Two of the true legends of the game, Darren Zack and Sammy Forbes.(Photo by Maddy Flanagan, www.maddysphotos.com (click to enlarge)
MIDLAND — Former Midland Explorer pitcher Darren Zack went to the pitcher’s circle at Emerson Park’s Currie Stadium for the championship game of the inaugural ISC Legends Tournament and looked right at home.
Zack, who just turned 50 years old to reach eligibility, wasn’t going to pitch this summer but decided to join the Palermo (Ont.) Athletics and help out his son, pitcher Darren Zack Jr.
The Legends Tournament was an added bonus. And that was a bonus for the Cobourg (Ont.) Force, which captured the Legend’s title with a 2-1 win over Berkenpass Development of Byron Center.
The Force trailed 1-0 through five innings before scoring single runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings. Zack allowed one earned run on six hits and seven strikeouts.
â€œThis has been great. It’s a lot of fun to see all the old faces, especially around here in Midland,â€ Zack said. â€œEverybody still wants to win so it’s been competitive. We’re not as fast around the bases, but we still get there.â€
Zack had a book released about him this week called â€œZ-Man Darren Zackâ€ which chronicled the Garden River (Ont.) native’s career, including a dramatic run to the 1995 ISC World Title.
â€œI guess it’s pretty good,â€ Zack said. â€œI haven’t had a chance to read it yet because I’ve been busy here. I’ll check it out when I get home.â€
Hemlock resident Randy Wade got the call Wednesday from Duaine Vogel, asking if the 52-year-old could pitch for Auburn’s Gushow Excavating in ISC Legends tourney.
Wade, who throws for Superior Vault M-46ers in the Midland Fastpitch League, didn’t think twice.
â€œThis is just great,â€ Wade said before Saturday morning’s semifinal game against the Cobourg (Ont.) Force. â€œDarren Zack is over there and I might have to pitch against him. I remember watching him pitching for the Midland Explorers. That’s pretty exciting.â€
Zack, who was inducted to in the ISC Hall of Fame this year, didn’t not pitch for the Force in its 9-0 win over Gushow Excavating.
Not much is lost in terms of competition among the legends. Everybody wants that trophy.
â€œThere’s still good players out here,â€ Wade said. â€œIt just takes a little longer to get up the next morning.â€