The East Sacramento Little League held opening day festivities on Sunday, March 10. According to their website, the day was marked by beautiful weather, great attendance, and lots of excitement for the upcoming season. Scores of families turned out for the celebration, which included team introductions, an appearance by Dinger from the River Cats, and a series of exhibition games.
Official rosters are in the works so your coach should be contacting you within the next couple of days and practices can start as early as February 24. Your coach will let you know your specific practice schedule.
The Second Annual Season Kick-Off Dinner is Sunday, Feb 24. Pocket Girls Softball secured a couple of exciting motivational speakers and have lots of fun planned. Buy tickets in advance so the group can plan for the appropriate amount of food. Visit the store to purchase your tickets.
Pocket Girls Softball needs you.
First, one of our most important Board positions is still empty – Sponsorship/Fundraising Coordinator. Second, help is needed for the kick-off dinner. There are volunteer openings for tasks such as coordinating the dessert auction, raffle, drink sales, etc. as well as jobs such as set up, food service, etc. Please let the group know ASAP if you can help with this event. Finally, we will be collecting raffle items for our Kick-Off Dinner.
Contact: Board@pocketgirlssoftball.org for more information.
For more than 30 years, the Golden Seniors Softball Club of Sacramento has been one of the nation’s bedrock organizations for slow-pitch players who have reached the age of 50. The club has about 450 members and provides nearly 420 games from mid-March into September.
Close to 100 of these members like it so much that they play in more than one of the club’s six leagues. For many, there is no such thing as “enough softball.” But there is plenty of room for someone new to the game, or who hasn’t swung a bat in more than a decade. “Hey, it can be like riding a bike. Just get back on and enjoy the ride,” said the club’s president, Tom Sansone. “Softball can really be a game for the ages — and the ageless.”
Playing 22-game schedules, there are three six-team night leagues for players 50 and over at the Sacramento Softball Complex — Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with games at 6:30, 7:45 and 9. Two leagues play on Tuesday mornings, also at the Complex, for players 60 and older. The club’s Monday morning league at Howe Avenue Park is for players at least 70.
Sansone, 65, said playing softball at this stage of his life has been a very satisfying experience. “It gives me incentive to exercise and try to stay in shape. I enjoy the camaraderie. There are a lot of people who are really dedicated to this club. I urge anyone who wants to continue playing softball well beyond their middle-age status to check us out. You’ll be impressed with our quality of play.” The Elk Grove resident pitches on Tuesday morning teams and is entering his 11th season with the club.
Mel Tennyson joined the club in 2009 when he was 55. He now plays in all three night leagues and serves as the commissioner in charge of the club’s Tuesday night league. He also plays for a nationally ranked traveling tournament team. Mel, a West Sacramento resident who pitches and plays the outfield, said, “I love the game” and the Golden Seniors club has provided opportunity to play with and against people more his own age while being more relaxed and less-competitive than his tournament team. “It keeps me healthy and I enjoy meeting people. I play softball for athletic and social reasons. My advice to anyone thinking of playing ball is to come out, have fun and stay young.”
Anita Kemp, 53, who resides in south Sacramento, joined the club in 2011 and became a fixture at third base, first base or catcher on Tuesday nights. She plays on a couple of coed teams and said she wanted more softball, so a friend suggested she try the Golden Seniors. How has it worked out? She said she has not been disappointed and felt welcomed as a new member. “It’s fun, to be honest with you. My other leagues are real competitive, true 5-women, 5-men coed teams.” The Golden Seniors is “really a fun league.” And when a guy thinks he can hammer a grounder by her at third, she said she takes a great deal of pleasure in her ability to throw him out.
The GSSCS Tuesday night league has about a dozen women spread among six teams. The club would like to attract more women, and Anita said more women would join if they knew about Golden Seniors. The club needs to advertise.” (Note the ad in this newspaper.) “Everyone gets along and gives you a pat on the back. It’s a friendly environment.”
The Wednesday and Thursday night leagues attract more competitive players, many who also play on tournament teams.
Ernie Kidwell is one of 137 current Golden Seniors “life members” who have played at least 15 consecutive years and attained the age of 75 or 10 years and celebrated their 80th birthday. Kidwell, who will turn 81 this year, lives in north Sacramento near Carmichael. He joined the club in 1991. He began playing in the night leagues and for the past decade has been playing Mondays and/or Tuesdays.”Why do I continue to play? Because I just like to play. I like the camaraderie, the fellowship … Softball is a good reason to get up and go somewhere.”
