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June 13, 2013 - Image 48

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-06-13

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

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igger than ever.
That's what the Inter-
Congregational Men's Club
Summer Softball League can boast this
season.
Two new teams have joined the
weekly league, bumping the roster to 12
teams. Temple Israel of West Bloomfield
has a third team and Congregation Shir
Tikvah of Troy has been added to the
18-year-old league.
Euchre, of all things, played a role in
Shir Tikvah coming on board.
"I was at a fundraising euchre tour-
nament late last year and a mutual
friend introduced me to a Shir Tikvah
member who had heard about our
league and wanted to know more about
it:' said Chuck Freedman, part of a four-
man group that runs the league.
A couple months later, Shir Tikvah
was a league member.
Besides the three Temple Israel
teams, two teams from Adat Shalom
Synagogue of Farmington Hills and Shir
Tikva, the other league teams are from
Congregation Beth Ahm, Bais Chabad
Torah Center and Temples Shir Shalom
and Kol Ami, all of West Bloomfield,
and Temple Beth El of Bloomfield
Township and Congregation Shaarey
Zedek of Southfield.
Each team plays Sunday mornings
at Keith Fields in West Bloomfield. All
three diamonds are used.
The games began June 2. After 10
weeks of regular-season play, everyone
will move on to the two-week playoffs.
Four teams will still be alive after the
first week of playoffs Aug. 11. The final
four will play semifinal games Aug. 18,
with the winners playing for the league
championship and the losers for third
place.
"We've never had a third-place game.
That's new," Freedman said.
For the second year, the league held
a pre-season fundraiser for the West
Bloomfield Relay for Life event.
Freedman said about 30 to 40 play-
ers each paid $5 to play in two pickup
softball games May 19 and raised $230,
a substantial increase from last year.
"We pushed the fundraiser more this
year:' Freedman said. "The guys like

participating in it because the money
goes to a good cause and they get a
chance to play before the season:'
The big question in the league this
season is can anyone beat Shir Shalom?
"They certainly have the history:'
Freedman said.
Shir Shalom has won four consecu-
tive league championships, six in seven
years, and 10 titles overall since the
league began play in 1996. Those 10
championships are three more than
every other team combined.
Since losing 21-11 to Kol Ami in its
only playoff game in 2008, Shir Shalom
has been on a remarkable tear.
It has won 45 of 46 regular-season
games and all 11 of its playoff games. Its
only loss was a 7-4 setback to Beth El
during the 2010 regular season.
Shir Shalom won all 12 of its regular-
season games and three playoff games
last season, including a 15-1 crushing of
Beth Ahm in the championship game.
Beth Ahm slipped past Adat Shalom
No. 1 by a score of 3-1 and Temple
Israel No. 1 fell to Shir Shalom 20-10 in
the semifinals.
The Jeff Fox sportsmanship award
will be presented by the league for the
second year. The award is named for
a former Shir Shalom player who died
before last season.
Each manager will nominate a player
for the award. The winner last year was
Dennis Horwitz from Shaarey Zedek.
Winning is important in the league,
of course, Freedman said, but sports-
manship and camaraderie are just as
essential.
"We're not as competitive as some
leagues," he said.
Players must be at least age 18 and a
member of their temple or synagogue's
men's club or brotherhood.
While there are young players,
Freedman said, many players are in
their 50s and there are even players in
their 70s.
Freedman's colleagues running the
league with him are Michael Betman
and Brad Silber from Adat Shalom and
Steve Achtman from Temple Israel.
Freedman is from Kol Ami.
The league's website is
mensclubsoftball.org .



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