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Softball – A True Underdog Story

By Tom Cowan, Director of Operations with Nexus 5 Group

All work and no play make makes us a lot of money. Oh, and I guess dull.

We do many things to help keep us entertained at work. You see, we believe that having fun at work should rank highly on our priority list. Some examples may include lots of lunches, celebrating events, taking new team members to Top Golf, BBQ parties, golf tournaments, etc. But we haven't done a good job with organized play time. We talk about it often, but mostly just stick with spontaneous things.

This spring, we're doing something about it.

Softball was the word. All we needed was a good coach and a bunch of “I used to be great” locally famous people around the office (like Al Bundy who scored four touchdowns in a single game) and a field. Believe me, there's no shortage of “has-beens” around here. Do they still got it? Let’s dive in!

Boldly going into this season with NO team name, here they are. (Though there were many name suggestions from the hecklers restless crowd).

From left to right:

Matt “Magic Man” Lyons, John “Hammy” Hinman, Josh “Greenie” Green, Josh “JB” Buller, Brian “BW” Weber, Kevin “KB” Bartley, Josh “Big Mac” McDonald, Stan “The Man” Phelps, Dani “Girls don’t like nicknames” Heimsoth, New guy, Mike? Brent “Buck Snort” Hastings, Tony “Not as good as my dad” Cowan

The truth of it is that most of our team members were good athletes back in the day. But how would that translate to the softball rec league? Well, as it turned out, not too bad.

The first and second game of the season (Sunday double header) they went 1-1. It was both ends of the spectrum winning 20-10 and losing 6-16. But hey, that's rec league sports for ya. One game you think it's going to be a cakewalk and the next game you get humbled. Though highlight evidence isn't yet available, it's said that Greenie had a Sport Center diving play at 3rd base and BW with an ESPY worthy “you got Mossed” catch at 2nd base.

Other notables...

Stan looked good on the mound throwing a solid 20-hitter, and wow, a real blazer as a base runner. Kevin is a soccer goalie. Dani looks to be in MVP form as she knocked in two RBI’s. And finally, Tony chased John Hinman around the bases causing John to pull up lame, slotting the only real injury of the outing. No mention whether he will be put on the IR.

The team is coached by a former 3-star, 5-tool player from the Belton Bears pee wee baseball team. You may remember him from Aunt Molly’s video cam footage where he hit three home runs while playing the Raymore Fighting Pikachus. As he crossed the plate on the last run, he barfed up his pre-game cheeseburger, thus inheriting his nickname “Big Mac” or Mac as we call him now.

Josh “Big Mac” McDonald expressed his thoughts after the game. When asked, “How do you feel the team played and what was the difference in the two games?” Mac said – “Well, we all showed up a bit tight, out of shape and somewhat nervous. After all, we had to back up the trash talk we've been tossing around the office for years. Most of us had to buy the glove we played with right before the game. So yeah, little rough. As for the difference... I feel like the absolute surprise of a first game really got into our heads. But I think it's good to get knocked in the mouth in the second game. A good wake up call. We will be ready next Sunday.”

As for the future of the team? Time will tell if “Mac” is able to keep this group of prima donnas together for the duration. Already taking one to the chin with former K-State stand-out John Hinman sidelined with injury, they have an uphill battle. With this much talent and only so many positions, there's sure to be fireworks. The saving grace may very well be the injuries and the “out of town” excuses to help fulfil the bench egos with some playing time.

I was lucky enough to witness the next day's aftermath. I saw a bunch of limping, some sore backs and many excuses for the second game. But one thing for sure, there was much to talk about. And for an office usually filled with noise and laughter, it was fuel for the fire.

"These are the jolliest bunch of a**holes this side of the nuthouse" – Clark Griswold and Jerry Lindsay.

Update: The new guy's name in the first photo turns out to be Matt Breit according to HR.

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