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TELL CITY—The Tell City Men’s Softball League has returned after a five-year absence, and in many ways it is stronger than ever.
The league folded after the 2003 season, as the Tell City Parks Board voted April 12, 2004, to allow the league to play only on Friday nights because of conflicts with girls league games on adjacent fields. The biggest problem was men’s home runs landing on the girls fields.
Because of the late date for making the switch, the Friday night Tell City league did not get enough teams to play in 2004. Tell City players then started playing in Chrisney, Evanston, Huntingburg and Jasper leagues.
This year Keith Feldpausch, with help from Jeremy Howard and Brad Chapman, decided to restart the Tell City league, though, because “we got tired of driving to Chrisney or Evanston to play,” said Feldpausch.
The league started in late May playing only on Friday nights but is now playing on other nights since the girls’ seasons are over.
Playing on the same night as the girls leagues might not have posed a problem this year, though, as home runs in the men’s league are far fewer than before due to only single-wall bats being allowed.
In some previous years when the men’s league used double-wall bats and unrestricted flight balls it was not uncommon for 10 home runs to be hit in one game—even though the outfield fences are 300 feet from home plate, farther than in most area softball fields.
At times there were also some less than friendly rivalries in previous incarnations of the men’s league. But this year “it’s gone real smooth—we haven’t had any problems at all,” said Feldpausch.
The competition is as balanced as in most leagues. Through seven games, every team has won at least once.
Terry Electric’s young team, featuring several players just out of high school, won its first game last week. “They’re starting to play better as a team,” said Feldpausch.
Logos and Waupaca are tied for first place at 6-1. They were playing each other for the second time Thursday night when they were rained out in the first inning.
Complete Lawn Care beat The Pizzeria 18-7 right before that to improve to 5-2, just one game behind the co-leaders.
Each team in that game featured father-son combinations. Former Perry Central baseball star Matt Karpowicz played third base for Complete Lawn Care and his son, Brandon, played right-center field.
Karry Marsh pitched for The Pizzeria. His sons, David and Shane, played third base and outfield.
The league includes players from age 18, the minimum, to their mid-50s.
There are seven teams in the league. “We probably could have had 10, but playing only one night a week seven is all we could take,” said Feldpausch.
“It’s about the same teams that we had at Evanston last year, with some variations,” said Logos player Jeremy Noble.
The league operates a concession stand this season for the first time in more than a dozen years.
Cassie Feldpausch, Keith’s wife, runs the concession stand. Profits from it were used to help pay for Keith Feldpausch’s team, Complete Lawn Care, to pay for its motel rooms in its trip to the ASA Class D state tourney last weekend.
“Usually there’s a pretty good crowd down here on Friday nights,” said Cassie Feldpausch.