Jaywalker Boys of Summer
Part of learning to love in a life in recovery is realizing that we can have fun in recovery. One of the most unique aspects of our recovery community in Carbondale are all the Jaywalker alumni that stick around long after the lodge. Jaywalker alumni hang together and have fun together to show men in early recovery that there is hope for an amazing, happy life. This certainly rang true in my recovery and The Jaywalker Alumni softball team is one of the many activities that help make my life in recovery one worth living.
This past weekend was the Carbondale City Softball Tournament. Winner would be able to call themselves softball champions of Carbondale.
For years the Jaywalker Softball team had been known as the ultimate choke artists when it came to Carbondale Rec League Softball. Since the team’s inception 5 years ago, Jaywalker softball could always be counted on for one thing: an early exit from the post-season.
For owner Bobby Ferguson, this type of mediocrity was unacceptable. Jaywalker softball would have to bring home a championship soon or heads would roll, starting with General Manager John Schneier who had been on the hot seat for the past couple years. It was safe to say that Bobby was on his last straw. The fans were beginning to get restless.
To make matters worse, the Carbondale Rec league was home to a softball monster. This monster took the form of a team that hadn’t lost a game (regular season or playoffs) for the past 3 years. Ironically, this team’s name was Addiction. Year after year, Jaywalker was facing it’s toughest opponent, both off and on the field.
After a great tournament, it was only fitting that the championship game would be a battle between Jaywalker Lodge and Addiction.
The game was a back and forth battle. Offensive fireworks abound. After 5 innings of the 7-inning championship game, Jaywalker trailed Addiction 14-11. In the top of 6th Jaywalker dialed up the offense. 3rd basemen and gold glove winner Donnie Hagenbart hit a 3 run jack deep into the left field bleachers, and 3 batters later Right Centerfielder Adam Mink hit another 3 run homer. Add another run into the mix and Jaywalker had an 18-14 lead going into the bottom of the 6th. In true championship game style, Addiction responded with a monster 6 run inning, utilizing walks and home runs to take a 20-18 lead heading in the top half of the 7th. Jaywalker had one half inning to make a comeback and prevent the championship series to go to a deciding game 3.
The pressure was at an all time high. Jaywalker softball was always the brides-maid never the bride. After a quick out, Jaywalker needed base runners. Up stepped Ben Marbach. Not letting any of the pressure get to him, Ben drew a walk. Unfortunately, the next batter popped out, leaving Jaywalker down to their last out. Next up to the plate would be Left-Centerfielder Brit Bingham, who was having an All Star year. He ripped the ball down the right field line, in and out of the RF’s glove leading to a triple and a run scored. Jaywalker was within 1 run. After back to back walks to Donnie and John the bases were loaded for Jordan. 2 outs, down a run in the last inning Jordan put the pall in play in the hole between 2nd and 3rd. Addiction’s shortstop made a play on the ball but wasn’t able to record an out, tying the game up at 20.
Up steps Adam Mink. With 2 outs, bases loaded, in the last inning of the championship game the pressure was palpable. This is the situation that Adam had dreamed of all those late nights in the back yard growing up. With the city championship on the line Adam delivered, drilling the ball deep over the wall in left center field for a go ahead Grand Slam. Jaywalker had the lead 24-20 going into the bottom half of the last inning.
There would be no comeback in the bottom of the 7th. The sober men of Jaywalker lodge would keep Addiction down once and for all. The impossible had finally happened and as Al Michaels famously said: “Do you believe in Miracles?” Well on Saturday the 16th of August, we all believed in Miracles.
Asst. to the General Manager
A New Path