Master men’s softball provides drama, camaraderie
The competitive spirit is hard to keep down or file away.
It doesn’t care about your age or what game you’re playing - it if wants to come out, it’ll find a way to make itself known.
Even if the body is a bit older, that spirit will do its best to will everything to the finish line.
Just ask the local athletes who participated in the recent Master Men’s Fastpitch Canadian Championships held in St. John’s Sept. 1-4.
Participating in the tournament were Ward Gosse (3Cheers), Glenn Littlejohn (3Cheers), David Crane (3Cheers), Chris Hussey (Newfoundland 1), David Kennedy (Newfoundland 1) and David Whelan (3Cheers).
By the end of the weekend, the body might’ve been a bit bruised and sore but they pushed on. 3Cheers made it all the way to the finals where they squared off with the Rusty Jiggers from Mississauga, Ont.
Behind the formidable pitching performance of Gosse, who was also named tournament MVP, and the timely hitting of Mark Dwyer, 3Cheers defeated the Jiggers 5-4 in eight innings to win gold.
Meanwhile, Newfoundland 1 took home the bronze medal in the four-team tournament.
“It was a great victory,” said Goose. “At this point if you’re still able to contribute and still able to pitch, I’m just happy to be out there.”
“I said, ‘Whatever bat Gossey is using is fine with me’ Glenn Littlejohn
The win aside, just seeing the competitive nature of everyone involved really sold the weekend for Gosse.
“I had the biggest smile on my face because not only were we having fun, but just to see these guys get together and compete against every team we played, it was inspiring,” he said.
It was reunion of sorts as well. Gosse and Glenn Littlejohn were members of various teams throughout the years, but they hadn’t played together for close to a decade.
“It was a great experience,” said Littlejohn. “I thought (Gosse) was nuts when he asked me. Now, I can’t do what I used to do when we were playing, but it’s always been about the challenge of getting in the batter’s box.”
There was also matter of finding his equipment. Littlejohn knew where his glove was, but the rest — ball pants and cleats — had to come from other sources.
He bought a new pair of pants and borrowed some cleats.
“I said, ‘Whatever bat Gossey is using is fine with me,’” said Littlejohn.
The Masters tournament was not all about the win though. Off the field and in the dugout, it had the feel of a reunion, especially for the Newfoundland teams.
For them, it offered players the chance to re-live some of their glory days and keep the story going about the one that got away.
“We had a phenomenal group,” said Gosse. “I told many people it was probably one of the most fun times I’ve had at the park, barring anything I’ve done in ball. It was a lot of fun, a lot of laughs and it was great to see old friends. “It was great.”
The 3Cheers Pub master men’s fastpitch team had plenty of local talent on it. The team won gold at the recent Master Men’s Fastpitch Canadian Championship held in St. John’s Sept. 1-4.