A 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization
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A mens' league established January 2008.
Pacesetter Park, Sylvania,Ohio
1996 Inductee!

Rollie Beale Joins Mario Andretti in National Sprint Car Hall of Fame!

Toledoan Rollie Beale, born January 16, 1930 was one of eight drivers, including Mario Andretti, inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum Foundation in Knoxville, Ia. in 1996.  Rollie started his racing career in 1950 racing a 1937 Ford Coupe, winning his first feature in 1951 at Motor City Speedway in Detroit (MI).  During the 1950’s Rollie raced late models and modifieds for organizations like Midwest Auto Racing Club (MARC) and Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA).  By the end of the 50’s he moved on to super modifieds where his exploits became legendary in the Midwest.

In the early 1960’s Rollie continued to race modifieds but also began to race in the sprint car divisions such as California Racing Association (CRA) and International Motor Contest Association (IMCA).  

Rollie is also the 11th on Freemont Speedway's all-time list with 31 victories and was the 1963 super modified track champion. He has raced all over the country and has taken wins in the Little 500 as well as many other events. Rollie won a total of 32 USAC sprint car races from 1967 to 1977, at times racing against the likes of AJ Foyt, Johnny Rutherford, Mario Andretti, Tom Sneva, to name a few.


Sylvania Senior Softball  
He captured the USAC National Sprint Car Championship in 1973.  After retiring from driving in 1977, Rollie became an official with USAC from 1978 through 1992. 

Rollie said he has won a total of between 500 and 600 races in all types of race cars, mostly at Toledo area tracks.

Rollie and wife Anna Mae have six children-Bonnie, Gary, Rick, Tim, Barb and Ron.  Gary has played softball for 8 years in the Senior Softball league and is on the traveling tournament team. 

(NOTE: ROLAND H. 'ROLLIE' BEALE, 1930-2014 - Mr. Beale, 84, an auto racing champion and hall of fame inductee who competed on dirt and asphalt tracks nationwide from the early 1950's into the late '70's, died Monday, Feb. 17, 2014 in Toledo Hospital. Surviving are his wife, Anna Mae, whom he married Oct.9, 1948; sons Gary, Rick, Tim, and Ron; daughters, Bonnie Scorziell and Barb Meyers; 16 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren, and sister Esther Poulin.)




Sylvania softball league thrives for those above age 50

by Ashley Streichert

At 55, Jeff Traudt was an active father who was eager to get back on the playing field after watched and coached his three daughters sports. It had been 23 years since he picked up a bat and played on a team, and when the opportunity presented itself, he jumped on it.
He joined the Sylvania Senior Softball Association, and his team finished first and headed to the tournament. During the last game, Mr. Traudt collided with an infielder at first base and collapsed in pain. He was rushed to the hospital to learn that he had a broken rib and a lacerated kidney. Through this injury, doctors also found cancerous cells on his kidney, which he later had removed. “This game really saved his life,” said Jerry Keefe, one of the founders and board member of the league.
Mr. Traudt is now fully recovered and is back to playing the game he loves. “You don’t have to be 13 to play softball,” he said. “Sports are a huge part of all of our lives and it’s never too late to jump back out there.”
The league was created in 2008 by a group of men in their 50s. They wanted a more competitive men’s league that could play in a high-quality atmosphere, said Mr. Keefe. The men met with representatives at the Sylvania park district to inquire about using Pacesetter Park in Sylvania Township for practice and play space, he said.
The group is a non-profit organization that works off of sponsorships from 27 local businesses and membership fees, he explained. It has two leagues — one for men ages 50 to 58 and another for men ages 58 and above. It cost a player $65 to join a league and $90 to join both leagues. If an athlete feels they can compete in both leagues at a competitive level they are welcome to, he said. The league started with 11 teams, but now has 18. Each team has 13 members. “It’s a good outlet for older athletes to get out and enjoy themselves while staying healthy,” said Gary Meyer, president of the league’s board. “It gives athletes who lost their positions to younger players a chance to play again.”
The teams practice and play its games on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Pacesetter from May to August. Teams are determined through a draft system in order to give each team an equal level of talent and athleticism, said Mr. Keefe. Winning teams in each age bracket league play in a tournament at the end of the season. The winners of the tournament receive T-shirts and trophies.


