Summer Softball in Seaside Park Is Back
For more than 45 years the Seaside Park Softball League was as much a summer tradition in the borough as the 4th of July Bike Parade, The Park Bakery and Betty & Nick’s Bait & Tackle.
At one point there were both morning and night leagues to accommodate different schedules from lifeguards to bartenders and while there are likely no tapes to prove it one of my earliest broadcast gigs was announcing the morning league finals somewhere in the mid or late 70s for the original cable company that served the Seaside area.
I stood on the 3rd base dugout as Playboy Stores battled Bob’s Ranch House. The games were super competitive and losses were not always accepted gracefully.
Some of the standouts who played summer softball in the early years included current Ocean County Superior Court Judge John Peterson, brothers Bobby and Richie Breitenbach, local businessmen Dave Bassinder, Joe Kostiha and Tony Russo, former Toms River highs school athletes Bobby Hermanni and Steve Costello and legendary knuckleballer Vern Irons.
Later while at Rutgers University current White Sox slugger Todd Frazier appeared in the league playing on a team loaded with former TR South baseball players.
The morning league ended in the late 1980’s but the night league continued until 2010 when like many good things it simply came to an end. However that is not the end of the story because led by director Jeff Potter the league is making a comeback and returning this summer to Uncle Moe Levine Field on 13th Avenue.
Potter has spearheaded an effort to fix up the field along with the field house and antique scoreboard, some of which was damaged during Superstorm Sandy.
So far four teams, Bum Rogers, Seaside Realty, JR’s and CWR have signed on with the schedule expected to begin in late June and run through Labor Day. There will be an organizational meeting tomorrow (Thursday) at 7pm at the field and interested teams can call Jeff at 732-814-7949. You can also get information on the league’s Facebook page, Seaside Park Softball League.
Like the title of the Peter Allen song “everything old is new again” softball at night in Seaside Park is back.