Softball Alternative to COVID

Rick "The Greyhound" Oien rounds second. Is he faster than Chuck "The Cheetah" Schaan? (Photo by Larry's Lensmen)

Rick “The Greyhound” Oien rounds second. Is he faster than Chuck “The Cheetah” Schaan? (Photo by Larry’s Lensmen)

Larry Wolfe

The term COVID has, unfortunately, entered the lexicon of our everyday language. It, of course, isn’t a “real word,” but a contraction for COrona VIrus Disease. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could substitute softball terms for C-O-V-I-D? How about this: The batter Crushed a long fly ball, hoping for a home run, but the Outfielder from the Visiting team shouted, “I got it!” He caught the ball in front of the fence and the batter dejectedly headed back to the Dugout. So much better!

Sadly, the real COVID continues to have a negative impact on our world and our softball program. We’ve canceled our summer league and now must hope things are better by the fall when we normally restart our leagues in late October. The Field of Dreams has recently opened up for recreational play, but there are no formal teams or games.

In last month’s Splash, I shared some of what our guys missed most about not playing. It was mostly the camaraderie among the players, but there were also some very specific things missed. Here are some musings from Dandy Dan Melosi:

“I miss hearing Bill Corso shout, ‘Did a grown man hit that ball?”

“I miss seeing Rick Oien flying around the bases like a greyhound.”

“I miss seeing Chuck ‘The Cheetah, or is it Cheata?’ Schaan jump off first before the ball is hit, so he always makes it safely to second!”

“I miss John Castro’s infectious smile. Win or lose, it’s great to have him as a teammate.”

“I miss Tom Bersano’s rifle shots that dent the outfield walls!”

“I miss watching Frank Tanner’s first swing always splash into Tanner Lake. I miss watching Davey Martin sliding into second. Who does that at our age?”

“I miss Mike Otman’s massive first swing. He hits the longest and hardest foul balls in the league.”

“I miss waiting for Tom Chilton to show up. He always arrives two minutes before game time!”

“I miss Jimmy Dunn hollering, ‘That pitch was flatter than my prom date!’”

“Hell, I even miss Tom Kasunic … there must be something wrong with me!”

In other news, we installed officers and board members for 2020-21. Here’s the lineup: President Doug Warwick, Vice President Bill Corso, Secretary Cyndy Hilby, Treasurer Larry Wolfe, and members-at-large Ron Carmichael, Tom Erpelding, Gary Hatch, and Jim Leckner. Many thanks to outgoing board members Sam Giordano and Steve Hilby, both of whom served two terms (six years).

We welcome our newest advertising banner sponsor, Love Our Roof, an XCEL Roofing company, with local headquarters in Mesa. Go to their website,, to learn more about their services.

We were saddened to hear of the passing of longtime Sun Lakes Senior Softball Association member Butch Paolella. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and many friends and former teammates. RIP, Butch.

Check out our website,, for up-to-date news. We all hope that sometime in the “not-too-distant” future, this pandemic will be history and we’ll again hear those two perfect words, “play ball!”