Softball Player Profile: Dave Kratz

Larry Wolfe

Dave Kratz was born in Warren, Ohio, and spent his younger years in Fort Mitchell, Ky., before his family moved to Tucson when he was 10. He graduated from Cholla High School in Tucson where he played basketball, baseball, and tennis for the Chargers. Basketball was “his game” as a high schooler. He made the varsity squad as a sophomore and served as team captain during his junior and senior years. He attended two basketball camps run by then University of Arizona Head Coach Fred Snowden. After being a two-time Camp MVP, he was recruited by the U of A; however, he would have been red-shirted for a year, so he decided to play for Mesa Community College instead. Unfortunately, an injury prematurely ended his budding basketball career.

After leaving Mesa CC, Dave began a long career in the office supply business, working in sales for small Phoenix-area companies such as Strauch Stationers, Sun City Office Products, Industrial Stationers, and Citywide Office Products before joining the super-large Corporate Express Company, now affiliated with Staples. Corporate Express had over 2,800 sales agents, and Dave consistently ranked in the top ten. His customers included major corporations such as Greyhound and Honeywell. After nearly 30 years in that business, Dave was a sales agent and then sales manager for Reliant Windows for three years before deciding to venture out on his own as a real estate agent in 2007. He’s still an active realtor and is currently affiliated with HomeSmart Realtors. Dave seems to be a natural born salesman. While interviewing him for this article, I wanted to buy whatever he was selling!

Dave was married to his late wife Patti for 36 years before she passed in 2014. They had a daughter, Natalie, who has now blessed Dave with two grandkids, Kaden and Kaylani. Dave was blessed again when he reconnected with Vicky who was a client of his back in the ‘90s. They are engaged and have been together for several years and are enjoying life in Sun Lakes.

Golf and billiards have been key interests for Dave over the years. He still plays billiards three times per week. However, it’s softball that’s been a big part of Dave’s life for a long time. He played consistently from ages 19 through 50. Playing on numerous teams throughout those years, he was a member of five state championship squads. After a 15-year hiatus, Dave’s interest in softball was rekindled when he was cleaning out his attic in his Ahwatukee home in preparation for its sale and his move to Sun Lakes. There he found his old bat bag and 134 team and individual softball trophies he’d won over the years. He joined our league last year and is loving playing the game again. Besides getting his competitive juices flowing, he’s enjoying the fraternity among the guys and has made many new friends. Yep, the flame has been re-lit and is burning brightly!