by Judy Lee Schrieber 28. August 2014 22:58

I began putting some of my thoughts down on paper and wanted to share them with you.  To find out about True Friends, read below.  Enjoy….. 



      Softball is not just a sport where you play a few
games and then you go home.
    There is more that comes out of it than
winning or losing.
With softball comes some of the best friends that you will ever
You play on teams together, you laugh together you cry together.
You meet new friends through softball
from other teams too.
It’s a never ending chain.
    A real softball friend is one who is there for you on the
field and off the field.
A real softball friend is there to help you with your bumps and bruises.
A real softball friend is there to pick you up after a rough game or
congratulate you
after a great one.
    A real softball friend keeps in touch with you after the
season has ended and
for many years to come.
    I just wanted to let you all know that you are my real
softball friends.
    I will always be there for you and will always keep you in
my heart.
    This is not a chain letter. It is a poem written to let you
all know that someone does care about
you and will
never forget you. Send this to all the
    people you consider your real softball friends and when you
get it back you
    will know who your real softball friends are,






The earliest known softball game was played in Chicago, Illinois on Thanksgiving Day, 1887.  It took place in the Farragut Boat Club at a gathering to hear the outcome of Yale and Harvard football game.  When the score was announced and bets were settled, a Yale alumnus threw a boxing glove at a Harvard supporter.  Another person grabbed a stick and swung at it.  George Hancock called out “Play ball” and the game began, with the boxing glove tightened into a ball, a broom handle serving as a bat.  The first contest ended with a score of 41-40.  The ball, being soft, was fielded barehanded and thus, the game became softball.


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General | Women


by Hockepuck! 26. August 2014 12:33


 COLUMBUS, OHIO – Perseverance paid off for the CHICAGO GEEZERS 75'S AAA team when after TWENTY-TWO YEARS and SIX BRACKET GAMES they finally won their first SPA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP JULY 7-11 at COLUMBUS,OHIO

 It has been a long time,” CHICAGO GEEZER and SPA 75 AAA MANAGER-OF-THE-YEAR BILL DOELL said,” But it certainly is worth the wait.”

 The GEEZERS were started as a 55'S team by SAM GEATS and DAN WATERS and have played in the 55, 60, 65, 70 and 75 Divisions of Senior Softball. DOELL, who succeeded GLEN GROBELI as the team's manager two years ago says it has been a long time coming.”

 We've gone through a lot of players, changes and finances ever since 1993,” DOELL said, “and being self sponsored, I don't even want to venture a guess how much it has cost everyone to play.”

 Playing nine tournaments a year can be an expensive ordeal. Each member contributes $275, FEDERAL ENVELOPE of CHICAGO paid for new uniforms.

 The team's hunt for it's first SPA WORLD TITLE even looked in the early going at COLUMBUS that maybe it would take another year to win a championship.

 The GEEZERS who have played at .500 pace (9-9) the past two years started off the same way they have played in that span, as a .500 team.

 We lost our first game in pool by one run and then won our next one on a walk-off walk,” DOELL explained, “We won our final pool game but lost to the ANTIQUES 13-8 in our first bracket game.”

 However, good things sometimes come to those who wait and such was the case for the GEEZERS.

 I was just hoping for one more win in bracket play and then we could go home happy,” DOELL said, “But then we beat HARRIS AUCTION 28-23 and the STATESMEN 30-29 and all of a sudden we were in the finals of the loser's bracket.”

 The GEEZERS continued their run through the loser's bracket beating PROHEALTH CARE 24-16 in the loser's bracket finals to earn a shot at number one seed and undefeated JERSEY JAGS.

 We were tied at 21-21 in the bottom of the seventh against the JAGS, when JAY AVERY delivered a bases loaded two-out single to force the “if” game,” DOELL said.

 The GEEZERS finished off their five-game consecutive winning streak with a 22-15 win over the JAGS in the title game and earning them that long awaited first-ever SPA WORLD title.

