in 5 of the nine categories and led the league in total bases and doubles. Leading the league in walks once again was Carla Francis. She has an excellent eye and is the walks leader year after year. The home run leader (8 four baggers) was Mike Kim. He also led the 50’s league in home runs last year.
As we did not start with three leagues we had enough players to begin with 7 teams in the 50’s/60’s league. But after a few weeks it became apparent that teams were consistently short week after week. A decision was made to disband the Buffs and place the players on other teams.
Finishing in first place were the Tigers with a 15-5 record. The Tigers were managed by Ray Watkins assisted by Jay Sankey; Closely behind the Tigers were the Raiders (managed by James Del Rio assisted by David Gerds) with a 14-6 record; in third place were the Outlaws (managed by Bob Frey assisted by Tom Knab); fourth place was Strange Brew (managed by Scott Shimada assisted by Brian Wong); fifth place were the Knights managed by Jeff Hall assisted by Jim Holyoake; and in sixth place were the Diamonds managed by Jeff Barnes who was assisted by Keith Erickson. In the playoffs the Tigers defeated the Raiders 26-19 for first place. Third place was the Outlaws who defeated the Knights. Strange Brew and the Diamonds cancelled their playoff game. The name Strange Brew was picked in honor of Dan Hoffman, who passed away suddenly during the season. According to Brian Wong Dan’s wife said this would be the name Dan would have chosen. Dan was a graduate of Canyon High School where I worked for 8 years.
Leading the 50’s/60’s in batting was Jay Sankey with a .873 average. He was also in 6 of the 9 top ten categories. A heavy hitter was David Gerds who slammed 18 home runs, which is a record for the league-David also had 87 RBI’s and finished first in hits, doubles, triples and total bases. He was in all categories except for walks. Walk leaders were Bob Frey and Selwyn Quan. Frey was included in 7 of the 9 categories. Don Ott, who has been a force in the league for years, was included in 6 of the nine categories. James Del Rio was in 8 of the 9 top ten categories and had a.842 batting average and 9 home runs. James has been a force in the league for years but recently moved to Idaho. He added a lot to the league over the years. We wish him well.
The 70’s league again had five teams which gave one team a bye every week. When teams were short players from the bye team would fill in playing catcher, first base or right field. The Twins (managed by Lanny Witt who was assisted by Les Kimbley) ran away with the title. They dominated league play. Finishing second were the Cardinals managed by Commissioner John Ironside assisted by Joe Figueroa. In third place were the Rowdys managed by John Hughes assisted by Tye Peyton. The Rowdys rallied during the second half of the season to move from last place to third place. The Broncos finished fourth, managed by Doug Johnson assisted by Jeff Hall. In last place were the Olden Bears, managed by Joe Farias assisted by Gary Lee. In the playoffs the Twins continued their dominance by defeating the Rowdys in the finals; the Olden Bears upset the Cardinals to finish 3rd in the playoffs. The Broncos finished fifth in the playoffs.
Leading the 70’s in batting was Tom Wagenseller (.872) who joined the Bears midway through the season, Tom was also in 6 of the top ten categories. Jay Sankey was included in 7 of the 9 top ten categories leading the league in home runs (9) and doubles (14). Tim Frederick was in 6 of the 9 top ten categories. He was second in batting average (.851) and led the league in hits; Tye Peyton was included in 7 of 9 categories (had a .793 batting average). Barry Walter had 8 home runs and was #2 in total bases. Carla Francis was the leader in walks again. Leading the league in triples and RBI’s was Nick Halatsis.
GENE JONES AWARDS FOR 2023
Sinch 1993 the league has been giving the Gene Jones awards to a player on each team who makes significant contributions to the team. Not necessarily the best player but one who makes significant contributions to the team. Gene Jones played in the league in the early 1990's and encouraged everyone to do their best. The awards were given out at the year end barbeque at the field. Close to 100 attended the event with the major planning being accomplished by Commish John Ironside and his son.
Sandlot Legends: Mark Childress. Mudcats: Leonard Camper. Outlaws: James Benson. Tigers: Carla Francis
Knights: Steve Etchieson. Outlaws: Ruben Fielder (89 years old). Strange Brew: Ellen Seiji.
