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SYLVANIA SENIOR SOFTBALL


A mens' league established January 2008.
Pacesetter Park, Sylvania,Ohio

SYLVANIA SENIOR SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
TEAM COMPETES IN MT. CLEMENS CHILLER!

Mt. Clemens WSCA Team. Front Row: Neal Klopping, Rob Boehme, Gary Beale, John Yocom, Gabe Barrow. Middle Row: Manager Jerry Keefe, Al Specht, DaveKunst, Jim Dandar. Back Row: John Buehler, John Radscheid, Jay Schramm, Ron Fox

 

The Sylvania Senior Softball Tournament team, sponsored by Allshred Services & Pacesetter Property Management, traveled to Mt. Clemens, Mich., Oct. 30, 2010 for a one day tournament under the World Softball Classic Association. The team took third place in the tournament winning two games. One over the Detroit Jags by a score of 17 to 6 and the second win came at the expense of the Windsor Chiefs, 17 to 3.

llshred/Pacesetter lost twice to a tough Motown AllStar team by a score of 18 to 10 and 13 to 12. John Radscheid led the team with a .750 batting average. Neil Klopping hit .667, Rob Boehme and Dave Kunst each hit .583. Gary Beale, Jay Schramm, and  Rob Boehme each clobbered two home runs apiece, while John Yocom and John Radscheid each slugged one. The roster included Ron Fox, John Buehler, Al Specht, Jim Dandar, Ric Beauch, Gabe Barrow, and Jerry Keefe.

Mature Living Magazine

September, 2010 | www.maturelivingnews.com

 

 

 

SYLVANIA SENIOR SOFTBALL PLAYERS ARE WINNERS!

Healthy Living Magazine

By Jim Richard, Staff Writer
jrpr@buckeye-access.com
 

When the Sylvania Recreation Department leaders decided, nearly a decade ago, to add softball fields to Pacesetter Park, until then resplendent with soccer fields, they expected softball players to come to the new “field of dreams”. It is doubtful, however, that they anticipated many of those players would be “baby boomers” and beyond! However, three years ago nine veteran softball players looking for a site to establish a new senior league visited with Ken Katafias, operations manager for Sylvania Recreation, and Rob Conover, assistant programs director, and fell in love with the Pacesetter Park facilities. Those pioneers included Gary Meyer, John Radscheid, James Dunlavy, Jeff Lydy, Bruce Anderson, Jerry Keefe, Rob Boehme, Joel Hansen and Jay Schram. This month the 11-team league for players 50 years of age and up and the five-team league for players 58 years of age and up are winding up their third year of the 15-game regular season competition which will be followed by tournament playoffs, an end-ofthe- season cookout and homerun derby.

All 16 teams are supported by local merchants (Frickers sponsors five teams in the “young buck” league and one in the “old guys” league). Other sponsors include: Playmaker’s Bar and Grill, Progressive Therapy, State Farm Insurance, C.Craig Corvette, Garcia Surveyors, Allshred Services, Lawyer Joseph Wittenberg, Barrow’s Jewelry and Harvard Barber. The sponsors help keep the individual membership fees low and provide for awards and trophies.

Players pay a $55 membership fee and are assigned to teams by a draft process designed to balance the teams. (Writer’s note: The C. Craig Corvette team may challenge the process since they had only one victory through August 3. Or maybe they are fans of my last place Cleveland Indians.) Going into the final week of play, Fricker’s Maroon and Playmaker’s Bar and Grill are leading with Progressive Therapy close in the 58+ league. Fricker’s 5 Royal, Garcia Surveyors and Allshred Services are the top contenders in the 50+ competition. Both leagues are affiliated with Senior Softball USA, play SSUSA rules and obtain insurance through that national group, Board Member Anderson reports.

