Summer Softball update

Steve “Why Run When You Can Walk” Kay, our leader in unintentional walks for the 2016-17 seasons (Photo by Core Photography)

Steve “Why Run When You Can Walk” Kay, our leader in unintentional walks for the 2016-17 seasons (Photo by Core Photography)

Larry Wolfe

For the first time ever, the Sun Lakes Senior Softball Association has implemented a “short season” summer league on an experimental basis. It seems that the non-snowbirds need a little competitive action to get them through the long, hot summer. We always have had a recreational program during the summer months consisting of batting practice and pick-up games. That program will continue, but Tuesdays will be reserved for league play. Check our website,, for start times, schedules and other information.

It seems that nearly all softball and baseball fans and players love stats. Maybe it’s due to the “stop and go” nature of the game. Or maybe it’s the fact that every single pitch is quantified and that, in itself, creates statistics. Indeed, every play can be categorized and quantified. All baseball fans can thank one Henry Chadwick who developed the box score, batting average and pitcher’s earned run average. His first box score dates back to 1859. We’ve come a long way since then, and there are now so many advanced measurements that even the biggest fan has difficulty understanding them all (think WAR, VORP and BABIP).

Anyhow, here’s a bunch of “understandable stats” leaders from our 2016-17 seasons. At Bats: Doug Friesen (325), Hoot Gibson (297) and Tom Erpelding (284). Runs Scored: Doug Friesen (142), Tom Kasunic (140) and Reyes Gonzales (133). Walks: Stevie Kay (31), Ron Pennington (27), John Whitman and Art Hamer (25 each). Intentional Walks: Reyes Gonzales (32), Mark McKinnon (31) and Steve Hilby (13). Singles: Jeff Jay (123), Gene Granquist and Doug Friesen (120 each). Doubles: Tom Kasunic (47), Doug Friesen (45) and Bill Stanick (34). Triples: Bill Stanick (20), Dan Bradfield (10) and Tommy Lorgan (9). Homeruns: (Mark McKinnon (50), Reyes Gonzales (40) and Roger Wisslead (29). Total Times Reaching Base: Reyes Gonzales (200), Doug Friesen (197) and Hoot Gibson (189). (The Top Five batting average leaders in both the Sun and Lakes Divisions were included in the June edition of the Splash.)

Mark McKinnon’s 50 round trippers set an all-time record, besting the 42 taters hit by Steve “Hawkeye” Hilby last year. “Mark the Masher” hit his 50 homers in only 197 plate appearances, meaning he homered one out of every four times up! When Babe Ruth hit his 60 homeruns in 1927, he hit one for every 11.5 plate appearances. And when Mark McGwire hit his 70 steroid-aided homers back in 1998, he did so once in every 9.7 plate appearances. “Wild Bill” Stanick’s 20 three-baggers also set a record as did Reyes Gonzales’ 200 total bases and Stevie Kay’s 31 bases on balls. Congrats to all of our “stats leaders!”