Pick-up softball a long tradition in the hills

IT’S WORLD SERIES WEEK and what better time to toss out a bit of local sports trivia. Did you know that a game of pick-up softball has been going on locally for almost 41 years?

It was 1968 when a group of guys started cracking the bat on a sunny Saturday at UC Berkeley. Lewis Dolinsky was one of them and at 73 he’s still in the game today, playing ump and keeping stats.

One thing that’s changed is the venue. In more recent years, the guys have been playing at Montclair Park field, which is too small for most teams, but suits them just fine.

“There’s a core group of about 10 of us,” says catcher Larry Einhorn, who admits that they’re die-hards.

“It would take World War III for us not to show up on a Saturday,” he laughs. “Another 20 guys or so drop by when they can.”

And while they’re always looking for new players, you should know that this is fast pitch with balls whizzing at 68 mph.

“If you played high school or college ball, you’ll be just fine,” says Einhorn, “but you can’t be the girlfriend of a guy who plays but you’ve only played five times yourself. You can, however, be a girl who can pitch.

“Tell your readers we’d love to have a female pitcher,” says Einhorn, who says other than gender, they’re pretty diverse. There are guys in their 70s playing with guys in their 20s in what Einhorn calls a beautiful blend of people from all races and ages. But on Saturday afternoons they have one thing in common: a love of softball and the chance to be a kid again.

TRICKS AND TREATS: I got my hand slapped the other day while I was trying to pilfer a piece of free candy. The boney fingers came out of the bowl of bon bons at The Fat Lady Restaurant and gave me such a scare, I let loose with a scream.

It’s part of the fun at the venerable Jack London Square eatery, where Halloween is such a big deal, they shut down for several days just to decorate.

“We have three huge ocean containers full of decoration,” says longtime owner Patti Rossi. This year’s theme is Sleepy Hollow and daughter Nicole painted all the graveyard scenes free-hand on butcher paper. How appropriate is that? Make a date for lunch or dinner and see the spooktacular house through the first week in November.

HEADS UP: Here’s an example of a school getting creative with a fundraiser. Treat yourself to a hair facial — yes, you read it right, a hair facial — and Montclair Elementary School will make $35.

It’s the brainchild of school parents Teresa and Kostas Bozikis, who own Touch Salon & Gallery on Antioch Court. Just make an appointment for a $60 Kerastase hair treatment between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Nov. 3 and you’ll pay only $35 with every dime going to Montclair Elementary School. For reservations, call 510-339-7000.

ANIMAL TAILS: Just in time for Halloween: Reader Gail Grigsby says she found a scorpion in her Montclair bedroom the other day — the second one in a year.

This latest critter was small but feisty, according to Grisby, who wonders if anyone else has seen scorpions in their home.

Well, Gail, I found one in our living room a few years back and my husband beat it to a pulp with a baseball bat. I assumed it came in with a new sofa sleeper from Macy’s but now I’m wondering and freaking out.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s