By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
Dave Disinger is a three-decade inspiration of the Syracuse MSBL and while he and his wife are both in their mid-seventies, his heart remains on the New York field. His wife’s ‘high risk’ category puts her in dangerous waters regarding the COVID-19 virus so Dave turned over the managerial reins of his beloved Dodgers this past February and decided it best to dedicate all of his time to keeping the family safe.
Below is a timeline of how Dave came to join the MSBL and some of what he experienced. It has been an amazing ‘on again, off again’ journey on the diamond for Dave and his sojourn is best left in his own words.
“After spending 20-plus years as the drummer/lead singer for a country-rock band, the guys in the group were like brothers to me, and I couldn’t imagine anything would surpass it. Then I got a phone call in January of 1990 from a friend with whom I played high school and semi-pro ball, asking if I wanted to play baseball again. I told him I was too old (45) and overweight. He persuaded me to attend a team meeting of the Syracuse Yankees, and the hook was set. The instant camaraderie I felt was like a rebirth, and I decided to abandon the music, shed forty pounds and return to the game I loved but had to leave at age 24 due to injury. I had a whole new group of brothers, and music was now in the rear-view mirror.
In January of 1993 I was elected League President and served five one-year terms. It was a great honor, the highlight of which was getting to host a regional tournament in 1993. The championship was played at MacArthur Stadium, a AAA facility, and televised on local TV. I was asked to serve as color-commentator, my one and only foray into broadcasting, which allowed me to interview players from both teams, a truly enlightening experience.
The Yankees disbanded prior to the 1996 season, and I left the league when my term ended in 1997. My full-time job as a landscape architect required considerable travel and long hours, and thinking my baseball life was over, I foolishly ballooned to 325 lbs. In 2006 my doctor convinced me to lose weight simply to improve my quality of life, but after slimming down to 215, I informed my wife that I was going to give MSBL another shot. She wanted to have me committed.
In 2007 I was tasked with designing a new turf field for the Syracuse Chiefs (now Mets) and still consider it my “Nirvana” project. A torn labrum caused me to postpone my return to MSBL. I rejoined the league in 2008, and since then have functioned as player/manager for four different teams. My manager back in semi-pro ball was former Negro League star Andy Anderson, who caught several seasons for Satchel Paige, and his colorful stories kept things “loosey-goosey” in the dugout, even when we were losing. I tried to use him as a role model, but I doubt that I was as entertaining as was Andy.
The most significant aspect through all of this has been the many friendships established with both teammates and opponents, and I would heartily recommend MSBL to anyone who wants a lifetime of wonderful memories.”