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Book Captures ‘Precious Moments’ of Senior Softball

May 1, 2014

A senior softball player from Oregon has penned a very readable and inspiring book about how the sport helped him through cancer treatment, a double-knee replacement and shoulder surgery.

In the pages of “Slow Pitch Therapy,” Dr. Leon Speroff chronicles how fellow senior softball players provided essential support through “aches, pains and illness.”

One of the biggest benefits of senior softball, according to Speroff, is not batting, or fielding or running: “There are more man-to-man hugs during and after a senior softball game than at any other time in most men’s lives. Senior softball is a vehicle for emotion, providing excuses and circumstances for manly interactions that are hard to do anywhere else.

“The older one becomes, the more precious are these moments, and when struggling with an illness, the support of fellow senior ball players is precious.”

After going through extensive chemotherapy treatment for a Lymphoma, here is Speroff’s idea of the perfect psychological treatment:

“Five for five in my first games back after a difficult month! What a difference it made after eight units of transfusions, to have a good red blood cell level…. no leg discomfort; no shortness of breath; and the strength to swing the bat with coordination and strength! There is no better therapy for the chemotherapy blues!”

There are several senior softball truisms that emerge in Speroff’s book, including the desire to swing the best possible bat:

“Every player is constantly seeking to find a new edge, usually in a new bat (I have had six in six years). The bats are always improving. …(and) I like to remind my teammates of a saying from T. Boone Pickens: ‘At my age, a dollar saved, is a dollar wasted.’ ”

And this about why players lie to their managers about injuries from Speroff, (Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Oregon Health and Science University):

“(A manager) told me before each game he asks various players: ‘How is your arm? How about your knees, How do you feel? And do you know what? They lie!’

They lie, said Speroff, “ because their personal desire to play is so strong…. (and) players want to be part of the team and do not want to let the team down.”“Softball Therapy” is available through Kindle.

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