By Alvaro Macias
Alfred Savala has been playing softball since the early 70s but it was not until recent years that his softball career has brought many unforgettable moments for him. In early July his 65-and-over traveling team, The Quad Cities Old Stars, traveled to a national tournament in Kansas City, Mo. where Alfred Savala pitched a perfect game. Being the true sportsman that he is, he credits his team for that no-hit game.
“I was exited but if it wasn’t for them I couldn’t have gotten it. It’s a team effort,” Savala said.
He says that he didn’t even realize he was pitching a perfect game until another player pointed it out to him.
“They were more excited than I was,” Savala said, adding that they even had him sign the game ball. The Old Stars went on to take second place on the tournament but his perfect game made the tournament a lot more exciting for them.
In 2005 he also won another national tournament with the Roadside Rethreads in Fort Myers, Fla. and today he takes part in two leagues in the Quad Cities.
In the past four years Alfred has also been taking part in the Fiesta Softball Tournament which has the “viejitos” (old guys) playing ball against the “jovenes” (young guys). This friendly tournament has earned him two MVP awards.
In the last Fiesta Softball Tournament he puts up a fist to his friend, but he does it so his friend can get a better look at the big golden ring on his finger. It is from when he was part of the 2006 World Championship winning team of the 60 and over league. The engraved ring with a large gem in the middle is a reminder of one of his better moments, if not the best moment, in his sports legacy. This opportunity arose when the Chicago Classics invited him and two other teammates of his to join them for the championship tournament in Seattle, Wash.
“It felt great! To even go to a world tournament,” Savala explains. “But you never think you’ll ever win one.”
The team only lost one game in the whole tournament. He credits his family and kids for all their support, “I couldn’t have done it without them.”
It is something that he says he doesn’t think he will experience again, but Alfred still plays in two times per week during the season in local leagues.
He says that he would like to see more participation from the guys in their 50s in the local leagues, saying that they would like to have more teams.
“You always want growth,” he said. “I only got so many years left; you don’t want it to die out.”