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David 'Doc' Charp: A Profile in Courage and Determination

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

David Charp is an amazing guy and wrote the book on determination.  A retired physician, 'Doc' came back from two shoulder surgeries, the last on in December of 2015, to lead his 65-over Jazz team to a current 16-1 record in the Redwood Empire (CA) Baseball League.  League president Rick Cantor's father-in-law, David has thrown 51 innings this year and has compiled a 2.12 ERA.  To cap off his 2016 comeback, he will be playing in this year's MSBL World Series in Arizona for the Sonoma County Ports in the 65+ division and the Arizona Scorpions in the 70+ division.  Teammate and friend Ralph Leef supplied us with Doc's amazing comeback story.  (Below) 

Submitted by Ralph Leef, Redwood Empire Baseball League

When Dr. David 'Doc' Charp retired from his Santa Rosa, California medical practice last summer , he let his family, friends and patients know exactly what kind of retirement party theme he wanted.

No surprise to those who know the 71-year-young "Doc”, who figures he made more than 3,000 house calls during the nearly 40 years of practice, that the party would center around baseball and hotdogs.

Charp’s party, attended by more than 200, took place on the base ball field at Santa Rosa High School, where his Redwood Empire Baseball League (REBL) Jazz senior baseball team had a 55+ Sunday afternoon game. The guest of honor was also the starting pitcher.

The former Rutgers baseball player, who had played senior baseball for many years, decided at the end of last season to move his team into the REBL’s brand new 65+ Legends League this season. But Doc nearly didn’t make the 2016 opener because of three surgeries in a two-and-a-half month period. First, last October, was an hour-and-a-half surgery to repair a scrunched index finger after getting hit by a pitch in his team’s 2015 finale. (Right: 'Doc' and Gail celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary at Oakland Coliseum)

Then came back-to-back shoulder surgeries (the second on December 22)  on both shoulders.

"I remember with both shoulder surgeries that after six week with straps holding my arm tightly to my chest, I could not move my arm one inch from my chest without severe shoulder pain,” said Charp, a right-hander who throws sidearm.

Although his wife of 50 years, Gail, warned him against trying to go out for a run with both arms incapacitated, Doc remembers tripping on a sidewalk crack and falling flat on his chest and face because he had no arm to help catch the fall.

His surgeon told Doc that he shouldn’t expect to play much baseball for several months, but after about 50 rehab sessions with Jazz center fielder/physical therapist Paul Johnson, guess who was on the field for the team’s first practice in March?

Although limited to three or four innings each week over the first half of the season, Doc got a complete-game victory three weeks ago and has been selected to the REBL All-Star first team with a 6-1 record (2.12 earned run average) . He has a .375 batting average with two league games remaining for the 16-1 Jazz.

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