Evidently the softball All Star teams that I came up with yesterday caught the eye of a few people. And, as I fully expected, there were some opposing points of views. It started out last night innocently enough with a comment from Gary “The Wizard” Peterson in facebook. If you recall, I named The Wizard to my Kenosha All Star team as its pitcher. Here’s what Wiz had to say:
“Danny Wade was the BEST hitter this town ever saw. He has to be the team somewhere. There were many others that people could argue about - Deloria, Keating, Lange, Mario, Van Tine, Cable, Zeith, etc. And sorry to the others that I didn’t mention!!! Kenosha was the hot spot of softball around the world. We were blessed to have so many good players!”
Pretty tame stuff, right? It was until Lance Hoff decided to put his two cents in this morning. Here’s what Lance thought about my choice of pitchers: “Come on the WIZ at pitcher??????? He was over the hill when he started playing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
I replied that all I know is that he could work the crowd. When he pitched for the Kenosha Kings at Simmons field he was worth the price of admission!
To which Lance commented: “No kidding, HE STILL CAN!!!!! He was like Billy Martin (a head case!!!!!!!!!!!!!)”
As could be expected, The Wizard did not take kindly to this and quickly responded with: “A LOT of talent in this body Crawler. I was one of two to play on two World Championship teams. Plus I was a pro drinker and girl chaser. SO BITE ME BABY!”
Before you could bat an eye, Lance had this retort: “Love it !!!!!!!!!!!! Too funny! You are the best, you still got it and you never lost a step, even at the age of 75!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
The Wizard ended the verbal battle with this classic remark: "I'm only 74 BJ breath! I am the “BOSS of the TOSS” Like it or not, learn to like it! That's the bottom line, ‘cause the "WIZ" told you so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
After the battle of the exclamation marks had ceased, cooler heads prevailed. Ronnie Benhoff made this point: “The Wizard and Rocky T were two very tough pitchers to face. Of course, that is coming from the #1 RF in the land!”
A few moments later the mysterious Coach B offered his opinion on Kenosha pitchers by saying: “Like him or hate him, Rocky revolutionized the position...with all due respect to Mr. Wizard.”
Benhoff finished with: “Not sure about "revolutionized" Coach. I believe that Steve Nelson was actually just as good as Rocky but Rocky always had better D behind him.”
That was pretty much it for the facebook commentary but I did receive a very interesting email from my friend Pat Hegewald regarding the All Star blog. He was kind enough to come up with an All Star team of softball players that played in the county. I believe John “Cool Papa” Schwarz referred to them as “West Enders”. Anyways, here is Heg’s County All Stars:
The best pitcher in the county ever was Billy Hill, pitcher of the Monkees. Solid hitter but untouchable in balls and strikes and defense up the middle, 10-man of course. He was the total party leader of the bunch. Two other greats were Mitch Vahenik of Charlie Browns and Tommy DeBravender from Old Settlers Inn. Dan Steffens was probably the best hitter ever to play in Kenosha County and I really mean that.
P - Billy Hill, Monkees
1B - Dan Steffens, Hi-Liter
2B - Boney Elverman, B&D's
SS - One of the redheaded twins from The Worms (not sure of his name)
3B - Rick Kafer, Hi-Liter
LF - George Von Ogden, Palm Gardens
LC - Gene Heckel, B&D's
RC - Dan Ulenhanke, Charlie Browns
RF - Larry “Milkman” Lawler, Joe Black’s
C - Jim Steffens, Lazzaroni Builders
DH - Joe Krisic, Joe Black’s
Heg’s lineup ended with “and some dude named Tarzan.” Too good.
Man, I love softball! I could talk about this stuff all day. I want to thank The Wizard, Lance, Ronnie, Coach B and Hegs for their contributions. You guys made this a lot of fun.
From the rumor mill: Word on the street is that Madeline Llanas is upset that she was left off of the All Llanas team in my book, “Some Kenosha Softball”. I just hope she doesn’t show up at the book signing on Saturday sporting a 32” Easton bat to discuss it! Until next time…from the booth.