Men’s Slow-Pitch Softball League May Be Revived
It is likely that men’s slow-pitch softball will come back to the Terry King ball field in Amagansett following a five-plus-year absence.
In the final game played at Terry King, on Aug.1, 2012, CfAR “mercied” Schenck Fuels 21-6, capping a three-game playoff championship series sweep.
Ray Wojtusiak, one of those who have been pushing ever since for a return to Amagansett, oversaw that team, whose roster included Rob Nicoletti (still pitching at the age of 62), Tom Thorsen, Joe Sullivan, Bill Collins, Alex Tekulsky, Andrew Foglia, Chris Pfund, Diego Palomo, and Nick Jarboe.
At the time, Wojtusiak said the league, which once boasted 14 teams in two divisions, had shrunk to five (and, at the very end, four, given forfeits by the Briar Patch Boys) — a falloff he found hard to believe, he said, given the popularity of the Travis Field tournament, which that year had attracted 15 teams.
With the folding of Amagansett’s league (the women’s slow-pitch league has continued to play at Terry King all along), more than 20 of its players decamped for the Montauk wood bat bar league, whose games are played at the Hank Zebrowski field on Edgemere Road.
“We had a good time playing in that league,” Wojtusiak said, “but a number of us began seriously talking at the Travis tourney this year about reviving the league in Amagansett.”
At the moment, he said, it appears that the revived league will have between six and eight teams (two, maybe three from Sag Harbor). A meeting has been held among the managers, and further meetings apparently are planned.
Rich Schneider, who lives in Manorville now, and who oversaw the league for years and umpired many of its games, has been asked to take the reins again.
“We’ll use the same equipment they use in the Travis Field tournament,” Wojtusiak said, “a restricted-flight metal bat and a restricted-flight ball.”
Even so, there will be home runs at Terry King (a rarity in Montauk given the wood bats and the fact that there is no fence in right field for lefties to aim at), though probably far fewer than was the case in the past, when single-wall composite metal bats were allowed.
“It got so that the teams with the liveliest bats at Amagansett would win,” Nicoletti said. “With the ball coming off them at 100 miles per hour, it was potentially dangerous too. It got to where pitchers were wearing protective gear.”
“It was a different game in Montauk,” said Wojtusiak, “a game of base hits and defense.”
As for the projected frequency of play, “Three times a week is too much,” Wojtusiak said. “It will probably be two times a week. . . . It looks like it’s going to happen.”
One of the attractions, said Nicoletti, has been the extensive work that town crews have done at Terry King.
“They’ve redone the infield, replacing the grass with sod, they’ve added clay to the infield . . . it looks like they’re also going to do some work in the outfield,” where in the past potholes made things dicey when chasing fly balls, “and I hear they’re going to replace the outfield fence.”
All the fields, the Little League fields included, have needed work, said Nicoletti. “Hopefully,” he added, “this will be the beginning, and not just for the adults.”