For 15 years Frankie Manibusan has headed a community men’s fast pitch softball team comprised of Lakeview residents, competing in the Alturas Men’s Fast Pitch Association.
The only Oregon team competing against squads from Alturas, Likely and Cedarville, will be from Lakeview. Manibuson hopes to put together two teams from Lakeview this year to play in the league, but with several team members being fire fighters and predicting a busy fire season this summer, being able to field enough players is a concern.
League fees are $350 per team, which pays for umpires, equipment, and insurance. The fees for Lakeview teams are covered by sponsors Thunder Ranch and Duvarro.
Games are seven inning fast pitch softball. On Mondays teams from California come to Lakeview to play, and on Fridays the Lakeview team travels to Alturas to play a double header. Practices are already underway, taking place Sundays at 5:30 p.m. at the Lakeview High School softball field, though tryouts will continue for several weeks. The first games scheduled to start in June, with games scheduled in the league through August.
“Originally we had a slow pitch league,” Manibuson explains, a native of Guam who moved to Lakeview in 1979. “Some California teams challenged us, they said they would come to Lakeview to play slow pitch, if we came down to play them fast pitch. They supplied us with their fast pitch pitcher, and we killed them in both games. The league grew from there.”
Manibuson coaches both Lakeview teams, which include several players with college or legion baseball experience in ages ranging from early 20s to late 50s. A slow pitch beer league this is not, Manibuson says the games are intense and very competitive, requiring batting helmets for insurance purposes.
There is also a women’s slow pitch softball league in Lakeview, which starts in late June.
For more information on the men’s fast pitch softball league contact Manibuson at 541-417-1343