While leagues for the 2013 season are scheduled to conduct drafts in February, the first league games are not scheduled until mid-March. Some leagues may have immediate openings for those wishing to sign up, or players can sign up, come out and play as substitutes or be permanently assigned to teams as roster vacancies occur.
The club’s fees are very reasonable, Sansone said, amounting to less than $5 a game, and include uniform jersey, cap and umpires. And the fees are prorated for players who come aboard later in the season.
The club has a website, www.gsscs.org, where details can be found on how to join. The club’s player agent, Myron Dahl (916 451-2450), can answer questions and provide sign-up forms. Each league plays 22 to 24 games in a season that runs into September and concludes with league championship playoffs and a picnic.
The health and safety of club members is of paramount concern. Anita Kemp said the toughest thing for her was getting used to the base-running rules that are designed to reduce the risk of injury from runner-fielder collisions or from awkward slides into bases. As many men and women join the club not having slid into a base in 20 years, sliding is not allowed.
Besides special base-running rules, members are encouraged to sign up for training in the use of the club’s defibrillators, or AEDs, and to become certified by the Red Cross in CPR. According to doctors, more than one Golden Seniors player is alive today because of this program and staying active on the ball field.
Ron Roach is the editor of GSSC’s ‘Dugout Chatter’ and active player in two leagues. Accompanied photos were taken by Lou Coppola.
Pocket Girls Softball is committed to providing an opportunity for all girls between the ages of 4 1/2 and 16 the opportunity to play softball. In-person registration for the spring 2013 season will take place on Thursday, Jan. 8 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Robbie Waters Library. The Spring 2013 Season of Pocket Girls Softball is now accepting online registration. Don’t forget to bring a friend to registration night!
Birth Certificates are ONLY required for NEW PLAYERS! If you are a returning player, and you previously submitted a birth certificate, you do NOT need to submit another copy.
Robbie Waters Library is located at 7335 Gloria Dr., Sacramento, 95831.
Pocket Girls Softball is looking for enthusiastic people to help provide a fun, positive softball experience for the players of Pocket Girls Softball. If you are interested in coaching this season please let PGS know by filling out the Coaching Interest Form by Jan. 11. While coaching experience is always a plus, it is not required. The PGS Board has been working hard over the past several months to improve the league and they are excited about the many clinics, activities and learning opportunities that will be available this year.
Winter Warm-Up Clinic – January 19
Player Evaluations – January 26
Coaches Information Meeting – January 26
Player Evaluations (make up) – February 2
Team Draft – early February
Coaches Clinic – early March
Coaches Rules Meeting – early February
We will need one head coach, one manager and at least one assistant coach for each team. Please note that either the head coach or manager must be a female.
Additionally, please note each year anyone interested in coaching must fill out the Coaches Interest Form and submit a background check including board members and prior coaches.
Please let me know if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.
The timeline for the Spring Pre-Season:
Registration Period: Now until Jan. 26
In-Person Registration Nights: Now until Jan. 8
Winter Warm-Up Clinic: Jan. 19
Player Evaluations: Jan. 26
Coaches Clinic and Rules Meeting: Feb. 2
PGS Poker Tournament: Feb. 10
Season Kick-Off Dinner: Feb. 24
Practices Begin: March 1
Registration Status: Open
Regular Registration: Now until – Saturday, Jan. 26
Late Registration: Sunday, Jan. 27 – Saturday, March 16
Season Duration: Friday, March 1- Friday, June 7
Regular Registration Cost: $ 85 – $ 140
Under the tutelage of volunteer Coach Steve Cobb, the “Pocket Aces” fast pitch team ripped through a two-day, six-game competition in Lincoln, June 23 and 24, and won the ASA Association Championship handily. The team qualified to compete against teams from other California regions at the California State Games in San Diego July 19 to 22. They now boast a record of 12-0.
Competing in the 10-U, or ‘Mini-Minor’ division, athletes range in age from nine to just-turned eleven and are entering 4th through 6th grade. Selected from four teams, the twelve members of The Aces attend neighborhood schools, including Didion, Matsuyama, Crocker, Sutterville, Bidwell and Leonardo Da Vinci Elementary. They were awarded the Games’ entrance fee, tournament winner t-shirts and medals for their victory in Lincoln.
The California State Games (CalStateGames.org) is a co-ed festival of Olympic-style competition for California’s amateur athletes. The State Games is a community-based member of the United States Olympic Committee and features 25 other sporting events, 22 of which are held in San Diego in July. With an Olympic-style torch run, parade of athletes in Qualcomm Stadium, and similar Olympian pageantry, this is a very exciting opportunity for these neighborhood athletes.
