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Del Webbs best slug it out with Ports management
Del Webb pitcher Bob Edwards was not hurt as he bobbled the ball on a hit as it bounced up towards his face during Wednesday’s softball game between the Stockton Ports staff and the Silver Sluggers of Del Webb at the Del Webb at Woodbridge softball complex. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Del Webb at Woodbridge’s baseball field scoreboard might have seemed lopsided to outsiders, but at the end of the day, the score didn’t even matter.

Wednesday evening, members of the Woodbridge community known as “The Silver Sluggers” – the official softball program of the over-55 community – entertained dozens of neighborhood residents with their annual softball game against members of the Stockton Ports administrative staff. Another game is planned for later this year.

And it wasn’t only those on the field that were having a good time.

“I think that event is wonderful, and it gets people outside,” said Del Webb resident Al Pasion. “I didn’t know that they (the Ports) had such a young team, but having something like this that gets everybody together is a good idea. It cools off in the evenings, so it’s nice to have something like this that people can come to and watch.

Members of the Ports staff exacted their revenge after the Woodbridge team beat them in their contest last year – racking up 21 runs to Del Webb’s 6 in seven innings of play.

But the rising scoreboard numbers for the opposition didn’t slow down the intensity or the fun that came in Tuesday night’s game. Announcer Reno Cortesi had fun reading off the nicknames for all of the Ports staffers as they stepped up to the plate, and dubbing music for specific batters that would play throughout their time at the plate.

There were residents cheering on their team from the bleachers even though the score became even more abysmal.

Even when the Ports squad posted a five-run inning in the sixth – bringing the mercy rule into effect – Cortesi reminded everybody that despite the age of the Woodbridge team, they were still very much in the game.

“I hope you brought your sleeping bags because the seventh inning has unlimited runs,” he quipped. “The Silver Sluggers have just taken their Geritol, and they’re ready to play.”

Del Webb shortstop Roland Roeling – who had some trouble staying on his feet when he approached first base on two occasions – was ecstatic with the turnout and the general atmosphere that the contest brought to the community.

“I think it’s great, and that it really brings people together here to root for us,” Roeling said. “Just being a part of the Silver Sluggers means a lot to me, and getting to play against the staff of the Ports – who I go watch every Saturday and sometimes during the week – adds a little something special to this game.”

The Ports graciously donated 50 tickets and wristbands for the Silver Sluggers to take to the rocking chairs at Banner Island Ballpark Friday night for their matchup against the High Desert Mavericks. The game begins at 7:05 p.m.