In 1972 A fortune teller in Istanbul predicted I would die bloody before the end of the century.

I did indeed shed some blood in the ears which followed.

But, today, November 7 2015, I am celebrating my 80th birthday.

Not in fighting trim like my 40th,strolling down blvd St Germain in Paris, but loving life.

Paris 1971 001


1=3=2-15 Eight Named to ASA Hall of Fme


Eight softball legends forever enshrined in the ASA/USA Softball National Softball Hall of Fame


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Eight individuals received softball’s highest honor on Saturday evening as the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball inducted eight members to the National Softball Hall of Fame at the 35th Annual celebration at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky.
A night to remember, the 2015 class consisted of Bonnie Anderson (Springfield, Ore.) – Umpire – Posthumous, John Davide (Centereach, N.Y.) – Slow Pitch Player, Andy Dooley (Thaxton, Va.) – Commissioner, Sue Enquist (San Clemente, Calif.) – Meritorious Service, Mark Ingrao (Falls Church, Va.) – Umpire, Charles Moss, Sr. (Lanexa, Va.) – Meritorious Service, Steve Padilla (Manteca, Calif.) – Fast Pitch Player and Mike White (Eugene, Ore.) – Fast Pitch Player.

Read more about the 2015 ASA/USA Softball Hall of Fame Class:


Bonnie Anderson (Springfield, Ore.) – Umpire


Ask anyone in the Northwest and they’d tell you that Bonnie Anderson was considered the premier umpire from Oregon and Pacific Northwest. Umpiring from 1974-1998, Bonnie’s achievements go far beyond the playing field. Bonnie umpired in 29 ASA/USA Regional Tournaments throughout her career and received her first National assignment in 1981 at the Women’s Class A Slow Pitch National Championship. She would go on to umpire in five additional ASA/USA National Championships before breaking into the international scene at the 1995 ISF Junior Women’s World Championship in Normal, Ill.  Anderson also served as an umpire at the 1982 National Sports Festival and the U.S. Olympic Festival in 1984. Other accolades include being ISF Certified and a charter member of the National Indicator Fraternity. While her umpiring résumé is impressive, her off-field work is just as outstanding. Bonnie became the first woman Umpire-in-Chief for ASA/USA Softball in 1981 and established a top-notch training and education system for Oregon umpires. Sadly, Bonnie passed away in January, 2012, but to this day, her military-style of teaching continues to groom umpires in the Northwest.


John Davide (Centereach, N.Y.) – Slow Pitch Player


In a time where teams played fewer than 100 games a year, John Davide was a staple of the County Sports softball organization for many years. Known as an intense competitor, Davide was well known throughout the Men’s Major Slow Pitch world as an outstanding shortstop and a feared hitter. Many teammates, coaches and opponents often referred to him as the best home run hitting shortstop in the game. He left little to doubt, often hitting anywhere from 70 to 100 home runs every year he played. Davide was a member of several ASA/USA All-Tournament and All-American squads while capturing numerous Tournament MVP titles throughout his career.  His playing accolades didn’t stop at the Major Slow Pitch level as he continued his playing career through the Master’s and Senior Softball divisions.


Andy Dooley (Thaxton, Va.) – Commissioner


Andy Dooley has a storied career with ASA/USA Softball beginning in 1984 when he served as an At-Large Player Rep for Piedmont VA ASA/USA. Ten years later, his commitment and dedication to the organization helped earn him the title of Commissioner and helped lead the association to one of the most prominent in the Region. Along with his local accolades, Andy has made an impact at the National level, serving on the ASA/USA Board of Directors as the Eastern Territory Vice President and as the President of ASA/USA Softball from 2009-2011.  Since 1992, Piedmont VA ASA/USA has held several ASA/USA events, including National Championships and the USA Softball National Teams.  Andy is also extremely active with the Special Olympics Program in both Virginia and on the National level and helped establish the ASA/USA Special Programs Committee.


