Larry Maggard is a true “softball lifer.” He’s played in one league or another since graduating from high school except for a brief hiatus when he turned 60, thinking maybe he was too old. But a few years later he discovered Sun Lakes Softball, so he’s back at it again and doesn’t plan on another hiatus. He says, “Never quit playing as long as you enjoy it and you can still play!”
Almost an Arizona native, Larry was born in Stockton, California, but his family moved to Gilbert when he was two years old. He’s lived in the greater southeast Phoenix area since then. He grew up on a Gilbert cotton farm where he was a cotton picker as a youngster, before working his way up to driving tractors (at age 11!) and baling hay. He graduated from Gilbert High where he played football and basketball for the Tigers.
Soon after graduating he was drafted by Uncle Sam and spent two years in the Army’s Armored Division where he was trained as a driver and gunner. This was during the Vietnam War, but Larry said he luckily spent his tour of duty in the States.
Upon his discharge, Larry’s business career began at Talley Industries, an aerospace company. He spent 12 years with Talley, specializing in pilot ejection systems and airbags. He then worked for Gould Electronics for 27 years focusing on copper foil products for circuit boards. When Gould was purchased by JX Nippon Mining & Metals in 2006, the local plant was closed and Larry took the severance package and retired. Today, when not playing softball, he keeps busy working part-time at Fry’s in their Home Department.
Larry the “Softball Lifer” used to play four or five nights per week in various local leagues. He played for industrial league teams while at Talley and Gould, as well as on numerous age group and tournament teams. He was a Sun Lakes rookie this past season and has proven to be a solid hitter and infielder, as well as a “Pete Rose-type” hustler. He doesn’t feel like he’s really played unless his uniform is dirty!
Cheryl, his wife of 47 years, and Larry have a son and daughter and three grandchildren. Larry is very family-oriented and loves spending time with the kids and grandkids. It’s been that way since he coached his son in Little League and Pop Warner football.
The Maggards enjoy vacationing, but Larry prefers pine trees and “green stuff” while Cheryl likes Mexico and the beaches. Guess where they usually end up? Among their travel highlights was a 27-day trip to Australia where they saw much of that country.
As a newcomer to our league, Larry says it has been easy to get to know everyone and he really enjoys the program. His only real complaint about Sun Lakes softball is “I wish we played every day!” Just what you’d expect to hear from “Larry the Lifer!”