A championship game was played last night. There were no television cameras on hand. The highlights will not be seen on SportsCenter. The only reporter present was this author, keeping the scorebook, not covering the contest. With the temperatures in the forties, there weren't even any fans in the stands.
However, none of that mattered to members of Rounding Third, who won the Lake Forest Rec Center's Men's Softball League at DeerPath Park by defeating Coyote Logistics 12-11. The victory was especially sweet for coach/team manager Chris Hambleton, a forty-eight year old stay at home dad from Lake Bluff, IL. It was his first crown in twelve seasons playing in the league comprised mainly of thirty and forty-year olds, with a smattering of younger and older players. "On a night too cold for softball," said Hambleton, "we played a young, talented team and the old guys emerged victorious."
Rounding Third has had a few close calls. This was their third
appearance in the finals, having succumbed to the big inning or failing
to rally in prior years. It capped off a terrific season where the team
started 3-3, and then rattled off eight victories in a row, including
going undefeated in the double elimination playoffs. Given the cold
weather, none of the players wanted to lose the first game, thus
necessitating a second championship contest.
Hambleton, who is also the team pitcher, saw his squad jump out to an early
lead. The game was tied briefly at 11 in the top of the sixth,
before Rounding Third pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the
same frame. Then, they hung on for the victory, with the tying run on second, and the go ahead runner at first.
While several players joked about going to Disney World, Hambleton
beamed, "It's fantastic, it's good. I feel young enough to play again
No Bears and Northwestern home games, so I'll be switching back and
forth Saturday between the USC-Oregon game and the World Series.
Tonight, I've been roped into seeing "A Chorus Line" at the Lincolnshire
Marriott. That's ok, it's one of the more enjoyable Broadway plays,
having seen it in college several decades ago.
player/manger: Chris Hambleton (holding trophy)