Who are some of these age-defying athletes? Well, there is Ken Kreuz, a native of rural Swanton who lived in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he played some amateur baseball. He moved back to Toledo in 1965 to start his own business and 40 years later got involved in senior softball with the East Toledo Family Center. Since then he has played in the Senior Olympics in Louisville, Kentucky in

 

2007 and in San Francisco in 2009. Diagnosed with lymphoma late last year, he started monthly chemo treatments in January and he has not missed a game this summer. Recently his doctor reported that his affliction is in full remission. The doctor was worried that he might have a heart attack trying to stretch a double into a triple. Ken, 73, said it’s more likely to happen stretching a single into a double. Steven Weiner says he discovered the league by chance but, after not playing for 20 years, enjoys the chance to “escape and forget the worries and pressures of my work life for one night a week and relive my youth by playing with my friends”.

Gabe Barrow, who sponsors Barrow’s Jewelers and plays on the team, says he grew up playing many sports, but not baseball or softball. His neighbor, Gary Meyer, invited him to join this group close to his 50th birthday. Now he says playing softball with a lot of new friends is the highlight of his week. Lee Kramer claims to be the oldest player at 80.“You don’t get old until you stop playing,” says James Dunlavy, 66, who returned to slowpitch softball six years ago. Now he plays 60-plus games a year each summer in a 50+ league, a 58+ league and with a traveling tournament team. He is one of the founders of the Sylvania league and serves as league secretary. Bruce Anderson, 70, born in Flint, Michigan, is a retired school teacher and football, baseball and basketball coach in Flint, plus 24 years at Toledo Whitmer and nine at Toledo Central Catholic. Bob Miller, who has been playing for 23 years, while pitching in 1999, lost eight teeth when hit by a batted ball. He acquired a hockey helmet, he says, to protect his “$10,000 investment”. All the players insist the competition and fellowship (including some after-game get togethers) make the risk of injury worth the chance. And all are grateful for the opportunity to play at the Pacesetter facility which is an eight-diamond complex that includes seven fields with 300-foot fences, lush green grass, groomed dirt infields, enclosed dugouts, lights and concession stands. Sylvania Senior Softball plays on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The 58+ group plays Tuesdays at 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. The 50+ teams play at the same starting times on Thursdays. There is no admission charge and fans are welcome.

 

2010, 50 and over league champions

Sylvania Herald - September 15, 2010

FRICKER's 5 won the 50 and over regular season championship with a record of 10 wins and 3 losses. Front row kneeling (L-R): Jeff Traudt, Doug Quint, Rob Boehme (mgr), Ed Blankenship, Jim Dandar and JD McCoy. Back row (L-R): Jeff Batanian, Ron Fox, Kevin Koepfer, Rick Stager, Al Specht and Bill Garber

 

2010, 58 and over league champions

Sylvania Herald - September 15, 2010

FRICKER's won the 58 and over Sylvania Senior Softball league championship with a 13 wins 5 loss record. Front row kneeling (L-R): Lee Kramer, Ron Close, Jerry Glanzman, Neal Klopping and Paul Pierce. Back row (L-R): Dick McNutt, Ken Rosebrock, Bruce Anderson {mgr}, Phil Vrzal, Bill Baldwin, Granville Smith, Phil Franklin and Ray Villegas. For more information go to www.sylvaniaseniorsoftball.com.

 

Senior Softball Play Begins

Sylvania Advantage - June 7, 2010

photo/Joel Hansen

OPENING DAY for the Sylvania Senior Softball League featured Frickers Frickin Chicken and Jamie Bishop (standing) and Amber DeFray (kneeling) giving batting tips to Greg Pfahler (left) and Ken Kreuz (right). The 11 team league plays through Aug. 26 at Pacesetter Park in Sylvania.

Sylvania senior league urges use of new softball safety gear

The Toledo Blade - May 19, 2010
By DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

They may be over 50 - or, on Tuesday nights, at least 58 years old - but that doesn't mean Sylvania Senior Softball League players can't hit the ball really hard.

Jerry Keefe, one of the league's founders two years ago and the regular team pitcher, knows all about that: last season, a line drive hit him just above the ear.

It knocked me out cold," he said. "I got a concussion. I was out of action for three weeks."

Mr. Keefe bought a lightweight face mask to protect himself against recurrences.

For this year's season, which starts this week, the league is strongly urging all of its players to do the same, especially if they pitch or play third base - the latter position known, for good reason, as the "hot corner."

