From the Daily Mining Gazette
By Paul Peterson
HANCOCK — Men’s fast-pitch softball hasn’t been seen in these parts for more than two decades, but that didn’t keep the late Gordy Schaaf from promoting the sport.
Schaaf, who died at the age of 89 this past week, was involved in the sport as a player, manager and promoter for better than six decades.
Arnie Putala of Baraga, a contemporary of Schaaf’s during that period, said the Hancock native was always talking up the game.
“Gordy (Schaaf) was always deeply involved in fast-pitch and sports in general,” Putala said this week. “It really was a lifelong thing for him.”
Schaaf played baseball for the Hancock Merchants in the 1950s. One of the more memorable games for him came in 1957 when the George Kell All-Stars (comprised of several big leaguers) played the Merchants.
“Just watching those big league players play the game was a thrill,” he said, adding the Detroit Tigers outfielder Charley “Paw Paw” Maxwell blasted two long homers that night.
He went exclusively to fast-pitch and pitched for Stevenson Chevrolet for the most part.
Pete Poggione, an opponent in those days, said Schaaf pitched without a glove some occasions.
“Gordy had the the largest hands I’ve ever seen,” Poggione commented. “He didn’t need a glove to field his position.” Click here to continue reading the Daily Mining Gazette.