There’s a new sheriff in town
by Than Acuff
Every season there’s some new young gun, man and/or woman, who takes the local softball world by storm. It’s usually some kid fresh to town who spent time playing competitive high school and some form of collegiate baseball.
Wednesday night I saw the latest “gunslinger” to join the ranks. I remember seeing him hanging around the softball fields at the very start of the season, looking for a team that might need a player. Typically, teams are flush with men and short on women so it’s often tough for a guy to find a team unless, of course, the guy has an impressive stature and/or a baseball resume of some sort. Then, teams will make room.
But this new guy hails from the Lone Star State and casually approached teams with no pretense about his abilities, standing approximately 5’6”tall and weighing maybe 150 pounds. In addition, if he did play high school or college baseball, it was in the late 1960s, early ‘70s because this new guy is 67 years young and goes by the name of Dan Brown.
Fortunately, he did find a team, the Gray Hares, and while he adds some serious punch to their offense and security in the outfield, there was not a whole lot the Hares could do against the Eleven, as the Eleven was on fire that evening and rolled to a 23-10 win.
The Eleven continues to round out their roster with quality talent, including building the most important aspect of a coed roster, the women. This season they’ve added some serious power with the acquisition of former roller derbyist Renee Newton and former competitive women’s arm wrestler Krystal Ramsey.
The Eleven opened up a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Tim Mahan and Ramsey each singled, CJ “Let me speak to J. Edgar Hoover” Hoover cleared the bags with a three-run home run and Greg Flynt and Ashley Jackson tacked on two more runs with base hits.
Brown, Tom Stenerson and Kent Fulton connected to drive runs in for the Hares in response but when Jacinda Lemons and Mahan led off with base hits and Hoover cracked another three-run shot, the Eleven started pulling away.
The Hares’ effort on defense helped stem the tide temporarily as Brown chased down a line drive in left field for the grab and pitcher Sam Lumb flagged down a hit up the middle to flip to first base, proving that after close to 40 years in the local leagues, he’s still got game.
But the Eleven’s pinpoint placement from the plate generated five more runs in the top of the third inning, capped by a couple RBI doubles from Ramsey and Hoover.
Then the local softball league, or at least those at Gothic field that evening, bore witness to the awesome power of Downtown Dan Brown when he crushed a two-run shot over the high netting in left field to be the only player over 60 years old to go yard in town. His effort sparked a brief surge by the Hares as Fulton followed with a two-RBI double to close the gap but the Eleven proved in top form that evening as they continued to hammer away at the Hares.
Flynt, Luis Aguirre and Mahan combined to push three more runs in for the Eleven in the bottom of the fourth inning to build a 14-7 lead but Brown wasn’t done just yet.
Sure, Brown’s first home run may have been the perfect combination of a meaty pitch, a favorable wind direction and perfect connection on the sweet spot of the bat, but Brown showed that it was no fluke as he crushed another dinger over left that flirted with the Wine House building.
Still, the Eleven proved unstoppable as they proceeded to add nine more runs over the final three innings as Hoover tripled, Ryan Kay joined the fireworks show with a solo shot and Mahan capped the onslaught with a two-run inside the park home run for the 23-10 Eleven win.