Ralph Caputo Survives the Virus at Capital District (NY) MSBL

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

While shivering under three blankets from March 15th-21st and trying to fight this Viral Menace (I refuse to call it by its proper name) I thought about two things:

my wife Sue and how to protect her from this unforeseen hurricane, and am I going to be able to bounce back to play ball?

I’m lucky, although I was officially diagnosed on St. Patrick’s Day. After 10 days we received an official “at this time you are no longer at risk of spreading COVID-19” notice.

I’ve been in the Capital District MSBL here in New York since 1991. During those isolated days I received texts, emails and phone calls from my buddies in the CDMSBL. John Reel, our President, sent me a photo of a young third baseman that looked faintly familiar. My teammate on my 45 Marlins, Tim Brown, sent me ‘Chicken Soup for the Baseball Fans Soul’ to read, which was just what the doctor ordered. Mike Girard, manager of the 55+ Marlins team checked in to make sure we had everything we needed and we were doing OK. Mike manages all of our fall ball tournament teams that play in Arizona and Florida. We won a ring in 2006, and will be back in 2020 to win again.

I grew up in Brooklyn so moving to Albany in 1990 was like moving to the moon. I played softball in Brooklyn and also played baseball at John Jay College as a “Bloodhound”. When I heard about the MSBL, my first thought was I’d love to play hardball again. I sent in my information and was notified we would have a team meeting two weeks later. My competitive juices started to flow, even though it was still January, and I broke my foot by dropping a 20 pound weight on my third metatarsal. I slid that foot like ‘The Mummy’ into our first meeting. We all talked about how much we loved baseball and no one mentioned my injury. We were so happy to be “old” guys about to play ball. I was 36, and I played third base that whole season. 

Since the Viral Menace left, Sue and I start our mornings with a socially distanced walk around our neighborhood. I am overdressed to ward off the imaginary chill I still have. Sue takes each step like it’s a walk towards Freedom and Health. I’m still not 100% but I’m closer to being myself, which amounts to living, breathing and thinking about baseball.

My hometown has been especially hard-hit as a “hot-spot”. Today I volunteered to be part of Mount Sinai‘s plasma donation program. Hopefully this will help to bring down the Viral Menace for good.