“It’s a wholesome and fun atmosphere,” said Mr. Traudt. “Wives, kids, and grand kids can come out and watch us run the bases like the old days.” Registration is closed for the season, but the league is still accepting applications for fill-in spots when an injury or absence occurs, said Mr. Meyer. “We created a ‘field of dreams’ for our residents,” said Mr. Keefe. “Similar to the senior leagues in Florida.” For more information, contact Mr. Meyer at 419 385-7844 or at glmeyer@bex.net.

photo/Joel Hansen

Jeff sponsors the Traudt Sate Farm team on Thursday nights


Sylvania Advantage

Quick thinking and proper equipment leads to dramatic effort

by Mike Jones

Rob Conover praised the professionalism of the Sylvania Township Fire Department and the forward thinking and equipment of the Sylvania Recreation District, but it was Mr. Conover who saved the life of a 67-year-old man who suffered a massive heart attack while playing softball last month at Pacesetter Park.
Fire Chief Jeffrey Kowalski said the man almost certainly would not have survived if Mr. Conover hadn't reacted quickly and used a defibrillator available at the park. The chief presented Mr. Conover with a commendation certificate at the most recent meeting of the township trustees. The man from the Kalamazoo, Mich., area collapsed in the outfield while playing in an over-50 softball league game. The game was part of the Great Lakes National Senior Softball Tournament.
Mr. Conover, a program director for the recreation district, said it is usual for him to be at Pacesetter for large events. He said he followed procedures that have been in place for years. One of his supervisors called 911 and another took a golf cart to an entrance to meet the fire department truck and lead them to the man. He said he has been instructed in the use of the apparatus annually for 10 or 11 years. “Nerves were definitely a part of it but you just have to trust your training. When I got there one of his teammates was doing compressions and I put the (defibrillator) pads on him. It shocked him and then the machine said to resume compressions. So that's what I did,” noted Mr. Conover.
When firefighters arrived they were able to talk to the man and began their own life-saving procedures as they transported him to the hospital. Fire Lt. Mike Kahan said he has spoken to the individual who was saved and said the man’s doctor advised him not to travel to the meeting where the award was presented. He did say that the man said he, “thanks God every day for Mr. Conover” and that his family does as well.


Years ago the township fire department campaigned to have defibrillators placed at area locations, particularly where groups of people congregate. Defibrillators are in all of the schools and recreational facilities, as well as other locations. “The department annually trains people at those locations,” the lieutenant said. “And it was good to see it pay off.”
Mr. Conover said receiving a commendation is appreciated but that he felt humbled getting it from firefighters. “I just did what they do on a regular basis,” he said.
Mike Jones is the Public Information Officer for the Sylvania Township Trustees.

Rob Conover, Sylvania Recreation Program Director


Senior softball players wanted for 2011 season!

The Sylvania Senior Softball League is looking for ballplayers 50-plus and over to participate in the fourth season at Pacesetter Park.
The league plays on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The 58-plus group plays on Tuesdays at 6:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The 50-plus teams play at the same starting times on Thursdays.
“Last year, 175 players turned out to play ball,” said President Gary Meyers, “and we’re looking to add more ‘baby boomers’ to our leagues. We’ve definitely got room for growth.”
Players pay a $55 membership fee and are assigned to teams by a draft process designed to balance teams. Players who are 58-plus are eligible to play on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a reduced fee of $80.
The deadline for registration is March 4. Application forms are available at www.sylvaniaseniorsoftball.com. The Tuesday league opens on May 10 and the Thursday league on May 12. Both leagues are affiliated with SPA and SSUSA, national senior softball organizations.
The SSS League was formed four years ago by a group of veteran softball players looking for a site to establish a new senior league. A series of meetings with Ken Katafias, Operational Manager for Sylvania Recreations and Rob Conover, Assistant Program Director, evolved into the new and successful senior league at Pacesetter Ball Park.
These pioneers, who make up the SS Board of Directors, include Gary Meyer, President, Jim Dunlavy, John Radscheid, Joel Hansen, Jay Schramm, Rob Baumie, John Yocom, Gabe Barrow and Jerry Keefe.
All teams are supported by  local merchants. Frickers Sylvania has been the main sponsor since the league was formed. The sponsors help keep the individual membership fees low and provide for shirts, trophies and awards.
A 15-plus game season is planned for both leagues with tournament play scheduled for late August.

wo leagues play at Pacesetter Park. Those 58 years and older play on Tuesdays and those 50 years and over play on Thursday. Anyone interested in signing up please visit www.sylvaniaseniorsoftball.com.

Rob Boehme puts a charge into his swing during a Sylvania Senior Softball game in 2010.