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July 21, 2011

 

Sunny times for Old-Timers

The late Roy Teeter remembered fondly by his fastpitch peers

SoftballBob Ellis/staff photographer
Old-Timers catcher Dick Meldrim (left) gives baserunner Mike Holl a shove off the third base bag as he tags him out during the annual Old-Timers Fastpitch Softball Game Wednesday at Cortland’s Meldrim Field.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

Under bright and sunny skies, the annual Dick “Fingers” Finn Old-Timers Fastpitch Softball Classic saw a gathering of current and former stars on Meldrim Field Wednesday.
The Old-Timers kept their winning streak intact with a 4-3 victory over the current CNY Fastpitch All-Star contingent.
A few of the Old-Timers’ game highlights included second baseman Russ Teeter taking a one-hopper off his chest in the top of the first inning and completing the throw to first for the first out of the game, Mike Dexter making a pair of catches in centerfield and Lowie getting his son, Mike, to pop out to Teeter in the fifth inning.
Denny Zach and Mick Lowie shared the pitching duties for the Old-Timers. Zach working the first three innings and fanned a few of the youngsters with a mean change-up and Lowie tossed the final two innings to earn the save.
While there was an exhibition on Meldrim Field, much of the night was about the history of fastpitch softball in Cortland with tales woven by former Cortland Standard sports editor Jere Dexter, who served as the emcee for the event and helped umpire Mary Lou Bordwell with any calls on the field from behind his microphone.
There was a moment of silence prior to the start of the game for Roy Teeter, who recently passed away and has the CNY Fastpitch MVP Award now named after him. His wife, Tracey, and son, Zach, were in attendance with Zach pinch-running for Denny Zach — Teeter’s long-time friend, teammate and also foe during his softball playing days.
“I played with Roy a lot of years and I also played against him,” Zach recalled. “The thing I remember most about Roy was that he didn’t have a weak spot. I remember throwing him a waste pitch in a tight game in Auburn that was two feet outside and close to two feet over his head. He hit that ball over the third baseman’s head for a double down the line. He was a great all-around ballplayer who could pitch, field, hit and run. I knew him and Tracey was here from the start. Roy was one of my best friends.
“Roy is actually the one who got me playing ball here in Cortland,” he continued. “He was wanting to slow down a little when the Gel-Flo team started up. He didn’t want to do a lot of the traveling. He talked to me, I dropped about 20 pounds and started playing a lot more. He really got me back into it again. It’s always fun to come back here and see they guys I played with and against. I really just hung it up four years ago so there are a lot of guys here I played with. Cortland is still one of the last places in New York State that still has fastpitch softball.”
For Zach Teeter, it was a special night as well.
“I always had good times here,” Teeter replied. “It’s fun to hear about the things my dad did. Some of them I remember, others I didn’t because I was probably at the ice cream truck. It was an honor to play with the guys. They are a great bunch of guys.”
The other highlight of the night was the presentation of the CNY Fastpitch Awards from the 2010 season.
Ben Albright was the recipient of the Roy Teeter MVP Award. Albright hit .523 with 23 hits (including three doubles, two triples and two home runs), 19 RBIs and 18 runs scored. He was on vacation so Tracey Teeter accepted the award.
“Dad would say that he probably didn’t deserve to have the award named after him,” Zach Teeter said. “He was a great athlete, a great father and I’m really going to miss him a lot.”
The Ray Spada Pitching MVP Award went Roger Karn, who is playing for the defending CNY league championship Stone Lounge team. Karn went 8-0 in 2010 with 32 strikeouts and a 3.57 earned run average.
“It’s a great honor to win this award,” said Karn, who won the Teeter Award in 2009. “Ray Spada was a great pitcher and he helped keep fastpitch going around here. It’s great to win the award named after him. We really had a good team and I had some great teammates behind me that helped out.”
The final award was the Dick Aylesworth Good Guy Award. This award goes to a former player, coach, sponsor or supporter of Cortland fastpitch softball, This year’s honoree, Harold Foster, falls under all those categories. He taught a number of guys how to pitch and he still enjoys the game to this day.
“I have helped a lot of kids learn this game and have sponsored a number of teams,” Foster said. “I have been fortunate to teach a number of guys how to pitch and it’s something that I have really enjoyed all these years. My son was a pitcher and now both of his daughters are pitchers for Cortland High School.
“I love coming to this game every year,” he added. “I almost missed it this year with other commitments, but I switched things around a little bit. I’m glad I didn’t miss tonight and I am totally surprised by the award.”
Foster offered his thoughts on Roy Teeter.
“Roy was a great player,” Foster said. “I try to pattern my pitching around the way Roy pitched. He did everything right. If I played one-tenth as good as he did, I felt like I had done well. Roy was a school teacher and he knew how to conduct himself on the field. He was a great competitor and a great person.”

 

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