 The championship was totally unexpected,” DOELL explained, “We have played in a bunch of tournaments the past two years and haven't won a thing,” he said, “To win the SPA 75 WORLDS with such a large field of great 75's is a tremendous experience.”

 The team also took home a number of individual honors highlighted by DOELL being chosen as the TOURNAMENT'S MVP. He earned the award with sparkling defensive play in left center field and a .786 batting average and a team high five home runs.

 Others earning spots on the ALL AMERICAN team were MATT BARONE (1b, .750), TOM BRIGLIO (LF, .697), PAUL DAILEY (RF, .667), JIM DEDELOW (2B, .636) and JERRY HANDEL (C, .533).

 We actually feel anybody on our team could be ALL AMERICAN and earn ALL-TOURNAMENT honors,” DOELL explained, “So throughout the year we spread the awards around to make certain everyone on the team has received that honor at least once.”

 Others on the team were AVERY (2B,.824), FRED GRUNINGER (C,.786), TONY GURDAK (RCF, .559), RAY HAFERTEPE (3B, .697), HARVEY KOST (P,.700), JESSE MANUEL (RC, .774), JACK MILLER (P, .594) and MICKEY MILLS (SS,.774).

 Also coming in for special recognition were BARONE, who served as the team's assistant manager and the team scorers, MYRNA MILLER and JUDY HAFERTEPE.

 SPA has done a great job for the 75's and 80's teams,” DOELL said, “With their tournaments in BARBERTON, COLUMBUS, SHELBYVILLE and the COLUMBUS WORLDS they show that they really do care about the teams.”

 The personal touch they add to call teams and e-mailing them to keep them informed of tournaments in our age group is really appreciated,” he added, “ They are definitely the top senior softball organization for 75's and 80's teams.”

 Although DOELL loved the COLUMBUS WORLDS and especially the astroturf fields, he still has a soft spot in his heart for DALTON.

 We always loved DALTON and hope SPA can move it (75 WORLDS) back there occasionally and especially later in the year,” DOELL said, “The WORLDS should be the final tournament of the year and held in SEPTEMBER and OCTOBER and if they could move it to later that would be great.”

 Now with a WORLD TITLE under their belt, the GEEZERS main concern is where can they play next year.

 We know we will be moved to MAJOR and this past year there were no SPA tournaments for 75 MAJORS until the WORLDS,” DOELL said, “We hope SPA can set up some four-team major brackets at some of the tournaments. We certainly don't want to have to wait another twenty years for a chance to win another tournament.”

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by Hockepuck! 25. August 2014 13:10


DALTON, GEORGIA – Move over NEW YORK YANKEES 1927 MURDER”S ROW, there is a new powerhouse line-up on the block and it belongs to the 60 MAJOR PLUS SUPERIOR SENIOR SOFTBALL TEAM.

The VIRGINIA team made shambles of the competition at the SPA DALTON WORLDS July 17-20 outscoring the opposition 127-69 in four games while also compiling a .821.team batting average.

 In the championship game 37-18 win over last year's 60 MAJOR CHAMP. MINNESOTA MASTERS WHITE, they pounded out 49 hits of which only five traveled over the fence.

 Yes, we really had it going at DALTON,” SUPERIOR SENIOR SOFTBALL MANAGER and SPA 60 MAJOR PLUS MANAGER-OF-THE-YEAR JIM SEARS said, “There are some tournaments when everything goes right for a team and some that everything goes wrong and at DALTON everything went right.”

 In their four games SSS downed HOLLIS APPRAISALS 35-29, MINNESOTA WHITE 29-11, HOLLIS 26-11 and MINNESOTA 37-18.

 Of course winning has been the norm for the team in 2014. So far in 2014 the 60'S MAJOR PLUS team has won eight tournaments and their counterparts the 65 MAJOR PLUS HAMEL BUILDERS SUPERIOR SENIOR SOFTBALL TEAM has captured three.

 Since changing names from TURN TWO/SPICER two years ago they have won FIVEWORLDS and NINENATIONALS.

