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The real ironmen among the Boys of Summer

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POSTED August 15, 2013 1:47 a.m.

Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Bartolo Colon at age 40 is a whippersnapper.

To see real longevity on the diamond stop by the Big League Dreams sports complex today or Friday for games at 7 a.m. That’s when the 80 year-old-and-up-division competes during the 2013 Northern California Senior Softball Association Hall of Fame Tournament. Play actually goes through Sunday. The earlier starts are so the upper age divisions — the 70 plus, 75 plus, and 80 plus teams — don’t play in the heat of the day.

Altogether, 78 teams with more than 1,200 players plus spouses and friends are expected to descend on Manteca. Organizers say many will stay overnight and almost all will eat at Manteca restaurants. The NorCal league also includes teams from Oregon and Nevada.

Manteca Mayor Willie Weatherford noted the tournament includes NCSSA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at 11 a.m. on the Detroit Tigers replica field. The mayor is a long-time softball player who has been banged up several times. He also was banged up pretty well in the seven-year Manteca political odyssey that was required to take the BLD complex from concept to groundbreaking.

The BLD complex in  Manteca is the most successful of the 11 BLD complexes in California, Texas and Nevada in terms of tournament plan and spectators. That also includes a BLD complex in Las Vegas.

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: The Manteca Visitors Center has enlisted local entertainer Jim Anderson known for his early Elvis Presley singing and rockabilly music as the entertainment for the Service Showcase and Network Event on Thursday, Aug. 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Chez Shari at the Manteca Golf Course Clubhouse on Union Road.

Your business card is admission to the free event that will feature exhibits, beer and appetizers as well as live music. For more information call 823-7229.

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: Henry Bennett Jr. sent an e-mail to the Bulletin pointing out why artists may not be flocking to volunteer to have their work displayed at the Manteca City Council chambers.

Bennett said that his work was on display from January 2012 to April 2012. During that time he received no thanks or acknowledgment for his work being loaned to the city.

Bennett said at the very least the name of the artist could be read into the minutes so that people are aware of who was responsible fro the paintings.

The Manteca City Council makes a point to recognize Manteca residents for their achievements at the start of council meetings. Perhaps a little on camera expression of appreciation might just open the door for more artists to step forward as well as help showcase local talent.

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: The family of Ernest Duenez Jr. is marking his 37th birthday this Sunday, Aug. 18, with a 1:30 p.m., vigil outside the Manteca Police Department on Center Street.

The family has conducted weekly Sunday vigils for the past 26 months. Duenez was shot and killed during Manteca Police action. While the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office has ruled there was no criminal wrongdoing in  the shooting a civil suit is pending against the City of Manteca in federal court.

Duenez’s niece — Monique Duenez — will be joining the National Brown Berets in a ceremony that is planned as part of Sunday’s vigil.

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