Project 15 - Day 9
Here they are, the undisputed champions of Marco Island's Senior Softball Marco Division...the one and only Joey's Pizza!!
I know that ever since you read this Softball and Photography Projects, you have been anxiously awaiting the final outcome of the season. The boys went 20-1. Their only loss came with two games remaining in the regular season. It was a heart breaker to be sure, but the boys took it in stride and rebounded to win their final game in a big way.
These gentlemen not only shattered the previous winning streak but they broke down another barrier as well. Yes my friends they had women on the team! Bonnie and Sharon, both boasting many years of softball experience, served as base coaches. Sharon (on the right) eventually assumed the role of Assistant Manager making certain the books were in order and paying close attention to a myriad of other details.
In this league mature men turn into ten year-olds. William becomes Billy, Robert - Bobby, and Doug - Dougie. If your name doesn't fit the mold it will be changed, Roger became Reggie. Why? Who knows. There are shouts of encouragement, fist pumping and high fives a plenty and not once did the dugout empty onto the field in an angry show of support. It was close a couple of times but cooler heads prevailed. Maybe it was the thought of the humiliation that would follow should someone get knocked down and not be able get up on their own.
The league even hosts "The Prom." This annual dinner dance is a flashback to the days of American Band Stand and always includes an oldies band for entertainment. Picture if you will 150 aging teens bee bopping and jitter bugging the night away. It is a sight to behold.
Now take a good look at the team photo. Can you tell which one broke his neck on the field two years ago, which one was carried off on a stretcher with a heart attack, or which one is hyper and talks nonstop both on and off the field? Can you pick out the pitcher who has had a total of 7 surgeries on shoulders, arms, hips and knees? The attorney who schedules appointments around ball games or the retired high school football coach with more than one state championship to his name? Can you find the college hockey star or the former miner league baseball player? How about the retired OB/Gyn physician with the tender heart or the 85 year old who insisted on playing with a torn ligament in his ankle?
These men come from diverse backgrounds. Each and every one of them has raised a family and placed a stressful career in their past. And now the time has come for them to reap the fruits of those labors, enjoy the camaraderie of sports and relive their youth.
It was a dream season. They are a Dream Team. They ARE the CHAMPIONS.