Tom Lorgan, who is actually entering his 20th year of retirement from Warwick Valley High School, has just had another year suddenly creep up and speed past. He has continued playing Senior Softball in Sun Lakes, AZ and still plays in two leagues – one is the local Sun Lakes League for players 50. The players do not have to reside in Sun Lakes itself to be part of the league and there are approximately 100 players in the group.
Officials of the League heard many of its younger players complain about the caliber of play. They wanted a highly competitive league and many of them felt that some of the 70 and older players might get injured with the speed, strength and agility of the younger guys.
Some of the 70-plus players thought the younger players had a major advantage based on their comparative youth. The League, which consists of three seasons of 20 games, decided to experiment. After the first session of eight teams, with young and old alike on the team, they split the League into two divisions of four teams each – the Sun Division of the higher skilled players and the Lakes Division of the lower and older players.
“Since so many of my original friends of Sun Lakes were now in their 70s, I thought I would like to be with my older friends. I requested to be in the Lakes Division. The League officials refused my request and I was placed with the 50 year old players. To be perfectly honest, I thought I would be a real star in the older division. Since I was giving 20 to 25 years to the younger guys, I was sure my request would be honored,” said Tom Lorgan.
He continued, “Because I play with a highly competitive team from Prescott, I was not afraid to be placed in the Sun Division. I just thought at my age of 75, my Prescott team plays against other 75 year old players in the Major Tournaments we play. Those younger guys run faster, hit the ball harder and simply are more skilled. Unfortunately, the Sun Lakes officials reasoned that I belonged with the younger guys.”
Lorgan’s Team Wins Pennant
In both later sessions, Tom’s team won the pennant both times and Tom’s batting average for the complete year was .670 and he finished as the seventh highest hitter and the highest hitter of the few 70 and older players in the Sun Division. No one 75 and older in either division had a higher batting average.
“As it turned out, I guess I was placed in the proper division, in spite of what I wanted,” said Tom.
Scorpions & Minnesota Face Off
With his Prescott Scorpions team winning two of the six major tournaments they were part of, the Scorpions should be either the number one or two seed in the Western Worlds and the actual World Series in September.
“I am more excited to play in the Western Worlds than the World Series because our son, Jason, lives in Sacramento, CA, where that tournament is held each year and my wife, Tricia, and I get to spend the entire week with him,” stated Tom.
The Scorpions, after losing the World Series to the team from Minnesota this past September, were sure they were going to get a big break by having Minnesota moving up to the Major Plus Division, while they (the Scorpions) would stay in the Major League. One can only imagine the surprise and disappointment when the Scorpions were also moved up to the top bracket.
As events developed, the Scorpions and Minnesota faced each other again in September and once again, the Scorpions came in second.
“After September, we no longer faced Minnesota. They just simply never reappeared in any of the Major Tournaments,” said Lorgan.
The Scorpions won a hotly-contested Sidewinders’ tournament held in Peoria, AZ. In that series of games, Tom was selected as the MVP.
“It has often been said that it is better to be lucky than good and I just seemed to have almost everything I hit turn into base hits. I connected for two home runs in the Championship game and hit for .800. As I stated before, ‘Luck certainly plays a major role in softball!’” said Tom.
In April, the Scorpions won the Southwest Worlds in Las Vegas. Tom did not go to Las Vegas as he and Tricia had friends from New York visiting.
“I couldn’t ask my friends to spend a week in Vegas watching me play or going to gamble and lose all their money, so I spent my time with then in Sun Lakes,” said Tom.
On the trip to Warwick, Tricia and Tom drove across Rte. 90 and had the best weather possible – no storms, just great weather.
“I am not sure how much longer I will be able or want to continue playing super-competitive softball, so I simply will let Father Time and Mother Nature decide when I should finally hang up my softball gear. It has been and continues to be a great run and when I no longer can play as I want, I will quietly find something else to do,” said Tom.
“All in all, with Tricia playing tennis four to five times a week in Sun Lakes, it’s a little disappointing for her to come back to Warwick because she hardly gets to play that much here. There just aren’t the same number of ladies available in Warwick. We love Warwick, as this is our home, and we will always love Warwick!” said Tom.
He concluded, “I get to play more tennis than Tricia. I just wish more of her friends could play more with her. I keep trying to get Tricia to the golf course but her answer is always, ‘I will take up golf when I get older! That always floors me.”