With today's "high-powered" balls and metal bats, Mr. Keefe said, it's possible for line drives to come back at 120 mph, which means little warning for a pitcher 50 feet away.

Along with face masks, the league recommends under-the-pants shin guards - like the ones soccer players use - to protect against hard-hit balls and subsequent deep bruises that could lead to clots, he said.

 

NEW SAFETY EQUIPMENT is being recommended by the SSSL for all pitchers. Facemasks and shinguards are being evaluated and tried on by: Gary Wahl and Bill "Rocky" Navarre. Note the new, slim Rocky.

"If they [players] really can't afford it, the league will provide the equipment," Mr. Keefe said, pledging that a couple of masks and shin-guard sets will be available to use at each game.

But those who don't want to use the gear will be asked to sign liability waivers holding the league harmless if they get hurt, he said.

Sylvania Senior Softball was organized in 2008 for local players who couldn't quite keep up with the younger players in "open" leagues, but still wanted to play competitive ball.

Because of its eight diamonds, Pacesetter Park became the league's home. Participation grew so fast that the 58-plus division was formed last year for the league's second season.

Five senior-division teams began play last night while the 11 teams in the regular 50-and-up league open play tomorrow night. The regular season continues into late August, after which two weeks are set aside for rain makeups and postseason playoffs.

Although the desire to win is strong, Mr. Keefe said, it's still primarily an opportunity for players to enjoy the sport and socialize. "When the game's over, they shake hands and part as friends," Mr. Keefe said.

 

New Sylvania Senior League a big hit with 50+ athletes

By Victor Gerald
Special to The Herald
March 24, 2010

Senior softball players in Northwest Ohio have found their “Field of Dreams” and its located in Sylvania, Ohio.

Sylvania’s Pacesetter Park is an 8-diamond complex that features 7 fields with 300-foot fences, lush green grass, groomed dirt infields enclosed dugouts, lights, concession stands and more.

The Sylvania Senior Softball League ended its second season in September with 182 players participating in the Tuesday and Thursday night leagues.

The SSSL has grown from 12 teams in 2008 to 17 teams in 2009. They now offer a Tuesday night league (six teams), for seniors 58+. Joel Hansen’s State Farm Insurance won the 2009 league.

The Thursday league (11 teams), is for seniors 50+. The team sponsored by Attorney, Joseph Wittenberg won the 2009 Thursday League.

The board members who orchestrated the new league are Gary Meyer, President, John Radscheid, James Dunlavy, Jeff Lydy, Bruce Anderson, Jerry Keefe and Rob Boehme.

“The boys of summer have found a place to call home. Pacesetter Park is one of the finest sports complexes in Ohio”, said President Gary Meyer. "The fields are well-groomed and the complex is very well maintained,” he added.

The two-year old SSUSA League began play in Sylvania after a group of players, dis-satisfied withg field conditions in Toledo, searched about the out-lying area for a place to call home.

 

WAYNE RODE takes a healthy cut.

“We looked around for several years and finally met with Ken Katafias (Operations Manager for Sylvania Recreation), and Rob Conover (Assistant Programs Director), and they were receptive to the idea, and they helped us achieve our goals,” Meyer said.
The SSSL rents the fields from Sylvania Parks and Recreation and function separately as an independent league.

“Our Senior League is a member of SSUSA. We play SSUSA rules and acquire our insurance through them,” said board member, Bruce Anderson.

The Tuesday and Thursday night leagues play a 15 game schedule, followed by a league tournament. The 2009 tournament (50+) was won by Allshred Services and the (58+) was won by Joel Hansen State Farm Insurance. The winners received jackets; the sponsors received trophies.

Other crucial partners of the league are the many local sponsors, such as Frickers Sports Bar and Grill, who sponsors six teams. All 17 teams were sponsored by local merchants.

All SSSL players pay a $55 membership fee and teams are selected by a draft process.The league plays ball May through September.

“The sponsors are really important to our success,” Jerry Keefe said. “Without their help we’d have to raise the membership fee and cut back on entities such as jackets and trophies for the league and tournament winners,” he concluded. “We held an end-of-theseason cookout and a home run derby. It was a good year – a great year for our new league,”, Mr. Meyer concluded.

