News and Announcements

April 4, 2022
The monthly meeting of the CSSA Board of Directors was held April 4, 2022, at Ralph’s Tavern/Zucca Pizza in Kennesaw, and called to order by Norm Thiem at 6:35 P.M.
Members Present: Norm Thiem, Maria Burden, Leland Brown, Randy Bergman, Mike Maguire, Dan Bonham, Bob Werner, Mike Parson, John Humeston, Robbie Crider and Dick O’Connor.
Absent: Dewey Hom, Ray DeLuca and James Bauch
A. Minutes of the March 7, 2022 meeting, having been emailed to all, were Board approved.
B. Treasurer/Financial Report was Board approved.
C. 2022 Sponsors: All CSSA sponsors have either already paid or have committed, and we have enough sponsors to cover the Skip Wells League for the first time.
D. Jerseys: Norm Thiem gave an update. Orders are underway, although button shortages have delayed production somewhat. The Patriot League jerseys are complete, with exception of Premier Collision, which will be ready for the current week’s game. Some teams in other leagues have their jerseys already, and the rest are in the works.
E. League Fee Collection: Norm asked for feedback on the method used for the Spring season fee collection. Issues were discussed, particularly the challenge of assigning payments for multiple teams when a player has given one check to one manager for fees for all teams he is playing on.
F. Possible Replacement for TeamPages and Constant Contact: Dan Bonham presented the cost figures for current website and database services. He is exploring alternative options and will get quotes/proposals for further review by the BOD.
G. New Facebook Page for CSSA: Dick O’Connor has created a new Facebook page featuring photos, videos and writeups on players. There is a link on the “Links” page of TeamPages and an announcement banner at the top of CSSAs TeamPages home page with links to the Facebook page. All players, sponsors and fans are encouraged to join the page.
H. 80 UP CLUB: This special group of better-than-80 year-old CSSA players will soon be featured on TeamPages with a list of members, and articles by Marty Aftewicz as well. An anonymous donor has purchased deluxe carry bags for all members of the 80 UP CLUB to honor their continued participation in CSSA into their eighties. The current members are: Ron Wakefield, Bob Maranghi, Bill Hanzlick, Jerry King, Nick Scivilli, Ken Toy, Pete Berger, Bill Degitz, Steve Scully, Benny Hendricks, Howard Gunn, Carl Brown, Les Taylor and Howard Schoen.
I. 2022 Golf Tournament: The 2022 CSSA Charity Golf Tournament will take place Thursday, June 23, 2022 at Towne Lake Hills Golf Club. The tournament will be a 9:00 a.m. shotgun start. Tom Cameron will take charge of the event. The board recommended volunteers to assist with in securing some hole sponsorships in advance, at a rate of $100 per hole. We will also need help with sign-in and the putting contest on the day of the tournament. There will be a 50/50 raffle. The tournament is expected to gross $14,200, with expenses of $7,450 for a net profit of $6,750. Flyers will be posted on TeamPages as soon as online registration form and online payment capture are established.
The meeting adjourned at 8:02 P.M.
The next BOD meeting will be Monday, May 2, 2022 at 6:30 p.m.


If the CSSA ever invites a paratrooper to descend from the skies carrying the stars and stripes before a championship game, perhaps we can ask for Mike McFarland. I’m not sure parachuting is akin to riding a bike, and it has been over fifty years since he’s floated from the sky, but he has the expertise. He spent two years of Airborne training in Panama with the 8th Special Forces of the U.S. Army.
Born in Canton, GA, he rarely strayed far from home beyond his military commitment. His early exposure to baseball was pitching and playing infield for a Little League team. After that, he didn’t take part in organized sports for many years.
Mike grew up with a desire and need to be independent and succeed on his own. He began working at 12 as a caddy at the Canton Golf Club. At age fourteen, he accepted his second job at Etowah Bank near his home as a janitor. Twenty-four months passed, then he worked for Baker Flower Shop. He was soon asked to help at Baker’s Funeral Home, which also provided ambulance service, since there was no EMS in the county at the time. Because of the demands of this work, his employer asked him to move into an apartment at the funeral home, where he lived his last two years of High School.
He kept working on his baseball interest by playing on weekends against Industrial teams throughout North Georgia.
In 1966, shortly after high school graduation, he married Dianne, his high school sweetheart. A short breath later, the Army called him to duty.
Upon his return to civilian life, he began a long career in the communications industry. This started with Western Electric, subsequently to become AT&T. He settled into multiple assignments in an IT environment, surviving the divestiture of AT&T. He then worked for Lucent Technologies, then returned to AT&T where he retired after 32 years on a Friday and then started work with IBM on the following Monday, where he worked another 14 plus years. His career was always in the technology sectors, including management stints in Disaster Recovery and an IT support group.
But he and Dianne spent a significant amount of time watching their daughter Michele, who was a much better athlete than Mike ever was, and that’s impressive. She was a three-sport letterman, where she played softball, basketball, and track. Michele excelled at softball at Cherokee High School, then at Kennesaw State University (KSU) for four years. She was an MVP shortstop at Cherokee High and then KSU. Upon gaining her BS degree from KSU, she became an assistant coach with KSU to allow her to complete her Master’s degree.
Today, Dianne and Mike are the proud grandparents of five grandchildren, with two who display the athletic gene passed down to them. One granddaughter is active in travel softball, while a grandson competes on a travel baseball team. Future CSSA players? Far too soon, but certainly a possibility.
In 1996, after a softball game where Mike watched his daughter play, the coach mentioned a new league for mature guys, which had recently formed at Hobgood Park. Mike joined the crew of Arnold Fowler, Lowell Lawson, Les Taylor, Bill King and Jerry King, and has never considered stopping. Back then, he even became a part of a senior basketball league started by Lowell Lawson.
Softball has remained his recreational love. Over the past twenty-five years, he’s played second base, short-field, and the outfield. John Perkins got him started in tournament ball and Mike stuck with it for fifteen years. He enjoyed playing on Ray McClure’s teams, where he earned two tournament All-American selections, and several all-tournament MVP awards.
On one occasion, Mike was a member of Ray’s team, which played in a national tournament in Ft. Myers, FL, sponsored by the Softball Players Association (SPA). Twenty-four teams competed in the 60+ division, where Mike and his teammates emerged victorious in every game, not a single loss throughout the competition!
Tournament play can be grueling with long uninterrupted hours and no breaks between games. Mike recalls one incident where he glanced over at the right-center fielder and noticed the player had secreted a hot dog in his sock and munched on the protein treat between batters. That only made Mike’s stomach growl even louder!
He is most proud of his years in the National and American Leagues, where he earned batting titles in each of his decades of play, 50s, 60s, and 70s, an amazing feat, and a record unlikely to be matched or surpassed.
He most admired former manager Barney Greene, who inspired him in many ways. Barney’s passion for softball was legendary with a strong devotion to his players, who always came first. While Barney was gravely ill in the hospital, he asked Tom Ballard and Mike to coach the team for him. That was vintage Barney, more concerned for his players than himself. Tom and Mike coached the team through a successful tournament season, but the team just wasn’t the same to them without Barney.
Pleasant memories of family and softball fill Mike’s life, and he and his wife just celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary! Everyone appreciates a player like Mike: humble, hard-working, and supportive of his team. It seems he’s quiet in the background, but you still might see him parachute into second base to highlight a special event, just for old-time’s sake.

