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Fast-pitch softball takes center state as rookie writer covers beat

By Don Hohler • Mar 8, 2019 at 2:00 PM

It is absolutely amazing how old minds like mine remember what transpired during my first year as the Reflector’s sports editor but can’t remember what I had for supper last night.

This writing was of news over the first week in September in 1959.

First all-star game

City fast-pitch league president Heine Finch had not yet made his decision as to just who would start for the All-Stars when they faced perennial-power Maxie Tire Saturday night. He would go with either Walt Nelson or Gordon Schaechterle. The other two hurlers on the roster will be Dick Hulme and Irish Forney, the winning pitcher against Maxie Tire in a regular season game.

Others on the roster will be catcher Herb Hanlon, first-basemen John Schaffer or Jim Strayer, second basemen Jack Edwards or Chuck Sweet, shortstop Jim Witter or Herm Roth, and third-basemen Joe Andrews who won the city league home run title, or Dale Scheid. The outfield will include Bill Burke in left, Bob Schaffer in center and either Al Sender or Bob Beverage in right.

Maxie Tire manager John Malcolm will chose between Jim Frey, Wayne Leslie or Red Michaels as his starter. Don Sweet will work behind the plate.

The other positions are “the other all-stars” to fans way of thinking. They include Bob Coyle (1b), Bill Enderle (2b), Jack Wilde (ss) and Jim Spettle (3b). Dave Hunter (lf), Bob Berry (cf) and either Frey or Leslie in right.

Maxie’s win all-star game, 7-0

Walt Nelson was touched-up for two runs in the second with Dave Hunter, Merle McConkey and Frey furnishing the offense. Another Maxie player off the bench, Ronnie Zureich, was key in the two-run third. Enderle and McConkey headed the final rally.

Frey threw hitless ball until Herm Roth from Bellevue, reached on a single in the sixth. Al Sender and Jim Witter had the other two hits off Frey.

Berry went three-for-five for the winners while Hunter had two doubles and McConkey two singles.

Schaechterle wins title game

Gordon Schaechterle tossed a two-hitter as Brooker Bros. Forging shocked league-leading Stroh’s Beer, 5-0 to win the City League Tournament.

The usually-reliable Walt Nelson was a victim of his own making as he threw back-to-back-to back wild pitches allowing three runners, Joe Andrews, Jim Witter and Ron Ensminger to score. John Schaechterle and Jim Berry were involved in an earlier rally.

Schaechterle allowed just two hits but shockingly did not strike out a batter. Nelson struck out 11 while allowing four hits, four walks and four will pitches.

Pre-Teen League champs

The picture of the champions, Al’s Cab, appeared with the cutlines showing the players to be Ron Shankman, John Amato, Mike Iehle, Denny Marion, Skip Croft, Dave Brady, Larry Iehle and the team’s all-star pitcher and hitter Roy Brushaber. Jim Kovacs was the manager.

‘Nature Boy’ at the fair

Buddy (Nature Boy) Rogers headlined the All-Star wrestling show at the Huron County Fair in September of 1959. He faced Frankie Talaber. The story explained that Rogers owned every title in the “history of man” when it came to professional wrestling. He flew in from Montreal, Canada the night before. The card also included four midget wrestler matches.

Aiello welcomes players

Western Reserve High School coach Tony Aiello welcomed 12 senior lettermen back including quarterback Dave Eungard and running-backs Larry Nosack and Roger Kuhn.

Aiello, who is assisted by Ike Ferris, also has veterans Paul Adams, Spencer Klucas, Dick Smith, Dick Habernigg, Lynn Walton, Robert Larson, Duane Sheldon and Larry Brucker to call on for line duty.

Others expected to see action include Boyd Martin, Dave Knoll, Eddie Vogt, Dennis Weisenberger, Jan Frederick, Harry DeVeny and Harry Holmes.

The schedule shows the Roughriders playing South Amhert, Leroy, Milan, Spencer, Berlin Heights, Seville, Lodi and Huron Valley.

Nan calls Norwalk troops

Trucker Coach Sam Nan has had some key players go down in pre-season workouts including quarterback Ron Allen (arm/wrist), Ronnie Winkle (knee) and Tom Smith (leg bruise) but all are expected to be ready for the opener against Bowling Green. Either Alex Koslow or Dale Trautman will start at quarterback if Allen is not ready.

Nan singled out New Jersey transfer Dick Castle as a standout over the first three weeks of practice.

The team will be out-fitted in new uniforms thanks to $1,300 from high school game receipts.

The troops, who are coached by Nan and assistants Howard Hershey, Tony Zuppee and Jerry Wood, include Ron Craven, Steve Schillig, Dave Culver, Dave Lowe, Chuck Rogers, Tom Smith, Castle, Jim Smith, Chuck Russakov, Mark Fowler, Larry Werner, Darl Drake, Gunars Brunars, Dave Carpenter, Bill Gelvin, John Levers, Trautman, Allen, Koslow, Gregg Maxwell, Keith Werner, Paul Sickinger, Ronnie Manns, Terry Albright, Jerry Craven. Carl Stoltz, Doug Levers, Danny Pierce, Ray Thomas, Dallas Newton, Terry Tutchings, John Schroeder, Neil Casper, Dick Wells and Neil Robinson.

St. Paul off to tough start

St. Paul coach Tom McClain has lost both tackles, Jim Hay and Alan Wilson, in pre-season workouts.

The Flyer line has an anemic 132-pound average, down 18 pounds from last year.

Ken Pheiffer and Bill Esker, the latter the only returnee from last year, will start at the ends. The guards will be John Fish and either John Metz or Bob Tien. The center is 117-pound Bill Brutsche.

The backfield will include Tom Bleile, Dave Stoll, Mike Myers and Tom Fries.

Both teams lose openers

The Truckers lost their first game to Bowling Green, 28-0 while St. Paul dropped a 38-20 decision to Avon. Norwalk then lost 12-6 to Tiffin Columbian in Week 2 but St. Paul was victorious against Margaretta, 27-14 in its second game.

St. Paul showed a starting lineup in that win over the Polar Bears as follows: Ends: Wasiniak, Hackatheron, Asterita, Miller, Burrill and Schnellinger. Tackles: Lippert and Ellis. Guards: Milliman, Fish, Stutzman and Rospert, Center: Ware and Sullivan. Backs: Fries, Myers, Vogus, Bleile, Parish and Scherer.

Kohlmyer at Northwestern

Norwalk graduate Ernie Kohlmyer was one of the troops Ara Parseghian welcomed to his first practice at Northwestern this week. In an effort to bolster his interior line positions, Kohlmyer has been shifted to a tackle position from end

New robes for judges

Breaking the long-time tradition of suit and tie, both Common Pleas Court Judge Robert J. Vetter and Probate/Juvenile Court Judge Don J. Young, will henceforth wear judicial robes. The gifts by the Huron County Bar Association was presented by attorney Earl S. Miller, Sr.

New road cut in

A new road was cut in off Old State Road at the south end of Memorial Lake. The work was done by volunteers, mostly from the City Street Department. The work crew included Service Director Morley Price, Bob Wise, Bud Mellinger, Dick Doughty, Gene Boes, Gib Liedorff, Glen Gaag, his son, Glenn, Jr., Bob Kohlmyer, Jack Brady, and his father, Jack, Sr.

Don Hohler is a longtime Reflector sportswriter.

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