On Saturday, Oct. 22, the PebbleCreek Senior Softball Association (PCSSA) began its 28th season of play with 22 teams and more than 250 players, managers, coaches, and assistants. Twenty-eight years of softball and it seems that it was only yesterday that a group of guys approached Ed Robson and convinced him that “if he builds it, they will come.” Build it he did, and they came. For our new players, let’s take a trip back in time to how it all began.
In September 1995, a group of guys get together at the Eagle’s Nest Clubhouse to discuss interest in playing softball. As a result, Jim Snyder was appointed to spearhead resident interest in playing softball. PebbleCreek Softball began to take shape. At this time two teams were formed. A total of 21 players were divided between the two teams. Tuesdays and Saturdays were selected as game days as the ladies took over the golf course on Tuesdays and Saturday. The first games were played at the Old Litchfield Park field across from the fire station on Old Litchfield Road.
In November 1997, games begin play on a field that became known as the “Rock Pile” in PebbleCreek. The field was located north of where the current tennis courts in Eagle’s Nest are currently located. The field received its name due to the players needing to pick up the small rocks on the field to avoid an injury to a player. In addition, two PebbleCreek teams played in Glendale in the 55-plus division and the 60-plus division.
In 1998, the league consisted of six teams: two teams from PebbleCreek along with teams from Sun City Grand, Rosie’s Restaurant, Happy Trails, and El Mirage. Arizona Traditions joined the league in 1999 raising the number of teams to seven. As the popularity of the sport grew, the Robson organization was contacted by Dave Smith, Del Chafe (passed on), Ron Van der Hei, Mick Mauer, and Don Wyman about the possibility of a ballfield being constructed that would accommodate the growing interest of softball in PebbleCreek. Mr. Robson was instrumental in the development and construction of the current Field of Dreams.
January 2000 arrives and the Field of Dreams is now a reality. The backstop and bleachers were moved from the infamous “rock pile” to the new field. Seven teams now play on our field—four teams from PebbleCreek and three outside teams. Between 2001 and 2003, the league grows to six teams that are made up of exclusively PebbleCreek residents.
Along comes 2004 and the league expands to 10 teams with 16 players per team. The league continues to grow with two more teams added, bringing the total number of teams to 12.
The 2016-17 season sees the league grow to 13 teams and 156 players.
The 2017-18 season sees the league grow to 14 teams and 168 players.
The 2019-20 season marks the 25th year of play for PCSSA and the league grows to 15 teams. A memorial wall is erected at the field to remember those players who played the game and have passed on.
The PCSSA from its humble beginning at Old Litchfield Park to the “Rock Pile” to our current Field of Dreams could not have happened if it were not for 21 players who had a vision of what could be.
Of the 21 original players, only one (Bob Quarantino or Bobby “Q” as he is often referred to) remains playing and will be starting his 28th year of play here in PebbleCreek.
In addition to Bobby, the league currently has 15 players who have achieved 20 years of play and/or are still active in the league in some capacity, and 34 players have achieved 15 years of play and/or are still active in the league.
There you have it, the history of the league as well as the number of individuals still playing or active in the league. The men and women who play this game do it for the love of the game.
As one of baseball’s greatest players once said:
“Ninety percent of the game of baseball is half mental”