Victory at the San Diego games would lead to participation at the State Games of America in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
The 12U Pocket All Stars qualified for the Western National Tournament on June 23-24. The team took 3rd third place in the ASA Association Championship in Folsom, posting a 4-1 record in the “B” Division. They logged wins against Elk Grove, Five Cities, Foothill and Roseville, eventually losing to another Elk Grove team in a semi-final game. The team received a large team trophy and all of the girls received medals.
The Western National Tournament in Salem, Oregon, scheduled for July 30-August 4, will host 50-70 teams. The week-long tournament features an opening ceremony, skill event competition, and pin-trading between teams, in addition to high level fast pitch play.
The twelve girls on this All Star team have only played together for three weeks, but they practice and play hard and have embraced their new roles quickly. The group is a young 12U team that plays loose and has fun together on and off the field, which is a key to their success. They continue to improve and push themselves at every practice and game and look forward to the challenge of traveling 540 miles to battle some of the best softball teams in the Western United States.
Since 1969, Pocket Girls Softball has been providing recreational softball playing opportunities for girls, age 4 ½ -16, from Land Park, Pocket, Greenhaven and South Sacramento neighborhoods. As part of the Northern California Girls Softball Association, the nonprofit, volunteer-run Pocket Softball organization depends on support from the community for assistance with the Wenzel field conditions, equipment, umpires, tournament entry fees, underwriting needed player participation, and more.
The League and these teams are actively fundraising for their continued participation at these respective July events. Pocket Softball seeks local business and family sponsorships for $50-$1,000 and is offering promotional opportunities for this and next year. On July 14, the teams are hosting a Pancake Breakfast with car wash and rummage sale at Caroline Wenzel from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Attendees can enjoy breakfast and some browsing while their car is washed.
As they continue to play weekend tournaments to continue their development, both teams can be found practicing four nights a week at Caroline Wenzel, Pocket Softball’s home field. The public is welcome to come by and see these great athletes hard at work.
To follow their success, Pocket Softball has created a Facebook page and has a website at PocketGirlsSoftball.org.
Taking on the moral, physical and mental challenge: Sacramento girl studies the history of war at the United States Naval Academy
Alexandra Chan is slender and petite with short hair and dark eyes. On first impression, one might think that is someone who might enjoy ballet…not someone who competed in the Navy’s Marine Sea Trials – a grueling 14-hour day of extreme physical endurance testing based on Marine Corps principles.
“I was elated to just finish it,” Chan said. “It was hard.”
Local girl with love of history
Chan is attending the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Growing up in the Pocket area, she remembers always having an interest in the military. Her favorite subject is history and especially the history of war. As a young child, she watched the Wishbone series on television and her favorite episode was the “Red Badge of Courage,” a story about the American Civil War.
Chan graduated from St. Francis High School in Sacramento. She approached her parents with the idea of attending military school during her sophomore year.
“I was nervous about telling my parents,” Chan said. “But they were very supportive of my decision.”
What sold her on joining the military was being able to attend one of the best schools in the country and not having to pay tuition…plus, she would be serving her country. (The value of a USNA education, if one were to pay for it outright, is nearly $400,000 per student.)
Chan said a friend of hers, Shelby De La Mora – who also graduated from St. Francis High – was the one who convinced her to join the Naval Academy. De La Mora, a senior at St. Francis, had already applied to Annapolis Naval School when Chan was a freshman Troubadour.
Chan took her oath of office on July 1, 2010 and is a member of the USNA Class of 2014. She is working on a Bachelor of Science degree in history. Normally, history is listed as a liberal arts degree. The academy includes additional science and math classes in its program to make it a science degree. She loves her “History of Warfare” class and recently had the opportunity to use her knowledge of the conflict in Afghanistan at a leadership conference in Washington D.C.
“I have the best teachers,” Chan said. “They always make themselves available.”
In shape…physically and morally
Chan enjoys the challenge of having to stay in topnotch shape and likes that morals are part of the education program. A plus are the close relationships she has made at the academy.
“We are taught we have to do the right thing,” Chan said. “I have formed some close relationships because as a group we go through so much together.”
Chan said she has many good role models in the other students and teachers.
Emani Decquir is a junior at the academy and is Chan’s mentor. Both young women had the same recruiting officer and he introduced them to each other.
“If Chan has a problem she knows she can come to me,” Decquir said. “We both have the same type of personalities where we want to do our best.”