 If you have the players, it makes it sort of easy,” SEARS said, “This team also enjoys playing together and takes their game seriously. They enjoy winning.”

 You won't find the names of RUTH, GEHRIG, MUESAL and LAZZEREI on this new MURDERS' ROW but there are a few names which are familiar to senior softball fans.

 Sprinkled through the line-up are SIX IMPACT PLAYERS: DANNY BALLARD (70), DON CLATTERBOUGH (65), JOHN DAVIDE (65), TOMDOMMEL,SR (65), TOMTUDOR (65) and PETE SMITH (65).

 The rest of the roster are no slouches either. The tournament MVP was short stop HAL HARRISON. HARRISON more than capably filled in for the injured TOMDOMMEL,SR defensively and at bat went 14-for-14.

 Joining HARRISON in receiving ALL-AMERICAN status were BALLARD (1B,.833), BILL CAMERON (P/1B, .882), CLATTERBOUGH (C,.823), DAVIDE (2b, .938) and DENNIS TUCK (3B, .938).


 Non-roster support was given by statistician ROSSI DODSON and equipment manager WESLEYWALDEN. (MIKE) GOODMAN in addition to his contributions on the field also is a big reason the team can make it without a full time sponsor.

 Mike and his company RM GOODMAN BUILDERS out of BEAVERDAM, VIRGINIA has really helped the program with his financial assistance,” SEARS said, “He does this on his own and we really appreciate his help.”

 SEARS emphatically claimed the teams biggest support comes from the wives.

 Oh definitely,” he said, “They are at every game pepping us up with their cheers and support. They maythink we don't hear their cheers and appreciate them but we really do hear them and it does help us on the field.”

 Like most MAJOR PLUS and even MAJOR teams/ SUPERIOR SENIOR SOFTBALL does feel the financial pinch.

 If major plus teams want to play in a tournament, we can't get in a car and drive there, we usually have to fly,” SEARS explained, “Most local and regional tournaments do not have MAJOR PLUS DIVISIONS, we have to fly to the big one to play, like DALTON, VEGAS, etc.. If we do get to play in a REGIONAL or smaller NATIONAL, we have to play 50 and 55 majors.”

 I would expect the only time we will be able to play 60-MAJOR teams is when we are 90-years old and we will probably have to spot them seven runs,” he added.

 Of course you can always break up the team and scatter the players, right?


 It would be the same story, there are not enough major plus teams for these guys to be split among,” SEARS said, “I don't have the answer, maybe have the major teams start loading up and come up and play with the major plus teams instead of trying to avoid the major plus division.”

 SEARS said he did hear there was a possibility SPA may be holding a couple of MAJOR and MAJOR PLUS only regional tournaments in the east and mid-west in 2015.

 That would be great,” he said, “Then we wouldn't have to worry about having a 30,000 mile check-up every month or so.”

 The organizations (SPA and SSUSA) created the MAJOR and MAJOR PLUS Divisions but they don't offer us enough tournaments to play,” SEARS added, “We love the SPA organization and the tournaments they have, we just hope RIDGE can come up with a way to offer us more tournaments. We definitely would attend.”


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by Hockepuck! 25. August 2014 12:52


 DALTON, GEORGIA – What a difference a year makes. After going 1-2 in the SPA 55 MAJOR WORLDS in 2013, DOCS came up with a new prescription for success and ran the table at the this year's SPA WORLDS to take the 2014 55 MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP.

The tournament held JULY 17-20 at HERITAGE POINT PARK in DALTON, GEORGIA saw DOCS with the exception of a tight 29-28 win over SWEET CONSTRUCTION in the second round easily roll to the 55 MAJOR TITLE.

 Our secret this year is we have a balanced attack of one-thru-twelve in the batting order,” DOCS and SPA'S 50 MAJOR MANAGER-OF-THE-YEAR NICK INBODEN said, “Teams can't take a breather at any time in our order, anybody in the line-up can hurt you.”

 That fact is easily solidified by the fact DOCS using all 15 players on the roster had an actual team batting average of .750. In all games pool and bracket with the exclusion of a forfeit win, they outscored the opposition 132-89.

