Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Pick for 2011 Gay Softball Comeback of the Year ... By Jerry Pritikin

Senior Cup in hands of sponsor

Director Peter Meyer CMSA Senior Cup

Scooter Div Champions 2011 Bob's Old Bats/ Chicago

12th Annual CMSA Senior Cup Program

My 3rd CMSA Senior Cup for Being Oldest Active Player at 74

I had great intentions of writing about this event when it happened early in September. I had postponed a hernia operation to play in this years 2011 annual Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association's Senior Cup Tournament. This was their 12th year. I played for most of their existence, sponsoring several Bubbies Pickle's teams. I have earned a nice array of Awards. I almost did not come back after the last years debacle I had with the sponsor/ manager of the St. louis entry. I was treated badly, with poor excuses for not starting me or playing me. I was added to their roster because they were short on players. Mosquitoes and rain put a damper on the first game. I was 1 for 3, and replaced in the 5th inning of our first game. Then waiting for rain delays and a late game. I was told that I would play in all games... it never happened. Sunday morning I showed up for an early game, and again the promise of being in the starting line-up was never kept. He stayed with the same losing line up. So I quit, but I later learned he won the Award as the oldest active player for that tournament that had i stayed would of won. Earlier this years, I told Peter Meyers (Director of the Senior Cup and one of the original founders of the Senior Cup) that I would like to play again... and presented him a short list of teams that I prefer not to play with.

The night before the 2 day event I was assigned to meet with Manager/sponsor Robert Heidrich of Bob's old Bats. They were a player short. He asked me what position I played, and volunteered to catch, or DH, and he even offered me a chance to pitch,again. However it's been too many years since I threw my patented Knuckle Ball. I had hoped to contribute by playing. I missed a great photo opportunity when I did not bring my camera to record the festive sign-in party at Charlie's on Broadway. It was like old times... seeing so many friendly faces... and a few not so friendly. A few things happened to me that never happened before in all my years playing, since 1974, I actually swung and miss a slow pitched lob. I was saved the first time, when it only became the second strike... and then the umpire called the game on time and we were winning, so it never counted. The very next day, I again missed a pitch. In my defense, I had not played on any team in the summer CMSA's regular softball season. I did modified my swing and I wound up going 9 for 19, and had 4 walks with one turning out to be the game winning run. I had one game winning hit, and had a few timely RBI's and scored often. I won the Award for Oldest active player... my 3rd time. Bob's Old Bats won the first place trophy in the Scooter Division.

One other fact, I played on my first seniors team, "The Fabulos Forty's!" that was the first gay senior team in the nation back in 1979. Today, thereare over 50 American cities that have Gay Sponsored Sports Leagues.

Peter Meyer, who is retiring from being the Senior Cup Tournament Director, batter over a thousand on getting the fields in shape, and the weather was perfect, too. The Umpires were fabulous,as always. I enjoyed picking on some players... some of the younger players complained, and I had to shut up... I guess I took it out with my vicious swings... I admit a few turned out to be dribbles through the infield with seeing eyes or pop-flyies just over the infielder's head... I like the old baseball adage "They look like line-drives in the scorebook!"
One more thing...
My hernia operation turned out to create more problems then I bargained for. I am thankful I had the opportunity to play ball, because I have been recovering from my 2 months in hell, and I'm just now beginning to recover.

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