COLUMBUS, OHIO TEAM WINS SPA 55 MAJOR WORLDS
DALTON, GEORGIA – What a difference a year makes. After going 1-2 in the SPA 55 MAJOR WORLDS in 2013, DOCS came up with a new prescription for success and ran the table at the this year's SPA WORLDS to take the 2014 55 MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP.
The tournament held JULY 17-20 at HERITAGE POINT PARK in DALTON, GEORGIA saw DOCS with the exception of a tight 29-28 win over SWEET CONSTRUCTION in the second round easily roll to the 55 MAJOR TITLE.
“Our secret this year is we have a balanced attack of one-thru-twelve in the batting order,” DOCS and SPA'S 50 MAJOR MANAGER-OF-THE-YEAR NICK INBODEN said, “Teams can't take a breather at any time in our order, anybody in the line-up can hurt you.”
That fact is easily solidified by the fact DOCS using all 15 players on the roster had an actual team batting average of .750. In all games pool and bracket with the exclusion of a forfeit win, they outscored the opposition 132-89.
In bracket play they averaged 29 runs a game to their three opponents' 15 run total. After their 29-28 win over SWEET, they easily disposed of HIGH STREET BUCS 27-9, S.A. 55 SOFTBALL (15-0 FORFEIT) and SWEET CONSTRUCTION again, this time in the title game 31-9.
“We were on our game in this tournament,” INBODEN said, “Sometimes you get in one of those grooves where hitting and good defensive plays become contagious with nobody wanting to make the last out and everyone is playing at the top of their game. This was one of those times.”
This has also been a good year on the tournament trail for DOCS as they have added titles from the BRICKYARD, SMOKEY MOUNTAIN, DAYTON and COLUMBUS,OHIO in addition to their first SPA WORLD TITLE at DALTON.
“We play all the organization's tournaments,” INBODEN said, “ Although SPA is by far our favorite, you have to play tournaments where they have a 55-major division, which isn't always the case at SPA tournaments.”
“With all the traveling we have to do, senior softball is expensive,” INBODEN added, “We foot our own travel bills but we also receive some great help from our sponsor who pays the entry fees and covers the cost of uniforms and other incidentals.”
DOCS sponsor is a DOC (what a surprise). Chiropractors KEN SCHONE and LYNN RINGHEISER have not only been taking care of the team financially but also in the office.
“Every week either before or after tournaments, we (team) all start limping into their office for weekly adjustments,” INBODEN laughed, “ They are really good and I would recommend them to anybody, especially ballplayers.”
The team was originally SCHONES when they started as a 50's team in 2005 and today, almost ten years later, still consider softball a way of life.
“Most of us grew up together on the ball field and we just look forward to continuing it,” INBODEN explained, “ Our tournaments are more like a family reunion where everyone , wives included, get together for a fun two-or-three day vacation. Those are great memories and just make playing senior softball that much more enjoyable.”
INBODEN also mentioned his team is starting to get close to social security age with three-quarters of the squad past the age of 60 years, but he isn't concerned.
“Age is just a number.” he said, “You have to forget that number and just go out and play, have fun and treasure the memories of being together.”
Five of those teammates came in for special recognition at DALTON.
CLIFF CARPENTER was honored as the TOURNAMENT MVP. All the second baseman did was compile a team high .945 batting average.
Being selected to the ALL-AMERICAN team were REX HICKS (3B,,844), GARY PERKINS )P, .824), TEDDY WEINGARTNER (DH/C, .830), KEVIN FARKAS (1B, .834) and CARPENTER.
Other members of the new SPA 55 MAJOR CHAMPS are: INBODEN , LARRY MCELROY, DAVE SCHERVISH , MIKE SULLIVAN , BOBBY WALKER , ROB HAUKE , DAVID MILLER, JEFF BAUMGARDNER , BRAD WARNER and DOUG SHANYFELT.
Coming in for special recognition from INBODEN and his teammates were the “traveling wife's club.”
“They have been really supportive,” INBODEN said, “There is no way we could pursue our hobby without their help. They have supported us all the way.”
“They (wives, friends) are also at the games cheering us on, helping at team's functions. They are a very special part of our success and although maybe we don't say it enough, “we really do appreciate them.”
The LADIES who were leading the cheers at DALTON were JUDY HICKS, JENNY MILLER, AMY CARPENTER, JUDY WARNER, JERI WEINGARTNER, JENNY PERKINS, MARY BAUMGARDNER, BETTY SULLIVAN and SUSAN INBODEN.
WEINGARTNER, according to INBODEN, also deserves the “SPA 2014 STATISTICIAN OF THE YEAR AWARD.”
“She is fantastic,” he said.
As for 2015, the program has not been set.
“With so many 60's players we do not know if we will stay at 55 MAJOR PLUS or go 60, we haven't decided yet,” the MANAGER-OF-THE-YEAR said, “One thing is for certain we want to return to DALTON, whatever age or Division we are in.”
“This is just a great facility and there always lots of great competition with all the other major and major plus teams attending. RIDGE HOOKS and SPA run a tremendous tournament, we really enjoyed it.”