SEBRING — The senior softball 70s season is winding down. But first a tribute to a local teacher who retired from teaching to play softball.
Bill (Toad) Todd started in Lake Placid school system in 1970. He moved to Sebring Middle School and after 36 years with the education system he retired in 2006. He was nicknamed Toad by his students as he always had frogs or toads all over the billboards and room.
He taught American History. A lot of his students have gone on and many have prominent positions.
He plays softball for Blazing Irrigation and Lake Placid Marine.
On the softball field, VFW 4300 went into first place with a 22-14 victory over Blazing Irrigation. Two subs (filling in for injured and sick players) shined. Roger (Diesel) Gasperlin had four hits with a double and three outstanding catches in the outfield. Ken(Gentle Giant) Elston had four hits, with two being doubles, drove it six runs and had two outstanding plays at second base.
J.C. (Choo-Choo) Brown had five hits, Chester (House of David) Johnson also a big day with five hits. Keith(On Time) Brey added a key double. Chuck Detore was the winning pitcher.
Blazing Irrigation heroes were Rick (Semi) Rucker, with four hits; Bob (Jet-Man) Richards (triple) and Alex (Too Tall) Gray each had three hits and three players had two hits.
The other diamond had Alan Jay Automotive Network defeating Buttonwood Bay 22-14. Alan Jay was led by Larry (Lucky) Laux with five hits, including a double. Dave (Gentleman) LaHue had four hirs, with one being a triple. Les Osbeck hit three doubles and Rudy Pribble had four hits, weith one being a triple and earned the win in the circle.
‘Wild’ Bill Destefano, Ted (Bear) Griffith and Jerry (Chuckles) Hoffman all with three-hit games.
Buttonwood Bay had a big day from 92-year-old Tony Caristo, with four hits, including a double. John (Boss) Degnen had four hits, including a double. Moose Morrisette had three hits, including a grand slam. Five players had two hits each.
In Thursday’s games, Alan Jay Automotive defeated VFW 4300 by a final score of 19-12. The winning Alan Jay team was led by Les (Preacher) Osbeck, with six hits, inluding a triple. Lee (Sunny) Soneberg had five hits, while Larry Laux and Jerry Kaufman had four hits each. Dave LaHue, Wild Bill Destefano, Woody Woodward and Rudy Pribble all with three hits, the later with a big triple.
VFW had another big day from Jumbo Jim Lauzon, who had five hits, with four of them doubles. Chester Johnson had three hits, with a pair of doubles. Four players had two-hit games.
The other diamond had Blazing Irrigation over Buttonwood Bay 19-9. Blazing Irrigation had Don (Slam-Bam) Cunningham with three hits, with one going for a home run. Sam Crouse banged out four hits in the contest. Rich Rucker, Gallo Gonzalez and Bob Faunestock all had three hits apiece. Moe Pier was the winning pitcher and also had three hits.
Buttonwood Bay had another big day from Moose Morrisette, who had four hits, including a double. The ageless wonder Tony Caristo, Fred Boyd and Rick Flanders all had three-hit games. John Degnen and Dave Pohlman each had two hits with a double.
The season comes to a close Tuesday, with first place still up for grabs. VFW 4300 has to beat Buttonwood Bay to retain the championship under the rules of head-to-head to determine the winner.
Standing are VFW 4300 and Blazing Irrigation both with 14-5 but VFW has the edge 4-2 in head-to-head games. Alan’Jay Automotive Network is 10-9 and Buttonwood Bay stands at 1-18. Games begin at 9:45 a.m. at the Highlands County Sports Complex.