News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Softball Scene

June 10, 2007

Softball Scene: Congrats to ‘Big Charlie’ and ‘Little Charlie’ for softball accomplishments

The recent presentation of the prestigious McMillan Award to Cole Vicars brought to mind several issues. First and foremost would be the prominent place held by the Vicars family in the Indiana ASA Softball Hall of Fame.

This past February, Charles E. Vicars, known as “Little Charlie,” was inducted into the Indiana ASA Softball Hall of Fame. In doing so, he joined his father, “Big Charlie,” Charles W. Vicars.

Both Charlies played prominent roles on the local softball scene as well as achieving statewide notoriety.

As for myself, I remember “Big Charlie” as the manager and organizer behind the Clean Air Service men’s fastpitch teams that competed at the highest levels, both statewide and regionally.

“Little Charlie” was the outstanding starting shortstop for the above-mentioned teams. His abilities were recognized nationally with an invitation to a Pan-Am games tryout.

Congratulation to both for their softball achievements.

Another issue that immediately came to mind was the possibility of Cole following in the footsteps of grandfather “Big Charlie” and father “Little Charlie.” Following what will undoubtedly be an outstanding baseball career, will there be any fastpitch softball left for Cole? As unimaginable as it may seem, the fastpitch scene locally is dormant. Let’s hope that by the time Cole is ready, there will be a resurgence in interest in the fastpitch game locally.

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One of my pet peeves is teams that refuse to “play up.” By that, I mean a team or teams that avoid playing against opponents thought to be better than themselves. As such, I would like to recognize a couple of local men’s slowpitch squads that compete against all comers despite the opponents’ classification status.

One of the most active is Matco Tools/Chop Shop. Classified as an ASA Class D team, it is unfazed by higher-classified opponents. Matco Tools/Chop Shop has proved its worth in the Midwest Open, Bedford Allnighter, the Vincennes Ed Dukes Classic, Jasper’s Brad Brass Invitational and two other round-robin tournaments.

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