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Social aspect as important as competing
pic sr-game-2a
Don Carney of the Ravens tries to leg out an infield hit against the Diamondbacks. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
Carl Neaterous of Manteca used to play hundreds of softball games in a year.

Included were his various league and tournament teams.

At 67, he’s toned it down a few notches, playing far less games compared to his heydays.

“It’s more than just playing games,” Neaterous said at Wednesday’s Manteca Senior Games. “For me, it’s more of a social event – I’ve made so many friends (playing softball) over the years.”

As a pitcher, he’s known for having command of his lobs while playing under the rules of the Amateur Softball Association or ASA.

Neaterous has playing softball for over 30 years, including the last 16 in the Northern California Senior Softball Association. Players must be age 50 or older.

One his crowning achievements took place in 2003 when he and his California Olden Bears went 7-0 to win the national championship (age 55 and older) in Plano, Texas. “We have a ring to show for it,” Neaterous said.

During the inaugural Manteca Senior Games, he played on Brannon Tire Ravens coached by Gary Heaton and featuring Mayor Willie Weatherford.

Other members of the local squad included Larry Lusk, Don Carney, Noel Lancetot, Darryl Cabral, Bud Lefforge, J.C. Fox, Paul Skagg, and C.J. Santillan, just to name a few.

The age 60-64 team went 2-3 during the past two days, losing to Diamondbacks at Big League Dreams sports complex, 21-13.

“They were a hitting machine,” said Heaton.

Playing three games on the previous day, the Ravens and Diamondbacks were deadlocked at 10-10 after three innings.

But Diamondbacks of the Bay Area – ranked No. 55 by NCSSA – blasted several balls out of the replica Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim stadium. But rules allow for just one fence-clearing home run per game and no more than five runs for the team ahead per inning.

The No.67 ranked Ravens staged a rally late in the game. But the Diamondback defense extinguished any comeback hopes with a stellar 6-5-4 double play.
Still, the Ravens were thrilled just to play in BLD.

“We’ve played in numerous softball facilities throughout the state,” Neaterous said. “This is our favorite.”