Toys for tots tourney ‘a success’

Posted on 04 January 2013 by LeslieM

sports010313By Gary Curreri

George Deeb couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Four of the top 50-over softball teams in South Florida came together for competition, camaraderie and charity, and, in the end, everyone was a winner.

“It is fabulously rewarding,” said Deeb, 72, of Ft. Lauderdale, who coordinated the inaugural South Florida Senior Invitational Softball Tournament benefiting Toys for Tots at 4- Fields Complex in Pompano recently.

“The guys in our club are very generous and many of them are fathers and grandfathers and I think most of them expressed a great deal of joy that we were participating,” said Deeb, who plays with the host team, South Florida Senior Softball Association. “The minute we said it was going to be Toys for Tots, they were really excited.”

The four teams that took part in the one-day tournament included the Cushing Softball League team, based at South County Regional Park in Boca Raton; the Latinos, an all-star team with players from The Royal Palm Senior League and West Palm Beach Senior League; Old School Softball, sponsored by Steve Levin Financial Services and is top-level tournament travel team with players from the Tri- County area.

In the semifinals, Steve Levin Financial defeated the Latinos, 19-10, while Cushing Softball League downed the host South Florida Senior Softball Association squad, 16-13, to advance to the title game. Steve Levin Financial prevailed in the championship game with a comefrom- behind 16-14 win over the Cushing All-Stars.

“It worked out perfectly,” Deeb added. “There was no goal. Everybody who participated had to bring a toy. If there were 12 guys on a team, we hoped to get at least 48 toys to come. We filled up a van full. It is unbelievable. It was not just ordinary gifts either. There were a lot of very unique expensive items. A couple of the men in the club are Marines and they are going to bring them to the Marines for distribution.”

Deeb said the event will continue and the winning team earns a trophy that they will hold for a year. He said, more than that, the seniors enjoy playing at a high level.

“I have a double hip replacement and I am out here playing ball every day at 72,” Deeb said. “There are guys out here with knee replacements, c’mon. It’s a delight. These are the best 50 year-olds in South Florida.”

“It is very competitive,” added Deeb, who said they may add a 60s division next year with four additional teams. “A lot of these guys are tournament players. They play in Las Vegas, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia. They are very active players. We asked the very best teams to play. It’s our first year and we wanted to go slow.”

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