For more information regarding the SSSL, check their website at: www.sylvaniaseniorsoftball. com

 

Senior Softball Begins Third Season

Sylvania Advantage
April 5, 2010

photos/Joel Hansen
photos/Joel Hansen

Photo One: Wayne Rode rips a single up the middle during a 2009 Senior Softball game between Barrows Jewelers and Frickers. Photo Two: One of the Sylvania Senior Softball team members, Bruce Anderson, leaps try to spear a line drive during a Senior Softball game last season at Pacesetter Park. Practices/tryouts for the 2010 season will be held April 13, 15, 19, 21, 26 and 28 at 6 p.m. at Pacesetter Park. All new players will be evaluated for the team draft. The season begins Tuesday May 18 for those 58 years and older and Thursday May 20 for those 50 to 57 years of age.

For more information, call Jerry Keefe at 419/699-1429
or visit www.sylvaniaseniorsoftball.com

The Seniors of Summer 2009

By Tyler Howard
Herald Editor

The Sylvania Senior Softball League kicked off its’ second season last week with games on Tuesday and Thursday at Pacesetter Park.

The board members who orchestrate the league are Gary Myer, John Radscheid, Gordon Hirsch, James Dunlavy, Jeff Lydy, Kent Lincoln, Jack Ostrander, Bruce Anderson, Jerry Keefe and Rob Baumie. They are all excited for the second season to get underway.

“The ‘boys of summer’ have found their field of dreams and its’ located at Pacesetter Park,” said committee member Jerry Keefe.

“We got one of the largest and finest senior softball leagues in Ohio,” he proudly added.

The league has grown from 11 teams last year to 17 teams this year, with over 180 players participating. There is now a separate league on Tuesday nights for seniors age 58 and over. That is in addition to the league for the “youngsters” on Thursday nights with seniors age 50-58.

But the “youngsters” aren’t the only ones running the diamonds. The league’s oldest player, Lee Kramer, is 79.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Keefe said of Kramer. “Seniors taking care of themselves. He’s fit, agile, he’s amazing. People marvel at the guy, they ask, is he really 79?”

The league started in Sylvania last year after a group of players got tired of playing on diamonds that were not well kept.  

 

“The league grew out of a bunch of us that played on City diamonds, and the conditions there were not conducive for playing. We looked around for years and finally met with Ken Katafias, (Operations Manager for Sylvania Recreation) and Ron Conover (Assistant Programs Director), and they were receptive to the idea, they helped us achieve our goal,” Keefe said.

“We have a special appreciation and gratitude for their help, they’re wonderful to work with,” added committee member Gordon Hirsch.

Other crucial partners of the league are their sponsors, which includes Frickers and Sautter’s. Last year’s winning team received jackets courtesy of Sautter’s.

The Sylvania Senior Softball League is a member of the SSUSA, a national softball organization. They hold national tournaments and local league members hope that Sylvania can host some of those tournaments in the future.

Players don’t have to live in Sylvania to participate, as people come from as far as Flint, MI to play a little ball.

“The league is for people who love the game,” said Keefe.

Although the teams are already set, those interested can sign up as substitutes and can fill in when other players miss games. For more information on the Sylvania Senior Softball league, check their website www.sylvaniaseniorsoftball.com.

 

Jay Schramm is picture-perfect at a recent game at Pacesetter Park.

Play Ball! Seniors Look Forward To New League

January, 2008:  By Mark Griffin
Sylvania Herald Editor

SYLVANIA – So you don’t golf and you’re tired of lying around the house all summer.

What to do …

Here’s an idea: if you are age 50 or older, consider joining the Sylvania Senior Softball League. Teams are now being formed for the first-year league.

The SSSL, sponsored by Fricker’s in Sylvania and The Andersons, will play on Thursdays at 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. on two diamonds at Pacesetter Park.

“We wouldn’t be doing this without those sponsors,” said SSSL committee member Jerry Keefe, 67, of West Toledo. “They sure helped. It makes it a lot easier.

