Best of best featured in All Star game
Erin Kahl, Lady Stallions community team third base player, takes a throw for an easy out at second base.

STUTTGART, Germany -- It was StuttgartAca,!a,,cs own Aca,!A"midsummer classic.Aca,!A?

The cream of the crop from 14 U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart unit-level slow-pitch softball teams met June 30 for an All Star game.

Unlike Major League BaseballAca,!a,,cs All Star game, this was not a popularity contest.

Aca,!A"Each team sent its two best players,Aca,!A? said Matt Gilliard, USAG Stuttgart sports coordinator. The players were then ranked according to their teamsAca,!a,,c standings, assigned odd or even status, and separated into two teams. Odd-numbered players went to the Red team, even to the Blue team, explained Gilliard.

While the original MLB All Star game was held to help celebrate the 1933 WorldAca,!a,,cs Fair, the purpose of the unit-level All Star game, according to Gilliard, is Aca,!A"to have fun.Aca,!A?

Aca,!A"TheyAca,!a,,cre always playing against each other. Now, they get to play on teams with each other,Aca,!A? said Gilliard.

It didnAca,!a,,ct mean the game was any less competitive, though.

Aca,!A"These are the elite players,Aca,!A? said Craig Jones, who stepped away from coaching the U.S. Africa Command team to lead the Blue team. Aca,!A"Any time you put a group like [this] together Aca,!A| itAca,!a,,cs going to be competitive.Aca,!A?

The Blue teamAca,!a,,cs offense was the key to beating the Red team 8-1.

Trent Heckel, who plays short stop for the AFRICOM team, led the Blue teamAca,!a,,cs attack, going 2-for-3 with a triple and a single.

On defense, pitcher Nino Serrano, who usually plays short stop for U.S. European Command Plans and Operations Center, also contributed to the win.

Aca,!A"I know these guys and the way they hit. I kept it outside so they would come back to me or pop it up,Aca,!A? said Serrano.

While Serrano said Aca,!A"guys,Aca,!A? he also meant gals. Each team had a female player from the Lady Stallions community team. The Lady Stallions compete in the menAca,!a,,cs unit-level league for more field time.

Casey Tunnell caught for the Blue team, while Erin Kahl played second base for the Red team.

Aca,!A"Playing with the guys makes us more competitive Aca,!" it brings us up to the guysAca,!a,,c level,Aca,!A? said Kahl.

Most All Star games include a Most Valuable Player.

In this case, the Red teamAca,!a,,cs short stop, LaFear Foeman, earned the title for his glove.
Aca,!A"He made some fantastic stops and catches,Aca,!A? said Gilliard.

Foeman, who plays for the Guzzlers, was pleased at the winning the trophy.

Aca,!A"At my age (47) it feels good,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"IAca,!a,,cm just an old guy trying to play softball Aca,!A| but when IAca,!a,,cm in the game, I try to give it 100 percent.Aca,!A?

He said the Guzzlers, at the time tied for second place, were made up of more Aca,!A"matureAca,!A? players.
Aca,!A"WeAca,!a,,cre old and wise,Aca,!A? said Foeman. Aca,!A"We donAca,!a,,ct try to be superstars Aca,!" we play to have fun.Aca,!A?

Page last updated Mon July 12th, 2010 at 09:42