by Jim Riggs
July 27, 1996
Silver Bullets Fall To Area Men’s Team
The Silver Bullets held the lead after the second inning, only to see the Men’s Senior Baseball League team from Dunkirk tie and win it in the bottom of the eighth when the game ended because of time constraints.
The loss dropped the Silver Bullets record to 8-27, but some of the people watching the game were surprised they haven’t won more.
“Their arms are stronger than I thought,” said Yankees manager Charlie LaDuca, who was also his team’s starting pitcher. “If you put the ball over the plate, they’re going to hit it. Their fundamentals are so good. There’s no weak spot.”
Third base umpire Larry Rodgers was also impressed. “They’re well-schooled,’” he said. “They throw the ball to the right base and they hit their cutoffs. The only difference is they don’t hit the ball hard. I really enjoyed it.”
Bob Swanson, of Kennedy, a long-time observer of professional baseball at College Stadium, was also impressed. “They looked like a very solid team, defense especially,” he said. “Strong throws from the outfield really surprised me.”
He also said, “Not much offense. Being able to use aluminum bats should help.”
Jamestown Jammers manager Bruce Fields didn’t see much of the game, but his wife Julie did. “I think they’re wonderful. I’m proud of them.”
Then she pointed to her husband and with a smile said, “He’s a male chauvinist pig. I grew up a tomboy. I wanted my boys to see so they don’t grow up like him.”
Jammers catcher George Restovich said, “It was interesting, but I’m not an advocate of women playing baseball. They had better strength than I expected.”
Someone who has seen plenty of baseball is Bill Beckerink, whose sons Darin and Adam have played on high school championship teams at Frewsburg Central.
“I was really impressed with how they hit the ball,” Beckerink said. “And how they backed up each other and the arms of the outfielders.”
Bullets second baseman Michele McAnany, who helped turn a double play, also opened Beckerink’s eyes.
“I was impressed with her,” he said. “At 33 years old, she’s a terror out there.”
Other fine defensive plays by the Silver Bullets were a pick-off at second base, throwing out a runner at third who tried to advance two bases on a single and catching another Yankee between second and third on a ball hit to the right side of the infield.
At the plate, the Silver Bullets had nine hits and Kim Braatz had three.
Overall the women’s team left quite an impression on everyone.
“It’s given the community a chance to see that women’s professional sports are for real,” said Jammers general manager Mike Ferguson. “Because of that, we’ve already begun making plans to have them back bigger and better than ever next year.”