Sue Enquist (San Clemente, Calif.) – Meritorious Service


A true icon in the softball world, Sue Enquist has been a driving force for the sport of softball at all levels for nearly four decades.  Her resume alone speaks for itself.  Enquist has three ASA/USA All-American titles, five ASA/USA National Championships, five Gold Medals as a member of the USA Softball Women’s National Team and three as a coach of the program. Perhaps her most notable accolades came during her time as the Head Coach of the UCLA Softball program. With a 27 year career at the helm of the Bruins, Enquist compiled an 887-175-1 record and 11 NCAA National Championships while producing 15 U.S. Softball Olympians and 65 NCAA All-Americans. Beyond her role as a coach and player, Enquist is highly regarded as a clinician and advocate for softball. A true legend of the game, Enquist continues to instill her passion and excellence to players and coaches around the country.


Mark Ingrao (Falls Church, Va.) – Umpire 


Mark began his umpiring career in 1974 at the age of 16 in Falls Church, Va.  Five years later, he joined the Fairfax Softball Umpires Association and kicked off a career with ASA/USA Softball that spanned 25 years.  His umpiring credits included two Central Atlantic Regional Slow Pitch Tournaments and six National Championships, including the first Men’s Master’s 35-Over in 1985.  He then worked his first of four Super Slow Pitch National Championships in 1990.  His final National Championship assignment came in 2002 when he umpired at the Slow Pitch Championship Series.  Along with his National Tournament assignments, Ingrao is a member of the National Indicator Fraternity, an ISF Certified Umpire and an Elite Umpire in the slow pitch category.  Ingrao also has several accomplishments as an administrator for the Central Atlantic Region, including serving as the Metro Washington DC Deputy Umpire-in-Chief (UIC) from 1989-2004.  He also served on the National Umpire Staff from 2006-2012.


Charles Moss, Sr. (Lanexa, Va.) – Meritorious Service 


A cornerstone of umpiring in Virginia, Charles Moss, Sr. began his career in 1977 when he attended his first ASA rules and mechanics class. His love for the game took root that year, fostering a lifelong commitment to ASA/USA Softball. Two years after attending his first class he was appointed to the Central Virginia ASA staff as an Eastern District Commissioner and Umpire-in-Chief (UIC), positions which led to his attendance at several Regional and National Umpire Clinics. Not only was Moss active at an administrative level, he also continued his career as an ASA/USA Umpire. His dedication and commitment to the game helped launch his successful umpiring career and several honors have been bestowed upon Moss. In addition to umpiring at 10 ASA/USA National Championships and one International Softball Federation (ISF) event, he is a member of the ASA/USA Umpire Medals program at all levels and he’s a member of the National Indicator Fraternity. Moss is also a member of the Central Virginia ASA Hall of Fame and the National Senior Hall of Fame. Moss also has a strong commitment to Senior softball and has played a major role in the success of the program.


Steve Padilla (Manteca, Calif.) – Fast Pitch Player 


In an era of iconic men’s fast pitch teams, Steve Padilla was a driving force from the circle. Starting out in the Men’s Class A division, Padilla led his team, Tee House, to the 1982 Men’s Class A Fast Pitch National title while earning ASA All-American honors. Once the word of his pitching spread around the country, Padilla made the jump to the Men’s Major division and never looked back. Joining the California Kings in 1983, he would earn his first ASA/USA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship the following year, helping his squad win 10-straight games en route to the title where he was also named the MVP. Padilla’s 5-0 performance at the National Championship while giving up just one unearned run helped him garner another ASA/USA All-American accolade. Through 10 additional seasons, Padilla earned three more All-American honors with Guanella Brothers and the Nor Cal Merchants and earned a Men’s 40-Over National Championship in 1994. Padilla also made a name for himself on the international scene as a member of the USA Softball Men’s National Team that claimed the Silver Medal at the 1987 Pan American Games. He also competed in five U.S. Olympic Festivals. Once his playing days came to an end, Padilla continued to play a role in men’s fast pitch as a coach in the National Team Program.  Padilla served as an assistant coach for the 1999 Men’s National Team at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada and the ISF World Championship in Sydney, Australia.  He also was an assistant coach for the Puerto Rican Women’s National Team at the 1996 Olympic Games in Athens, Ga.


