CORTLAND – Maggie Peck had never played softball before, but that didn’t stop the soccer mom from joining the DeKalb County Republican team in a benefit softball game against the DeKalb County Democrats last Friday night at Suppeland Park in Cortland.
“I thought it might be a good idea for my daughter to see me play something that she really enjoys,” she said. Peck’s 13-year-old daughter has played softball for five years.
So what advice did her daughter give her?
“She told me to bunt because there’s no way I’d get a hit,” Peck laughed.
Both sides apparently hit the 16-inch softball enough; the game ended in an 8-8 tie.
Players contributed $25 to play in the game. Proceeds benefited the Kishwaukee United Way.
“I think it’s a great way to show bipartisan support for us,” Kishwaukee United Way Executive Director Dawn Littlefield said. “We are thrilled that they came to us. This is a model of what things people can do together.”
“When it’s for a good cause, people wanted to come out,” said Democratic Party Chairman Mark Pietrowski Jr. “This shows that both parties can come together to do something good for the community.”
“It’s a fun thing to do,” DeKalb County Republican Chairman Steve Kuhn said. Content to watch the inaugural contest, he said he would have played if there was a senior league.
Playing bare-handed, with the Democrats in black and the Republicans in white, participants included office holders, precinct committee people and members of both parties.
Despite some rust, both sides played pretty well. There were a few amusing moments, like when Democrat Jim Luebke trotted out to left field when he was supposed to go to right field.
“Hey, I’m just here for comic relief,” he shouted.
Or when an ill-advised throw to the wrong base allowed two Republicans to score in the fifth inning.
“Maybe next year we’ll get together and practice a little,” Pietrowski joked.