 In bracket play they averaged 29 runs a game to their three opponents' 15 run total. After their 29-28 win over SWEET, they easily disposed of HIGH STREET BUCS 27-9, S.A. 55 SOFTBALL (15-0 FORFEIT) and SWEET CONSTRUCTION again, this time in the title game 31-9.

 We were on our game in this tournament,” INBODEN said, “Sometimes you get in one of those grooves where hitting and good defensive plays become contagious with nobody wanting to make the last out and everyone is playing at the top of their game. This was one of those times.”

 This has also been a good year on the tournament trail for DOCS as they have added titles from the BRICKYARD, SMOKEY MOUNTAIN, DAYTON and COLUMBUS,OHIO in addition to their first SPA WORLD TITLE at DALTON.

 We play all the organization's tournaments,” INBODEN said, “ Although SPA is by far our favorite, you have to play tournaments where they have a 55-major division, which isn't always the case at SPA tournaments.”

 With all the traveling we have to do, senior softball is expensive,” INBODEN added, “We foot our own travel bills but we also receive some great help from our sponsor who pays the entry fees and covers the cost of uniforms and other incidentals.”

 DOCS sponsor is a DOC (what a surprise). Chiropractors KEN SCHONE and LYNN RINGHEISER have not only been taking care of the team financially but also in the office.

 Every week either before or after tournaments, we (team) all start limping into their office for weekly adjustments,” INBODEN laughed, “ They are really good and I would recommend them to anybody, especially ballplayers.”

 The team was originally SCHONES when they started as a 50's team in 2005 and today, almost ten years later, still consider softball a way of life.

 Most of us grew up together on the ball field and we just look forward to continuing it,” INBODEN explained, “ Our tournaments are more like a family reunion where everyone , wives included, get together for a fun two-or-three day vacation. Those are great memories and just make playing senior softball that much more enjoyable.”

 INBODEN also mentioned his team is starting to get close to social security age with three-quarters of the squad past the age of 60 years, but he isn't concerned.

 Age is just a number.” he said, “You have to forget that number and just go out and play, have fun and treasure the memories of being together.”

 Five of those teammates came in for special recognition at DALTON.

 CLIFF CARPENTER was honored as the TOURNAMENT MVP. All the second baseman did was compile a team high .945 batting average.

 Being selected to the ALL-AMERICAN team were REX HICKS (3B,,844), GARY PERKINS )P, .824), TEDDY WEINGARTNER (DH/C, .830), KEVIN FARKAS (1B, .834) and CARPENTER.


 Coming in for special recognition from INBODEN and his teammates were the “traveling wife's club.”

 They have been really supportive,” INBODEN said, “There is no way we could pursue our hobby without their help. They have supported us all the way.”

 They (wives, friends) are also at the games cheering us on, helping at team's functions. They are a very special part of our success and although maybe we don't say it enough, “we really do appreciate them.”


 WEINGARTNER, according to INBODEN, also deserves the “SPA 2014 STATISTICIAN OF THE YEAR AWARD.”

 She is fantastic,” he said.

 As for 2015, the program has not been set.

 With so many 60's players we do not know if we will stay at 55 MAJOR PLUS or go 60, we haven't decided yet,” the MANAGER-OF-THE-YEAR said, “One thing is for certain we want to return to DALTON, whatever age or Division we are in.”

 This is just a great facility and there always lots of great competition with all the other major and major plus teams attending. RIDGE HOOKS and SPA run a tremendous tournament, we really enjoyed it.”


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by Hockepuck! 25. August 2014 12:46


SHELBYVILLE, INDIANA – Senior Softball's longest running MID-WEST tournament, the HOOSIER CLASSIC celebrated its 19th consecutive year entertaining thirty-three teams July 15-20 at SHELBYVILLE'S BLUE RIVER PARK.

“The HOOSIER CLASSIC is by far one of the best senior tournaments going,” SPA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RIDGE HOOKS said, “How can you argue with success. Nineteen consecutive years, that is fantastic.”