“So many guys are in love with softball. I played in a tournament in Florida and the pitcher was 87. Senior League softball is big across the country.”

A total of 14 games are scheduled for this season, with a year-end tournament. Players will be asked to provide their own equipment.

Keefe said the goal is to recruit at least 104 senior players to comprise eight teams at Pacesetter. Players do not have to be a resident of Sylvania.

The nine-member SSSL committee that is putting the league together includes Gary Myers, president; Kent Lincoln, treasurer; Jim Dunlavy, secretary; John Rascheid, Bruce Anderson, Keefe, Gordon Hirsch, Jeff Lydy and Jack Ostrander.

Ken Kreuz

There is a $45 fee, with each player receiving a team shirt and ball cap.

Ken Kreuz, 70, of Sylvania, is excited to get the league going.

“I think it’s a great chance for guys who have been out of ball and maybe been raising a family, and now at 50 have a new lease on getting back into softball right here in Sylvania,” Kreuz said. “Personally, I know what it’s done for me. It has given me more of an incentive to keep in better shape and watch my diet and meet some great guys.

“This will be a nice opportunity for 50-and-over local players to get back involved in softball. I’ve met some really neat guys from all over the country who are active in senior softball.”

In October, Kreuz competed for the Milwaukee Seniors softball team at the Huntsman Games in St. George, Utah.

“It was like the Senior Olympics,” said Kreuz, who plays outfield, first base and catcher. “It’s competition in everything from golf to softball, volleyball - all the countries of the world were participating and all the flags of the world were flown at the tournament. We played in competition against teams from all over the USA, in ages 50-and-over, 50-55 all the way up to 70-and-over. Senior softball is very much participated in, especially in the warmer climates like Arizona, the Carolinas, Florida and California.

“The team from Milwaukee contacted me after hearing about me playing in Toledo and invited me to play with their team in the 70-and-over competition. We won the silver medal.”

Hirsch, 71, a Sylvania resident, said he hadn’t picked up a bat or ball for 25 years until 1995.

 

 

Gordon Hirsch & Dale Pertcheck

“I started playing slow-pitch softball in various leagues and really look forward to my summers,” he said. “I am really excited about this league because there are so many of us that find competing with other seniors to be much less pressure than playing with those 20 and 30 years our junior. And, we will be playing on the finest softball diamonds and outfields in Northwest Ohio.”

Hirsch, who said he has played first base most of his life but will play the outfield “if need be,” said the goal of the SSSL is to field eight teams of equal ability, so any team can win on any given night.

“Once we get our 100 or so players,” he said, “this will be a premier senior league that Northwest Ohio will be proud of.”

Meyer, 61, of Sylvania Township, has been playing ball since he was a kid.

“The only time I haven’t played was when I spent two years in the service,” said Meyer, who was an Army sergeant and spent one year in Vietnam. “That’s the only time I haven’t played ball.”

Meyer played softball in Sylvania until seven years ago, when his team broke up “and the old guys had to find someplace else to go,” he said.

“We went to East Toledo in a senior league there, but we decided we needed to find someplace else where the conditions are better,” said Meyer, who plays shortstop.

Dave Cohen & Merv Sharfman

He added that the SSSL is a fun league, meant to give players 50 and over a chance to get out and play ball with their peers.

“Nobody likes to lose, but if you do, it’s just another game,” Meyer said. “Everybody has a good time. There’s a lot of camaraderie and you get to know a lot of people from different places.

“There are a lot of different types of ballplayers. You get guys like myself who never stopped playing, and other guys like Kenny (Kreuz) who haven’t played for 40 years. We know the league is going to be a success. How much of a success, we don’t know yet.”

Senior League rules will apply in the SSSL, such as using two first bases and two home plates in order to avoid collisions. The sign-up period runs through March 15. The SSSL season begins May 1 and runs through August. Two diamonds will be used at Pacesetter Park, with the cooperation of the Sylvania Recreation Department.

For more information call Hirsch at 419-843-4351 or the Sylvania Rec Department at 419-882-1500 or visit www.sylvaniaseniorsoftball.com.