Mike White (Eugene, Ore.) – Fast Pitch Player 


One of the most respected pitchers in the game, Mike White put his teams on the map at both the national and international scene.  A native of New Zealand, White spent some time as a member of their Men’s National Team before coming to the U.S. to begin his playing career in the Men’s Major division.  White’s impressive résumé includes nine ASA/USA All-American titles and three Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championships.  White also has a storied career with the USA Softball Men’s National Team Program beginning in 1995 when he earned a silver medal at the Pan American Games in Mar Del Plata, Mexico.  In his 11 years as a member of Team USA, White helped guide the U.S. to three silver medals in the Pan American Games and one bronze medal at the ISF World Championship.  He continues to help the National Team Program as a member of the coaching staff for the Women’s National Team and is also a member of the ISF Hall of Fame.


In addition to honoring eight individuals with their induction into the National Softball Hall of Fame, the Class of 2016 was also announced following the conclusion of the Hall of Fame Committee meeting earlier in the day.  Inductees in the Class of 2016 are: Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla.) – Meritorious Service, Jennie Finch (La Mirada, Calif.) – Fast Pitch Player, Harry Haroian – (Melvindale, Mich.) – Fast Pitch Player, Peter Meredith (Salt Lake City, Utah) – Fast Pitch Player, John Nelson (Dalton, Ga.) – Umpire, Tom Penders (Narragansett, R.I.) – Fast Pitch Player, Terry Peterson (Omaha, Neb.) – Sponsor, Mick Renneisen (Bloomington, Ind.) – Meritorious Service.


The 36th induction ceremony will take place on at the 85th Annual ASA/USA Softball Council Meeting, which will be held in Shreveport, La.  Rules and guidelines to nominate potential Hall of Fame candidates for 2017 are available at USASoftball.com.  There is a deadline submission of September 1, 2016.

10-25-2015 Big 12 Reinstates Softball Championship

Big 12 Softball Championship Returns in 2017 in Oklahoma City

LINK: http://bit.ly/1PJj6F9

NORMAN – The Big 12 Conference has announced it will reinstate its softball championship beginning with the 2017 season. Last held in 2010, the postseason tournament will return to Oklahoma City in a two-day event, Friday, May 12 – Saturday, May 13, 2017. The Oklahoma City All Sports Association will partner with the Conference to host the championship.

The championship will include pool play for the top six teams and will be contested at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium Complex, site of the Conference’s previous 15 Championships and also home to the NCAA Women’s College World Series.

“The Big 12 is looking forward to bringing another competitive conference championship to a city that has an established history for Big 12 postseason events and is also a strong market for the sport of softball,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. “We are excited to showcase the student-athletes and level of play in our conference as well as enhance the Big 12 softball brand.”

Although the 1996-97 academic year was technically the inaugural season of the Big 12, the 1996 Big 12 Softball Championship was the very first conference championship for the league with Oklahoma claiming the crown. Of the current league membership, OU and Texas have won the postseason title four times each, while Kansas won the championship in 2006.

In addition to the 1996 crown, OU also won the Big 12 Softball Championship in 2001, 2007 and 2010, along with runner-up finishes in 1998, 2003, 2006 and 2009. All-time, Oklahoma holds a 39-18 record in the Big 12 Championship.

Seven conference members sponsor the sport of softball – Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech. The Big 12 has totaled 16 Women’s College World Series appearances since its inception with 84 overall NCAA postseason berths. Oklahoma has claimed two national titles under the Big 12 flag (2013, ‘00) and advanced to the WCWS four of the past five years.

In addition to its 15 Big 12 Softball Championships, Oklahoma City has played host to 16 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championships (1997- 2001, ‘03, ‘05-’14), a pair of Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championships (‘09, ‘07), three Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championships (‘07, ‘09, ‘14) and three Big 12 Rowing Championships (‘10, ‘12, ‘14).

Oklahoma City will also be home to the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship through the 2018-19 season as well as play host to the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship through 2020. Additionally, the Big 12 and Oklahoma City have co-hosted seven NCAA Championship events since 2003.

10-25-2015 NPF Adds Team n Houston

Nashville, TN – October 23, 2015 – National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) announced today the addition of a new expansion team, beginning competition in the 2016 season.  The new team will be known as the Scrap Yard Dawgs and will be based in the Woodlands, TX, just north of Houston.  The Dawgs will be the sixth team in the NPF joining existing teams Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion, USSSA Florida Pride. The Dawgs become the first NPF franchise to be based in the Houston area since the Texas Thunder left for Rockford, Illinois in the 2007 season.

