Sons of Italy-Columbus Lodge #213 member Anthony ("Hippie Tony") Novarro, manager of the Sunday morning "pick-up" game program, has been enthusiastic about the softball games. "We're having fun," said Novarro. For the past few weeks, members from the local lodge have met at Woodard Parkway Elementary School for batting and fielding practice. The workouts have been followed by pick-up games.
Columbus Lodge #2143's Dave Saviano blasted a three run homerun in the Lions final at-bat to ensure a 10-9 come-from-behind victory over the Navigators.
Last week, Jeff ("the Rock") Saviano (3-5, 3 runs) lead the Golden Lions to a split-squad victory over the Navigators, 10-9. The Lions put two runs on the board when Glen Merto (2 for 5), 2 RBIs) drilled a first inning single to left field, scoring the Rock and Lee Miceli. Merto, who returned to action this year after not playing the entire 2001 season due to a series of knee and back problems, appeared healthy. "I'm fine," said Merto.
Ahead 6-4 in the third inning, Lions' Anthony Curran doubled in Miceli and Dave Saviano, giving the Golden Lions an 8-4 lead; Curran is currently leading the team with a blistering .727 batting average. A blow to the Lions came in the 5th inning when Ron Gandolfo pulled a rib cage muscle during an awkward fall. He is listed as out-of-action two to three weeks and hopes to be available for the Ronald McDonald House Sports Festival on June 8.
The Navigators struck hard and fast for 5 runs in the sixth inning, capped by a Stu Heller bases-clearing triple. In the final inning, with Miceli and the Rock on base, Dave Saviano belted a 3-run homerun, (his 2nd of the season), to cement the 10-9 come-from-behind win. It was Saviano's team leading 11th, 12th and 13th RBIs for the season. Anthony Curran pitched well enough for the win.
A couple of weeks ago, Peter Gisonda, from N. Massapequa, stepped onto the field and became the second most senior member (at age 69-years and 6 months) to participate in a softball game for the Columbus Lodge. Gisonda, when told he was two seasons away from breaking Joe Bermudez senior record remarked, "I feel great...maybe a little tired because I was up dancing till 3 a.m. last night." In addition to playing with the lodge, Gisonda plays in the "Nassau County Over 60 League."
Joe Bermudez holds the distinction of playing at a more mature age (71 years and 3 months). After Bermudez's playing days were over, he returned for three seasons as third base coach of Columbus Lodge Golden Lions (1998-2000) and has continued his affiliation with the lodge's softball program by ensuring the field permit is renewed each season. Bermudez is currently chairman of the lodge's annual blood drive.
The Columbus Lodge #2143 , located behind the Stuart Thomas Manor on Boundry Avenue in So. Farmingdale, is a member of the Order Sons of Italy in America, is not-for-profit fraternal organization. The lodge offers its members various social and recreational activities, as well as community and charity involvement. For more information on becoming part of this organization, one may call Steve LaScala at 735-2535.