FREDERICK, MARYLAND - The State of Maryland has always been a “hot-spot” for some very competitive softball teams. Maybe it was the steamed crabs, beer and those money softball tournaments that kept the serious players going for the next big tournament victory. Over in southern Maryland playing softball became a way of life.....right up there with hunting and fishing for the real men. Just ask the guys like Joe Albert, Dick Busick, Bubby Mills and a few dozen more like them, they will tell you some real “war stories” about the old bat wars on the field when the stakes were high. And today that serious softball has even migrated to the western part of the State. Out in the Frederick area there is this serious senior player by the name of Money who is out all year long organizing batting practice for whoever he can get out. Dave “Money” Yinger is a softball organizer and he has learned that practice makes perfect (or at least improves your game). Dave’s Spicers 55+ Senior Team has evolved into one of the top ranked senior teams in their age classification in the Nation.
Dave Yinger was born and raised in Frederick Md and still lives there with his wife of 40 years. He is the son of a disabled veteran from World War II (his dad lost both legs when he was 19). “He was one of my heroes. I was born in 1948 and played baseball as a kid in Little League, Babe Ruth League and American Legion. I was always a role player, just wanted to fit in,” Dave told SportsBreak recently. He graduated from Frederick High School went to Frederick Community College and “started playing this new game of slow pitch softball. I played about 160 games a year for the first few years (that is where my wife got tired of it). I was on a couple of decent teams from the Frederick area like RF Kline, Md National Bank, Budweiser, Bud Light, and Potts Callahan. We went to USSSA Worlds in Tullahoma, TN and finished 10th out of about 80 teams.” Later, he helped coach/head coach his son’s son's baseball teams and the softball playing slowed down. Like many senior players today, once the youth sports coaching was done Dave started playing senior ball. Like most Maryland senior players, he started playing with Dick Barratte on the Joe B's senior teams. “What a gentleman of the game. This is where I found out that seniors practice all year and I met some very good players that helped me and really taught me the game. These players were the likes of Tommy Dommel, Andy Zitnay, Don Clatterbough, Ray Wimbrough, Jim Beasley and many others to numerous to name. My level of play seemed to go up when I played with these guys as well as my expectations.”
“Shortly thereafter I met Jack Spicer and I began coaching his team after a few years. What a great sponsor, fun loving guy ,and good hitter when he puts his mind to it. I like the challenge of managing good teams but I also love being an underdog and enjoy upset victories over teams that are supposed to beat us. Honestly, I like playing better than managing and it is hard to do both well. Some of the championships that Spicer's won that I remember the most are the National Senior Games in Pittsburgh in 2005, ISF World Cup 2007 & 2008, ISSA Winter Nationals 2008, NSA 55 Major Plus in 2007, 2007 SSWC Atlantic Champions and without a doubt the most memorable win was the 2007 ASA 55 Major Plus win over Sportsplex from Connetticut. They were heavily favored and we just would not give up. The last couple years have been great, memorable and fun playing with some of the Virginia. guys like Tom Tudor, Bill Cameron and Randy Lewis just to name a few. They are great players that always seem to lead our team in hitting.”
Friend and teammate, Dale Collis had this to say about “Money,” “Many people play softball. From time to time there comes along someone who gives back to the game more than they take. Dave Yinger is one of those. Dave is not only a good hard working player, but also the force behind the team. He enters the tournaments, gets the rooms reserved, handles roster problems, sets up batting practice so the rest of us can just show up and play. The last day of the tournament you'll find Dave on the bench (a 700 hitter) with the scorebook so he'll be ready for All World selections.”
Dave is currently a sales/design engineer for a mechanical equipment company in the Metro DC area and loves his job so is not planning on retiring anytime soon. And this is one serious senior whose family plays an important role in his life, “I have a wonderful wife of 40 years who lets me pursue my hobby of softball and a son Reggie who I play with on Friday nights in a young man's league and a daughter who is the brains of the family.”
Still wondering where the name “MONEY” came from? Dave once showed up for practice for a new team years ago and somebody said “they must of payed “big money” to get you on this team.” The name Big Money stuck and today the seniors just call him Money. And don’t ask Dave for one of those special design batting practice T-shirts, you got to be out there shagging balls for months before you earn one of those babies.