Pocket ball…in the Navy
The Pocket area of Sacramento has a strong tradition of girls’ baseball. For seven years, Chan played Little League in the Pocket (for the Marlins, Cubs, Tigers and Reds teams), then played Delta
River League softball for St. Francis. Her love of the sport continues, and she is a member of the Navy Softball team.
Challenging college app
“The process to get accepted into the Navy Academy is rigorous,” Chan said. “I started the paperwork the end of my sophomore year.”
There are several parts in the process.
The first part is filling out the paper work. Required are: the student’s transcripts from high school, SAT scores, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, plus a nomination from a senator, congressperson, or the vice president or president of the United States.
Congresswoman Doris Matsui wrote Chan’s recommendation.
In addition, one must be medically cleared. Chan said this was her biggest hurdle because she must wear corrective lenses. After initially receiving an acceptance letter into the academy, she was medically denied because of her poor vision. Chan didn’t let that stop her and with some persistence on her part, the academy reversed its decision.
Chan said the most challenging part of the program, so far, has been the Sea Trials.
Chan enjoys the traditions carried out in the military. She is required to attend every football game and the tradition is standing through the whole game.
Chan likes the diversity of the Naval Academy. When she finishes school, Chan said she will have many options available to her.
A prestigious academy
An academy brochure explains the Naval Academy was founded in 1845 and is considered a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally and physically to be professional officers in the naval service.
The Academy has more than 4,400 men and women from the United States and several foreign countries that make up the student body. Upon graduation, they serve at least five years as commissioned officers in either the Navy or Marine Corps.
On Thanksgiving weekend 2010, a group of parent volunteers broke ground on what will be a much-needed update to the softball field at California Middle School. The timing is no accident – in the last three years, softball in Land Park has gone from nearly nonexistent to become the largest softball program in Little League District 7. When the makeover is complete, the field will be home not only to the Cal Middle School girls’ softball team, but to the McClatchy Junior Varsity and Land Park Pacific Little League teams as well.
To date, the field has been skinned, the sprinklers moved, and “infield mix” soil has been delivered and leveled. Though much has been accomplished, funds are still needed to pay for equipment, dugouts, and fencing, and there’s more work to be done to ready the field for play in the spring.
Cal parents Dan Maloney, who will coach both the Cal and Land Park majors softball teams this year, and Lori Brock, who spearheaded the fundraising campaign, went to Cal principal Elizabeth Vigil back in June with the idea of making the field upgrade a community effort. With Vigil’s approval, Maloney, Brock, and several other dedicated parents began arranging fundraisers and approaching businesses and elected officials for donations. County Supervisor Jimmy Yee and Cook Realty stepped up with the seed money, which got the momentum going. Then, at a fundraiser at the Riverside Clubhouse on Dec. 7, Councilman Rob Fong presented the parents with a check that clearly made the project a “go” for this softball season. Many local businesses and families have also contributed money and time to give Land Park kids a top-notch softball field.
Maintenance staff from the Sacramento City Unified School District also came out in November to lend an invaluable hand, skinning the field and moving the sprinkler heads.
Donations are still being gratefully accepted; checks can be written out to “Cal PTSA” (with “Softball” in the memo area) and mailed to:
California Middle School
1600 Vallejo Way
Sacramento, CA 95818
Don’t forget to check out the Cal “Thank You” billboard on Broadway at 15th Street, donated by another Land Parker, Jim Lyons.
Pocket Girls Softball (PGS) is a unique recreational softball organization in southern Sacramento that focuses exclusively on girls. Open registration will be held at the Robbie Water Pocket-Greenhaven Library from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 17.
Located in the Greenhaven-Pocket area, PGS strives to provide an opportunity for all eligible girls, 4-1/2 to 16 years old, to actively participate in an organized softball program. PGS stresses physical and mental development as well as friendship and sportsmanship.
The focus is on teaching the game, improving skill and having a positive environment. The team is part of the Northern California Girls Softball Association (NORCAL). The recreational league accepts every girl, regardless of skill level. Every girl plays in the Pocket Softball League.
Pocket Girls Softball was founded in the spring of 1969 when a group of concerned and dedicated parents organized a local girls’ softball league consisting of three mixed age teams. Now, more than 40 years later, the league has grown to encompass over 200 girls on more than 15 teams.
Pocket Girls Softball serves the Land Park/Pocket-Greenhaven/South Sacramento area.
Register at the event or online. For more information or to register, visit www.PocketGirlsSoftball.org.