Diamonds: Paul Vartanian. Raiders: John McCown. Tigers: Gino Ilacqua
Broncos: Chris Cooper. Cardinals: Ayofemi Oseye. Bears: Ginny Mayer
Rowdys: John Bradshaw. Twins: Harry Orner
Chris Tyler Award: Each year the Knights select someone to receive the Chris Tyler award. Chris was a long time manager who passed at an early age. The 2023 award winner was Rebecca Strouse.
This season we lost a number of players who participated in the league over the years. In September long time player Fred Perkins passed away. Fred played for over 20 years in the league and encouraged everyone to do their best; In November George Shers, who also managed in the 70’s, passed away suddenly. George loved to pitch and enjoyed being a manager; Long time player and manager Dennis Solis, who suffered a stroke last season, passed away late in 2022. Dennis had been a major force in the league along with his brothers Steve and Tony. Don Sherratt, who was an excellent ballplayer, passed away this year also. Don was an active member of the City of Alameda community. During the season Daniel Hoffman passed away suddenly. Dan was a 1976 graduate of Canyon High School in Castro Valley. Long time player and supporter Efren Sapiandante passed away in August. Efren still attended the games even though he could no longer play. He encouraged everyone. In October shocking news that Steve Etchieson passed away while at a softball tournament in St. George, Utah. Steve played on The Knights this year and won the Gene Jones award. May they all RIP.
WINTER LEAGUE 2023
Four teams were organized by Bob Frey and Barry Walter. Play started on October 17 and will continue until November 14. Managers were Thomas Knab, Barry Walter, Jeff Hall and Bob Frey. Thanks to Bob and Barry for their hard work.
Many people keep the softball league going. #1 is Don Keller our webmaster. Don spends hours keeping all the data organized and on the website. He told me he wants to continue in this role during 2024.
Mike Carroll, our long time finance person, has turned that role over to Paul Vartanian, who keeps everything under control. Thank you Paul.
Thanks to our umpires who keep things going without any problems: Glen and Ed plus Tito on Tuesday’s. Tito prepares the fields every week. He does an excellent job.
This year the older Commissioner's asked three “younger” players to step up and serve as Commissioners. Doug Johnson, Jeff Hall and Jeff Barnes are now part of the leadership team. Continuing as Commissioners are Lanny Witt, myself (Joe Farias) and Chief Commissioner John Ironside. John continues to make good decisions regarding the league. As he continues to say: “Let’s just play ball”. Looking toward the future we expect the “youngsters” will play a bigger role.
Multigenerational players in Hayward Senior Softball League Hayward Senior Softball has three families that have included Fathers, Sons, and an Uncle.
In 1991 Daniel Burbank Sr. played in the league at third base. He was an excellent player. I knew him from the California Army National Guard where he was a Lt. Colonel and a World War II veteran. He played from 1991-1993. His son Daniel Burbank has been a major force in the league for the past ten or so years. In 2016 he led the league in RBI’s in the 60’s. He has also managed and been very supportive of the league.
In 1992 Tony Hernandez and Manny Hernandez became members of the league. They both were recipient's twice of Gene Jones awards. Tony would bring his son (Chris Hernandez at that time in his thirties) and Chris would join his Dad for batting practice.
Manny was Tony’s brother and Chris Hernandez' Uncle. Tony and Manny were major contributors to the league for many years. Chris entered the league in 2008 and has been outstanding in hitting, pitching and fielding. He still works in the San Leandro schools so has to miss some games during the year.
George Cummings began playing in the 70’s league in 2012. In 2013 he batted .550 and was excellent in the field. In 2014 he played for Herb Hadley and the Rovers. George was a UC Berkeley educated attorney who had argued cases at the United States Supreme Court. His son Andrew Cummings has been a member of the 50’s league. Andrew is an excellent hitter and contributes energy to every team he is on during the year. Andrew is a paramedic with an ultra cool demeanor. He has won the batting title for highest average at the 50’s level.
I’m sure we will have more multigenerational players over the next 20 years. Again we thank HARD for their support and especially Noel Muniez, who keeps us informed throughout the year.