Softball player profile: Jim Entwistle

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A true “Upstate New Yorker,” Jim Entwistle grew up in Utica and spent most of his work career in Rochester. Jim played high school basketball and baseball for the Utica Free Academy Titans, lettering four times in baseball. Jim and his twin brother John were the star pitcher/catcher combination throughout their youth baseball years, playing at every level from Little League through Pony League and beyond. Jim’s many honors include being named MVP for his District Championship Kiwanis League team.

After graduating from UFA, Jim attended Mohawk Valley Community College before earning an engineering degree from the University of Buffalo. Jim was a star pitcher for the Mohawk Valley Hawks and also led the team with a .333 batting average.

At age 20, Jim’s baseball career was put on hold when he and his high school sweetheart Patti married. Two kids soon followed, and Jim’s focus changed from baseball to husband and father.

Jim joined the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester shortly after graduating from college and enjoyed a 35-year career with the company. At the time, Kodak employed 60,000 people in the Rochester area and was literally a “city in itself.” Jim held many different positions over the years, with the key ones being Engineering Manager of the technical staff and Engineering Department Head with a staff of over 180 people.

Upon retiring, Jim and Patti moved to Arizona on a part-time basis, but they soon became full-time residents. Since Jim was only 58 when he left Kodak, he decided to keep working for a while and spent five years with URS, an engineering firm that did project management for Xerox. He’s currently working for JLL, a global commercial real estate services company, but says he’ll “really retire in another year … or so!”

Jim played lots of softball back in Rochester; he played in the Kodak League, which had over 140 teams, and also played on various city league teams. After a 25-year hiatus due to a back injury, Patti talked Jim into giving it another try here in Sun Lakes. He joined our association in 2013, initially playing in our recreational program due to work requirements. Now participating in league play, he was the number two hitter in our Lakes Division this past year, hitting a robust .713. Additionally, he plays on some of our weekend tournament teams.

Patti and Jim have been married 48 years and have three kids and six grandkids. Together they’ve enjoyed many vacations and cruises and are excellent dancers. Individually, Patti enjoys singing, jewelry-making and other crafts, while Jim loves the role of “Italian Chef.” He’s also a big New York Yankees and Boston Celtics fan with a highlight being his attending Larry Bird’s retirement ceremony at the Boston Gardens.

Jim and Patti love everything about Sun Lakes, other than its distance from upstate New York where all their family still lives. But they can still share “Kodak moments,” even if it’s via the internet!