“DWAINE LAIRD started this tournament years ago and today ED WEST along with GEORGE LANE and R.C.BROWN have continued to make the HOOSIER CLASSIC one of the most respected senior softball tournaments not only in SPA but in the entire senior softball program,” HOOKS added.

Limited by only having four fields, the 2014 SPA HOOSIER CLASSIC again reached the maximum amount of teams with thirty-three visiting BLUE RIVER PARK. Ten champions were crowned AA/AAA double-elimination event.

KENTUCKY team BORROMEOS took home the 50 AAA title edging INDIANA'S CIRCLE CITY PLAYMAKERS 17-16 in the championship game. BLUEGRASS SOFTBALL was the third team in the group.

A home state team, ANTIQUE ROADSHOW narrowly held off SIX PACK 22-21 IN THE 55 AAA FINALE. SIX PACK made it to the championship game by slipping by LOUISVILLE OG'S 18-17.

It was a CANADIAN HOLIDAY as CAVCO came south of the border to beat INDY FOG 19-13 for the 60 AA crown. The DAYTON LEGENDS rounded out the three-team bracket.

The ZEPPELINS won a nail-biter in the 60 AAA GOLD brackets. The ZEP'S held on for a narrow 18-17 over UNIVERSAL SOFTBALL. The KC THUNDER finished third.

(BY) GRACE REDEEMED beat THE BOMB SQUAD twice (33-19, 20-19) to finish on top of the podium in the 60 AAA SILVER BRACKET. SYLVANIA, OHIO'S MAUMEE BAY RAPTORS was the third team in the group.

JIM & JOE'S went 3-0 beating the INDIANA LEGENDS 15-7, KENTUCKIANA 16-12 and the INDIANA LEGENDS again, this time 28-12 to win the 65 AA BRACKET.

US JOBS kept the 65 AAA title in the home state beating DOC MARTENS 16-13 in the title game. Leading up to the finale, US JOBS had a pair of close calls edging DOC MARTENS 22-21 and MID STATES SENIORS 18-17.

Five teams went after the bacon in the 70 AA BRACKET and when the dust had cleared, CENTRAL OHIO COSSA stood at the top of the heap.

COSSA beat MID STATE SRS 15-9 and JOB CENTRAL 24-18 before disposing of SENIOR RED BIRDS 26-18 in the championship game. The other team in the field was the COLUMBUS SILVER STICKS.

The INDY CROWNS ran the table beating CHICAGO GEEZERS 23-17, PFEIFFERS AUTO 30-29 and PFEIFFERS AUTO again (21-20) for the 75 AAA GOLD title. PRO HEALTH CARE rounded out the bracket.

The LOUISVILLE THUNDER downed the SILVER FOXES (22-6) and the MICGIGAN LAKERS twice by scores of 14-13 and 24-15 for the 75 AAA SILVER CHAMPIONSHIP.

The seven team tour out for the 75's DIVISION championship was the third highest gathering of 75's in any senior softball tournament, regardless of the organization, east of Vegas. Only THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC and the SPA 75's WORLDS had more.


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About the Editor

Ho Hoffman of Wadsworth,Ohio is a sports writer for the Medina (Ohio) Gazette daily newspaper. Hoffman also has been playing competitive softball for nearly sixty years and 3,000 games starting in the adult fast pitch leagues as a teenager and continuing through into today's 70's senior division.  

Hoffman for the past twenty years has also been playing on senior softball travel teams. In addition, he along with Red Bole are the tournament directors of the highly successful SPA Ohio Buckeye Classic June senior softball tournament which last year drew 77 teams, in the 50, 55, 60, 65, 70 and 75 AA and AAA only divisions. 

He is also married. He and his wife Sue have three sons who are also active in softball and baseball. The youngest Matt plays adult slo-pitch softball, Mike plays Roy Hobbs 40-and over baseball and Marc is the founder, owner and president of U.S. Baseball Academy, the nation's largest baseball training program.


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