News: Intramural Softball Season brings station residents unit cohesion
Story by Pfc. David Walters
IWAKUNI, Japan - Baseball is America’s pastime. Softball is similar to baseball but the regulations are quite different. The ball is larger, the pitches are thrown underhanded and the bases are closer together.
When softball is hosted on a Marine Corps base, a collaboration of competitive, dedicated and hardworking Marines wanting nothing but a win emerges, in a sport called softball.
Marine Corps Community Services is hosting the unit intramural Softball Season June 3 – July 11. For more than a month, Marines from various units aboard station practice, compete and pour their hearts into the game in order to attain the top spot at the end of the season.
“They are always trying,” said Chris B. Lombard, MCCS recreational assistant. “They never quit. Even when they are down by a handful of runs, they never slouch off. They are always in until the last inning and last out.”
Throughout June and until July 11, games are scheduled to take place Tuesday –Thursday starting at 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.
Gunnery Sergeant D. Allen Baker, Marine tactical electronic Warfare Squadron 4 maintenance control chief, coach and player for the Seahawks, participated in an opening week game June 6, 2013. Although Baker is competitive, he wants something more than just a competition for his Marines. He wants them to look at the bigger picture of what this can help his Marines to accomplish.
“I want them to be successful,” said Baker. “This is just for fun. We are Marines first, and I want them to be successful as a unit. Anything like this comes second.”
To Allen, the season keeps his Marines interactive aboard station and gives them a chance to get out of the barracks and compete in events to help them grow together as a family.
“I think it helps them out by giving them something to do,” said Baker. “When they get out to these little bases, especially with a lot of the liberty restrictions they have and the curfews, it keeps them busy so they don’t go stir crazy in their rooms.”
Whether a team experiences wins, losses or anything else that could cause a team to rise or fall, one thing will remain the same, execution of teamwork to be champions in this softball season.
Babe Ruth, a baseball legend and Major League Baseball hall of famer, views teamwork as the key to winning championships.
“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime,” said Babe Ruth.
As Marines strive for excellence, it's their competitive nature, along with Marine Corps core values, that keeps the players committed. It takes courage to step out on the field and honor to represent their units in a competitive environment.