By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
Frankie DiMaria is 73 years old and splits time between Chicago and Florida. But there is one address you can catch him at in the fall and that is Tempe, Arizona and surrounding ball fields as part of the MSBL World Series. We reported a story about Frank in 2017 as he was one of a select class of eleven players who had attended every World Series since it’s inception.
We caught up with Frank to see if he had taken part in the 2018 and 2019 MSBL World Series to keep his perfect attendance intact and if his plans include another trip to the desert in 2020. The answer was a resounding ‘yes’ with a promise to buy the first round!
“Right now I’m in Florida and play in an independent league down here, at least until it stopped because of the virus,” explained Frank. “But there are a couple of parks that are open so I get together with a couple of other guys and we meet on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for a couple of hours with a lot of long toss, batting practice, fly balls and stuff like that while maintaining our social distancing. I’m at least getting some reps in.”
Frank is a long-standing member of the Chicago North MSBL and will be returning in a couple of weeks for that season. “I don’t know what is going to happen this year in the league but we all hope for a safe year, of course.”
I asked Frank who he played for in 2018 and 2019 in the MSBL World Series. “The last couple of years have been the same, as I played for the TSP Chicago Fire in the 65’s and for San Diego in the 70’s,” explained the career lefty outfielder. “This year I am cutting back and will be playing just one week for the newly formed TSP Chicago Fire in the 70-over division managed by my buddy Bart Zeller. We have been watching the calendar pretty closely the last couple of years and as soon as anybody’s birth year hit 1950 we grabbed them to play with us,” laughed the combination chef/outfielder.
I asked Frankie if there are any highlights he wanted to add to his story from 2017. His response was typical Frankie DiMaria, a person I am fortunate enough to have called a teammate on numerous occasions. “The fact that I’m still playing is the best highlight I can think of!”
Below you can find the transcript of Frank’s original 2017 ’30 Year Player’ story
(Reprinted from 2017 MSBL website) By far my biggest thrill in all thirty years was playing with my dad and son in the father-son division. We were the first grandfather-father-son combo in MSBL history!
My first World Series win was in 1991 and I have been fortunate enough to win eleven championships, at least one in all age divisions. I haven’t won a ring yet in the 70+ division but I’ll be trying to do that this year! (LOL)
What I have enjoyed is playing in all the major league spring training parks and fields with the beautiful Arizona weather, especially when I can escape from an early Chicago fall and winter.
What has been truly special through all of these years is making friendships with all the people I’ve met and the relationships I have developed through MSBL baseball, both locally and nationally. It has kept me in physical and mental “shape” for 30 years and gives me something to look forward to as the weather turns a little dicey back home.
I have always had a blast talking and reminiscing about baseball with players from all around the country at the banquets and BBQ’s. All the playoff games in the stadiums are also something special to cherish and win or lose they were exciting and fun to participate in!
One play that sticks out in the hundreds of games I have played in down in Arizona was where my dad was on second base and my son’s base hit scored him. My dad talked about that until the end. At one point in the father/son division, and I can’t remember which year it was, we had all three of us in the outfield together. Players still come up to me to this day and remark about the three of us out there together. I will never forget it.