‘An MSBL Baseball Day to Remember‘
Submitted by Lisa Sonoma
Steve Chase, 66 years young, pitched and picked up wins in both ends of a double-header on August 29th in both the 18+ and the 25+ divisions of the San Jose MSBL. Pitching for a young and improving Orioles’ team, he gave up only one run with eight strikeouts on the day!
Steve normally plays in the beautiful North Bay Redwood Empire League on Donny Cordova’s (MSBL Hall of Famer) Vets 65+ teams.
“The Vets’ are fun, great guys and well run. I see why so many players enjoy playing for Donny’s teams,” stated Chase
Steve is retired and is ambidextrous while pitching right-handed. At times he finds himself pitching against players younger than his grandkids.
The double-header consisted of two seven-inning games. Steve’s first game was a five-inning complete game with six K’s. “I was really rooting for the 10-run rule so I could relax and cheer on my team in game two.”
Game two started at 12 noon, after a quick first game. Steve mistakenly thought he could relax and enjoy game two.
“By the third inning I had a shoe off and a sandwich in my hand when I heard our manager yelling, ‘Chase you’re in! The starting pitcher just hit three batters and needed to be replaced. The umpires were great, they gave me time to warm up, again.”
Steve entered the game in the third inning with the bases loaded and promptly picked up a strikeout to close out the inning. So, in game two Steve pitched the final 4 1/3 innings for the win while only giving up one run and striking out two.
Amidst California’s chaotic political scene, Bay Area covid restrictions, and being surrounded by historic wildfires, we still have a constant of “baseball”. Even last summer (covid), Steve played in the Sacramento MSBL on the beautiful Army Depot Fields. MSBL Hall of Famer Lanny Ropke, a mentor, recently had a chat with Steve after a game.
“Age isn’t catching up with us but baseball in some ways is catching up with us. It’s the great equalizer and constant.”
Lanny quickly put younger league experiences into perspective. “You have young guys playing defense and chasing down fly balls!” lol
Former major leaguer and current MSBL player Mark Eichhorn helped Steve with rehab by sharing an effective sidearm delivery, taking stress off his pitching shoulder.
Added Steve, “This year, I’ve pitched against 19-year-old college players, 20-year-old’s and 70 and 80 year old’s.”
Steve is always very appreciative of the MSBL offering all age brackets, and is already looking forward to playing in the 70’s & beyond…
“Baseball’s not one of my best-skilled sports, but it’s the one I love the most. Even if I stop playing baseball, I’d be umpiring, coaching, or helping MSBL leagues.”