Editor's Note: Dodgertown West is a group of amateur baseball players in the Greater Los Angeles area who love to play hardball. Membership requires attending at least one baseball fantasy camp at Dodgertown in Vero Beach. Some players have attended dozens of camps over the years. The games are held on Sundays and the players wear their own Dodger uniforms, either home whites or away grays. The following is an open letter one participant wrote to his teammates recently.
TO: Dodgertown West
FROM: Don Volz
I have been agonizing over sending out this letter for about a year now. As I’m sure most of you know I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease about 2 years ago. I always intended to continue playing the great game of baseball as long as I could add something to my team and not embarrass myself with lousy play.
As much as I hate to say it, it looks like I am getting to that latter stage now. The legs still work good and I can run the bases, I don’t strike out often but don’t hit the ball very hard, and I can usually catch the ball. But I’m getting pretty shaky and it seems like my hand doesn’t know when to let go of the ball in throwing and I don’t know where it is going to go. And that is not acceptable to me. So, after 14 years with DTW, and as I approach my 75th year in a few weeks, I guess it is time to hang up the old Dodger uniform that is getting pretty snug anyway and go silently into retirement.
I almost did this at this time last year but gave it a few more games. It has been a great experience playing the real game with a bunch of great guys (and gals) and I want to thank all of you who have worked to make DTW a super organization.
Thanks for all the encouragement and support for one of the old guys. Hell, I never could catch Herbie’s record anyway. I intend to stay active as long as I can playing senior slowpitch softball locally three days a week (I can throw the larger ball acceptably well) and some tennis so that will keep me busy.
Maybe I can get to a few games and see some of you, and if I can ever get the throw back I’ll reserve the right to an occasional recall.
Best wishes to you all and watch out for the back door slider.
I’ll wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Super Kwanzaa and great holidays, and a Happy New Year for 2008.
Don Volz #60