SSSA bids goodbye to Joe Lestingi

Ed Cussick thanks Joe Lestingi for a job well done; photo by Paul Jarzembinski

Ed Cussick thanks Joe Lestingi for a job well done; photo by Paul Jarzembinski

Rick Ervin

The SaddleBrooke Senior Softball Association bid bon voyage to one of its founding fathers and most dynamic organizers on Wednesday, July 9 at the HOA 1 Activity Center. Joe Lestingi, who is moving to Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife Jean, was honored by an overflow crowd of appreciative softballers and their spouses.

The evening started with a happy hour featuring a slide show with pictures of both Joe and Jean over the years. It was a fun walk down memory lane to see images from the early days as well as tournaments from as recently as this year. In addition, heavy appetizers were provided by Mi Pueblito Mexican Restaurant from Mammoth, owned by Maria and Jerry Cowart, a current softball player. One of the highlights of the buffet was the tray of mini cannolis sent from Dominick’s Real Italian Restaurant by owner Ted Fisher, who attended along with other sponsors of SSSA teams and tournaments, Doug Wagers of Window Wizard and Mary Burton of Crystal Tech Vivopools.

Ed Cussick, president of the SSSA Board of Directors, was the master of ceremonies and he highlighted the history of Lestingi’s involvement as well as the many improvements and achievements during his term on the Board. Then he presented him with a framed SaddleBrooke Softball shirt signed by present and former players. In the open mic session afterwards, Roger Mastro presented Joe with a keepsake display from a team on which they played together in the very early days of SaddleBrooke Softball. John Vosper, Ken Meinhart, Ken Crossman, Bill Webster, Rick Ervin and Pat Tiefenbach also shared personal anecdotes, some humorous, some serious, about working with Joe and Jean on softball projects.

Afterward Lestingi offered a brief history of the SSSA, emphasizing the all-volunteer nature of the organization and thanked all the people who have made SaddleBrooke Softball possible over the years. He shared a special thanks to his wife for her tireless efforts to support his involvement, particularly with food service for tournaments.

The Lestingis will be sorely missed by the softball community and SaddleBrooke in general. We wish them Godspeed in their relocation to close proximity to their children and grandchildren.