Clarence “Khaki,” left, and Bob Markel talk strategy prior to last Tuesday’s Cooper-Varney Ecumenical Church League softball game in Delmar.
Photo by Rob Jonas.
continued Khaki continued to torment local softball players with his arsenal of pitches until he retired and moved to Florida. When he joined a 70-and-older league, he went back to playing shortstop and considered his days as a pitcher to be over.
That was until three years ago when Bob convinced Khaki to pitch for the Delmar Fire Department team while Khaki was visiting for the summer.
“He was coming up here to watch the games, so we got him into the game a little bit,” said Bob. “At first we had him pitch an inning or two, but now he’s gotten into a nice groove and he’s doing well.”
The added appeal of playing softball with his son for the first time was all the convincing Khaki needed to join the team.
“I never would have pitched again if not for [Bob],” said Khaki. “It’s a special thing for me to pitch to my son.”
“It’s a lot of fun,” added Bob, who is a detective with the Bethlehem Police Department. “I never really got the chance to play with him until now because of work. It’s given me an opportunity to have some fun and play with him.”
Bob said the two will continue to play together until Khaki can’t step on a softball field any more.
“I plan to continue playing in this league, and I know he’ll continue to play as long as he can,” said Bob.
“I’ve always been competitive, and I always try to strike batters out,” said Khaki. “I always want to win.”