Written by Marty Aftewicz


March 7, 2022

The monthly meeting of the CSSA Board of Directors was held March 7, 2022, at Ralph’s Tavern/Zucca Pizza in Kennesaw, and called to order by Norm Thiem at 6:43 P.M.
Members Present: Norm Thiem, Ray DeLuca, Maria Burden, Leland Brown, Dewey Hom, Mike Maguire, Dan Bonham, Bob Werner, Mike Parson, John Humeston, and Dick O’Connor.
Absent: Robbie Crider, Randy Bergman, and James Bauch
A. Minutes of the February 7, 2022 meeting, having been emailed to all, were Board approved.
B. Treasurer/Financial Report, having been emailed to all, was Board approved.
C. 2022 Sponsors: Ray DeLuca updated the status of CSSA sponsors. Most have either already paid or have committed, and we have almost enough sponsors to cover the Skip Wells League for the first time.
D. Jerseys: Designs and order processing is underway. The Masters League’s jersey designs are approved for all teams and ready to order. The Patriot League (merged American/National League) will receive jerseys first.
E. Manager Packages: Norm Thiem distributed packets to all league directors to be distributed to their team managers who will collect player fees and signed waiver forms for all returning players after the first game, (due to probable weather-related delays of the season start).
F. Clarification of “Injured Reserve List.” Norm Thiem reminded the BOD that per the By-Laws, there is no Injured Reserve List. There is only a Reserve/Replacement Player List. Players who do not wish to be assigned to a lower league can be placed on the Reserve/Replacement Player List.
G. Review of New Player Evaluation Process: The BOD agreed that the 2022 Spring evaluation days went far more smoothly than in previous years. Many positive comments were heard from new players regarding the organization and professionalism of the process. Several members felt that a Player Profile Card should be created to provide clearer information on-site to Evaluators regarding which days/how many days per week new players are available to play. There was still confusion on that issue during and after evaluations. The BOD will make those changes in time for the Fall 2022 Evaluation Days.
H. Roundtable Discussion: Norm Thiem introduced the first of several roundtable discussions to identify current practices that should be incorporated into the By-Laws including the draft process and other items. Continued discussions will need to be held before the process is finalized.
I. Season Start: The various league directors will determine when their season starts, based on league specific situations and weather.
J. League Specific Rules: All League Specific Rules submitted have been approved by the BOD.
K. Bat Checking: This will be done at the first practice if possible and will continue when/as needed. Norm Thiem will order visual stickers which should be ready by season start.
L. Discussion of Possible Financial Assistance by CSSA for hardship of a league associate.
The meeting adjourned at 8:35 P.M.
The next BOD meeting will be Monday, April 4, 2022 at 6:30 p.m.


You know what they say… if you want something done, leave it to a busy person! Our very own Dick O’Connor, Director of the Lowell Larson League, venerable umpire, and member of the CSSA Board of Directors, brings you a new CSSA 2022 Spring Softball Facebook Group. He’ll be sharing player profiles, videos, events and more. There’s already a lot to see here. You’re all invited to join this new group and be fully engaged in this exciting season:


Welcome all returning and new players to CSSA’s 2022 Spring Softball Season! It has been a long, cold winter, and we are all excited to step into the sun and play ball. Whether it’s been a few months or a few decades since you’ve swung a bat, run the bases, or chased down a fly ball, you need to do a solid warmup and stretch routine before every game. A proper pregame warmup takes less than 15 minutes, and with CSSA’s exclusive video, you’ll have your pregame warmup and stretch routine done before you know it.
Avoid injuries—warm up and stretch like the MLB pros.
Check out the warmup video here: