News from the SaddleBrooke Softball World!

The left field “Peanut Gallery”: Richard “The Rickster” Ervin and Paul “the Mayor” Buchanan enjoying some softball action

Frederick King Mitchell, Jr. (aka Mitch)

Labor Day Tournament: Monday, Sept. 5!

Well, fans, July 26 is my deadline for the mid-August Progress, so I’ve got to get the little gray cells in gear. There seems to be fewer of them these days, and like the rest of me, it takes longer to get the clutch released.

Softball play resumed July 18. So, at this writing, we’ve had just a week of play, but have still managed to put together softball play Monday through Friday. As you might imagine, this time of year has a lot of snowbirds and summer travelers up north or back in the hill country. Still, there’s Community on Mondays, Community and Competitive on Tuesdays and Fridays, Sidewinder on Wednesdays, and Coyote (65 or older) on Thursdays. So, there’s a lot of softball entertainment, drama, and comedy going on. The summer season continues until Sept. 23.

So far, in Monday Community, we’ve got Canine & Co. and Comm. Church of SB tied at 1-0, with Coyote Golf Cars having taken doubleheader “twofer” losses at 0-2. Tuesday Community has Dominick’s Italian atop the league at 1-0, with Drew’s Barbershop, 0-1. Tuesday Competitive has DS Builders at 1-0 and Concierge A/C, 0-1. The Sidewinders on Wednesday has Golf Cars of Arizona on top at 1-0 and Firetruck Brewing at 0-1. In Thursday Coyote, Hardin Bros. Automotive is 1-0 and Healthy Skin Dermatology is 0-1. Finally, on Friday, in the Competitive League, Jim Click Automotive is 1-0 and Mend Massage is 0-1. In Community, Kristy McInnis–Coldwell Banker Realty is 1-0 and Leah Kari Medicare Solutions is 0-1. But, hey, it’s early times yet!

Meantime, as there isn’t a lot of softball news yet, I’m jumping on the topic of safety. Now fun is the number one priority of the SaddleBrooke Senior Softball Association (SSSA), but if you drift on down to the park to check us out, there are a few “differences” you might note, which are “safety measures.” The first is that the pitcher is wearing a face mask. This is mandated if you want to take the mound. Some pitchers also wear shin/knee guards (yours truly). Even so, there is also a screen on the pitcher’s mound. This is a safety screen, and the pitchers are encouraged to get behind it. The bases for these leagues are 70 feet from home for the Competitive league and 65 feet for all the others. Most infielders are at least 75 to 80 feet from home base. The pitcher’s rubber is 50 feet from home. Well, fans, even I can do that “line drive/hard grounder” math. With at least one forward step in delivery, the pitcher will be 45 to 47 feet from home. So, 47/77 is at 61%, effectively 40% closer than the infielders. Ouch! The screen is your friend, I’m telling ya. Then there’s the second bag (orange) at first base. This is an “avoid collisions” safety measure. When there is a throw to first base, the batter-runner must go to the orange bag or they are called out! The moral of the story? Don’t run into each other! It hurts. And getting back up is a whole ‘nother story, let me tell you. Home plate has a similar rule. A runner attempting to score cannot run to the base, but must run to a separate chalk line to the right, parallel to home plate, and an out is recorded only if the ball is caught by the catcher (with his or her foot on the plate) before the runner gets a foot down on or over the chalk line. No tagging the runner allowed on a play at home. Well, that’s just a few of the rules the SSSA has to maximize the fun and minimize the bumps, bruises, and scrapes. The field also has water fountains, fans, and misters in both dugouts for these “dog days of summer.”

Well, fans, I’ve reached my word limit, or I could go on (and on). Don’t forget to surf us at