The Houston area is home to more than 6.2 million people and features one of the largest and most active youth softball communities in the country. The Dawgs have designated The Scrap Yard in the Woodlands, TX as their home park and base of operations.  The Scrap Yard is a first class facility that is nationally renowned for hosting tournaments, showcases and college recruiting events.
“We are extremely proud of this announcement,” commented NPF Commissioner, Cheri Kempf. “Professional fastpitch continues to enjoy expansion and the state of Texas gains another jewel in its crown of women’s professional sports. The Scrap Yard Sports Complex is already an impressive venue and will most certainly make a great location for the Dawgs to call home.”
Connie May, Director of Operations for Scrap Yard Sports said, “We are very excited that the Scrap Yard Dawgs will call the Scrap Yard Sports Complex their home.  We already host numerous high school and college tournaments, so we are very pleased to be adding a National Pro Fastpitch team to our line-up as well.”
The Scrap Yard Dawgs will rely on the experience of General Manager, Kevin Shelton to manage the details involved in operating a professional sports team. Shelton recently led the latest NPF expansion team, the Dallas Charge, to the playoffs in their inaugural season and is excited about repeating that success in Houston.
“It’s an extremely exciting opportunity for women’s fastpitch and the entire greater Houston area,” commented Shelton.  “The NPF is growing and we are pleased to be a part of that growth and honored to provide these gifted women a chance to compete in the sport they love as professionals. Houston has a vibrant fastpitch community. I am confident that the entire area will benefit from the presence of a professional women’s fastpitch team.”
Assisting Shelton in developing the new franchise is Assistant General Manager Whitney Cloer.  Cloer’s credentials include time as Assistant Coach at Troy University, Volunteer Assistant Coach at Arkansas and Oklahoma, along with her own playing career at Arkansas.   She will be a key piece of the day-to-day and game day business execution.
Beyond featuring some of the world’s best softball talent, the Dawgs are committed to involvement in the Houston community. In a city that features several popular sports brands, the Dawgs will offer the community, especially young girls and women, an opportunity to watch female athletes compete at the highest level.
The Scrap Yard Dawgs will begin play as the NPF season opens in June of 2016. More information about the Dawgs including their home schedule, announcement of coaching staff and roster additions will be released in the coming months. Follow the Dawgs on the team’s website www.scrapyarddawgs.com and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
For more information and questions about the Dawgs, contact us at info@scrapyyarddawgs.com or call 855-SY-DAWGS (855-793-2947).
The Scrap Yard Dawgs will begin competition in the National Pro Fastpitch league in 2016. The Dawgs will provide elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Houston area, the Dawgs organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Dawgs at www.scrapyarddawgs.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

10-25-2015 A Yankee Lament

There was a time when October weather was crisp, the atmosphere electric,
because the Yankees were in the World Series.
The newspapers – the Times, Daily
News, Journal American, world Telegram, Herald Tribune, Mirror – had whole
sections devoted to the teams and players, with superb analysis by Jimmy Cannon,
Red Smith and others who were as familiar as rock stars.  Every office echoed
with transistors reporting every moment with commentary by Mel Allen, Red Barber
and company.
Every New Yorker had an opinion, from the Mayor to the dock
The glue which held it together and raised anticipation in double
digit degrees was the New York Yankees.
Yes, the Giants had supporters, so did
the Dodgers, but the Yankees elevated the game of baseball – love them or hate
them, they defined the game. Yankee Stadium was baseball’s cathedral.
great Yankees are gone, so are the media and scribes who chronicled their lives.
Football and especially the NFL dominates the national sports scene.
I treasure
the memories from those .New York years – post game drinks at Toots, talking to
the pols at Pj Clark’s, great steaks at Sheins, spaghetti at Villa Pena,
exquisite delicacies at the bakeries in Little Italy, lobster bisque at Any
number of seafood houses, cheesecake at Sardis.
But mostly I miss the Yankees
of legend. Namath’s Jets were a phenomenon like a starburst but the Yankees were
seemingly forever.  I am grateful for both their memories and the many games I
saw when they were in their prime.