Richard Quigley’s back in the fastpitch game

Written by Bob on June 30th, 2014

SCANDIA, Minn – Richard Quigley had a belly full of fastpitch. It was time to get out. Time to relax at his cabin on summer weekends after 20 years of crisscrossing Minnesota and Wisconsin from one softball field to the next. So he swore off fastpitch in 1994, vowing never to return.

Or so he thought.

But one man wasn’t letting him get away so easily, and was determined to “un-retire” the 54-year-old Quigley.

“Greg ‘Chopper’ Lammers called me non-stop,” said Quigley with a chuckle.

And finally in 2012, Chopper’s persistence wore down Quigley’s resistance. He convinced Quigley to “fill in” at a league game because he was short of players.

Just this one time, Chopper promised.

And he would only have to DH; no fielding, Chopper assured him. But it didn’t quite work out that way. Only nine players showed up at game time, so Quigley would have to play first base.

“I had never played first base in my life and the first guy hits a hard shot off my shin,” Quigley says.

Now surely that would send Quigley running back to the safety of his cabin, one might think. But no. Strangely, Quigley found out that he loved being back at the ball diamond. His love for the sport had been rekindled.

“After the game, I called my sister Valerie Quigley Bouley, who is a big fastpitch fan, that I was back in softball again,” Quigley said. “She was mad at me when I retired, so she was thrilled and said that her husband (Ron, who also had retired from fastpitch), and her two boys (Tyler, 18 and Austin, 16) would play too.”

So with his brother-in-law and two nephews signed and delivered by his fastpitch-loving sister, Quigley was on his way to filling the roster of his Minnesota Computers / Scandia Fastpitch team that he sponsors and manages.

But there’s more of this “un-retirement” stuff. Quigley needed pitching, so he convinced Brian Waldvogel, 39, and Chris Isaacson, 49, to give up the couch too.

And as for Chopper? Well, the 60-year-old pitcher decided he would like to pitch for his good friend as well.

“I think he wanted me to come out of retirement so he would have a team to pitch on,” Quigley said in jest.

Quigley’s brought together a good mix of veterans and younger players. And he’s especially happy that his two nephews have taken a liking to the sport.

In fact, Tyler tried out and made the USA Junior Men’s National Team that will be playing in the International Softball Federation World Championship (July 11-20) in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.

Tyler, says Quigley, had a breakout year in 2013, hitting about 10 home runs with 40 RBI in just his third year in the sport. He’s developed into a good catcher / third baseman and left-handed hitter. He’s also taken up pitching; honing his skills in the Hollywood Sports Complex league, says Quigley.

As for Austin, he’s a left-handed hitter too; plays the outfield and is developing into a good fastballer with a bright future ahead of him.

“Their dad is a great teacher of the game and taught both boys the fundamentals,” Quigley said.

By Quigley coming out of retirement, he’s brought several of the like-minded with him, convinced a few youngsters to give the sport a try, and sponsored a team they could all play on. That’s a pretty good contribution.

And for Chopper: thank you for convincing your good friend to get back in the game.

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