By John Benton
TERRE HAUTE — As someone interested in history, I have often thought of trying to work a history lesson into the Softball Scene column. This week I may have found that opportunity.
Please bear with me on this, because it’s not easy to combine “Democracy in America,” written by a French aristocrat in 1830, and a softball tournament held last weekend in Terre Haute.
Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” was a recording of his observations of the American experiment with a democratic form of government written in 1830. One of the observations was the American propensity to form associations. He stated, “Americans of all ages, all conditions, and all dispositions constantly form associations … religious, moral, serious, futile, general or restricted, enormous or diminutive … the Americans make associations to give entertainment, to found seminaries, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books …” In short, Americans form associations to achieve ends a single individual working alone could not accomplish.
This past weekend, I witnessed an association in operation. The local UPS outlet, under the leadership of David Wake and assisted by several USP employees, hosted a fund-raising softball tournament. As a result of their efforts, the United Way organization will receive a donation of $1,550.50. To my way of thinking, that was just what de Tocqueville had in mind.
The above-mentioned tournament was a competition between several southern Indiana UPS teams. Included in the tourney field were two teams from Terre Haute plus teams from Huntingburg, Bloomington, Washington, Clarksville and Versailles/Columbus.
The Terre Haute No. 1 team emerged victorious as it moved through the tourney without a loss. In doing so, the Terre Haute No. 1 squad recorded wins over Terre Haute No. 2 11-10, Versailles/Columbus 15-0, Clarksville 11-8 and Washington 19-7.
The Terre Haute No. 2 team suffered through a tough day as it lost two one-run affairs. After dropping the 11-10 game to the Terre Haute No. 1 squad, it lost to Washington by a 9-8 score.
Playing for the winning Terre Haute No. 1 squad were Jason Long, Kevin Dean, Chad O’Neal, Michelle Meyer, Greg Welton, Tim Meany, John Travis, Jo Ann Barnes, Nick Jukes, Clint Williams, Cody Garza, Chris Wright, Tami Wright and Bob Woolley.
Another example of an association formed for a worthwhile cause is the 180 Energy Drink’s team effort to raise funds to help defray medical expenses for K.J. Helton. The 180 Energy Drink team will host a coed tournament at Jasonville the weekend of Aug. 29-30. Teams interested in playing and contributing to a good cause can contact Greg Landry at (812) 201-6788.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the late Dr. Edward K. Spann for encouraging me to read de Tocqueville. I only wish he were here to critique this column and my reading of “Democracy in America.”
• Tournament news — Several local female players were a part of the third-place finisher in the Amateur Softball Association 35-and-over Masters national tournment. Angi Robins-King, Cindy Fulk, Connie Bollinger, Annie Marshall, Anita Cook and Hope Downey all played prominent roles in the team’s effort. After losing their opening contest, the local contingent reeled off five consecutive wins before being eliminated.
The Robinson Heating and Cooling team finished with a 2-2 mark in the ASA Men’s Slowpitch Class E Southern State tourney this past weekend. Robinson Heating and Cooling dropped its opening game to Hudson Lawn Care 19-14. After the loss, it recorded wins over Spindell’s Meats 14-4 and Jackman’s Law 15-14 before being eliminated by Game Time 17-16.
• Upcoming tourney — Crawlworks men’s team will be hosting a men’s tourney the weekend of Aug. 22-23. The cost will be $125. For further information, contact Chris “Chachi” Nidiffer at (812) 208-4162 or Shane Chesshir at (812) 870-6566.
See ya’ at the park.