100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

August 25, 1989 - Image 54

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-08-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

SPORTS

Not So
Softball

Is it camaraderie, competitiveness,
or something else that keeps those
older boys — and girls — of
summer coming back each year
to play 'a kid's game'?

RICHARD PEARL

Staff Writer

S

Gene I: It is Detroit,
1944, and the
Brooklyn Dodgers
are holding a try-
out. Despite the
war, despite it being Tiger-
town, the Dodgers are finding
no shortage of baseball
hopefuls on Palmer Park's
field of dreams.
Jules Tabak recalls it as if
it were yesterday:
"It was a beautiful April
Saturday morning. There
must have been a million-
and-a-half kids. You couldn't
even see the ground out there,
it was so packed with kids.
"The turnout even surpris-
ed the Dodger scouts. To get
us all through the testing,
they divided us up into groups
of five.
"There were three tests.
The first was running, and I
won that. I was fastest — I've
always been a fast runner.
"The second test was hit-
ting, and I came in first in
that.
"The third was throwing.
They put you in left field and
you had to throw the ball on
one bounce to the catcher.
"Now, I have what they call
a reverse hook. Everytime I
threw the ball, it would hook
to the right. It never varied,
always hooked to the right.
"Well, I threw it on a line
that day, aimed it about 5 to
10 feet to the catcher's right,
expecting the hook — and the
ball went straight where I
threw it. The ball didn't hook.
"lb this day, I'm living it.
You can never forget those
things!'
Scratch one budding major
• league baseball career. Begin
another — in amateur soft-
ball, a sport that is a
repository for all those for
whom the dream of playing

54

FRIDAY, AUGUST 25, 1989

hardball in the majors will
always be just that.
Scene II: It is Farmington
Hills, 1989, on a sunny Sun-
day morning in August, about
8:45 a.m. It is the ball dia-
mond on the field behind
Warner Junior High School.
About two dozen Jewish guys,
many middle-aged, some

Harold Goodman gets ready to play.

Jack "Moose" Bergman
heads for first.

older, are putting on cleated
shoes, tossing balls, swinging
bats, bending and stretching.
Soon, under the direction of
, The Commish, Barry Good-
man, they will choose up
sides and continue a ritual
that Goodman began 25 years
ago: Sunday morning pickup
softball. Two games, five to
seven innings each. They will
finish before noon.
Jules Tabak, now 62, is
there and he's playing. The
speed hasn't left him — he
hits the ball and zips to first
base like a man half his age,
legs kicking strong and hard.

Bob Tarnow sends one to Iry Meisner.

He is clearly enjoying
himself:
"Where can you go after a
hard week's work and get
away from it all so cheaply?"
he asks. "Start playing and
you forget about everything;
you're just floating. You feel
so good; it's a beautiful
feeling.
"Some guys say they get the
same feeling from golf, but I
just don't get . the same
charge."
But on defense this day,
playing first base, he's having
some trouble hanging on to
the throws on put-outs. And a
guy who is about half Tabak's
age vents his displeasure.
"Will you wake up?" the
teammate screams. "You're
still in this world, not the
next!"
The jibe bothers Tabak —
"Just because you're older,
the younger guys think you
should be perfect!' But Tabak
recovers quickly. "I love the
game. There's nothing like it.
"I have a fix for playing this
game, like an addict has a fix
for dope. You know, if I drive

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan