Love leads Lumar Goss to fastpitch softball

Written by Bob on April 11th, 2016

14-HitmenGossLumar.51lr Lumar Goss pitching in the 2014 Beaumont Coyotes 4th of July Tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

LONG BEACH, Calif. – As a youngster, Lumar Goss played two sports, football and basketball. He loved hitting people and putting a ball through the hoop. Baseball? No, he never played the sport.

So it stands to reason that fastpitch softball wasn’t even on his radar. That is, until he met the love of his life, Julie Castillo, and her fastpitch-passionate father Paul Castillo. Just 19 at the time, young Lumar had to make a choice: play a sport he never heard of, or give up the girl.

    LOVE ON CONDITION

“My wife’s father gave me the ultimatum, play fastpitch or I couldn’t date his daughter,” said Lumar with a chuckle.

He wasn’t about to give up sweet Julie, so he agreed to play this new and strange sport in which the ball is whipped from the pitcher underhanded and moves up and down, in and out, and is so devilish to hit.

Paul Castillo, a veteran of the game, has an astute eye for judging talent. In young Lumar he saw potential and he guided it in the right direction – straight to the circle.

“Lumar and Julie came to watch one of my (league) games one night in El Segundo,” said Castillo, 58. “We only had eight guys, so we stuck Lumar in right field. I was in center and a ball was hit into (the right-center gap). Lumar raced over and caught the ball. I thought, ‘this guy is pretty good.’”

    A CHUCKER IS BORN

Castillo also saw something else in Goss: He stood 6-foot tall, weighed about 220 pounds, and was strong. But one other physical feature really stood out – his hands.

“He has big hands to grip the ball,” Castillo said. “I thought, ‘maybe he can pitch.’ He started out wild, but he threw hard.”

Some ten years have now passed since he started dating Julie and playing fastpitch. Julie and Lumar married, are raising a family, and he is still playing fastpitch. And his father-in-law’s belief in his potential has come to pass. Goss is one very good ball player. In the circle and at the plate as a No. 3 or 4 hitter.

    SUCCESS COMES HIS WAY

He has won a NAFA 23-Under World Series championship in 2008 with the Young Bucks of Santa Barbara, and in 2012 he helped Santa Rosa win the NAFA World Series A Division title – pitching seven games in a span of 24 hours, which earned him Most Valuable Pitcher honors.

“Winning the 23-Under at Mankato (Minn.) was an awesome experience,” he said. “We had great coaching (Clyde Bennett and Paul Castillo) that let us bunch of kids play and have fun. When the tournament was over, we were all good friends.”

But winning the NAFA A Division was a big step up, and he discovered that he was made of the right stuff for fastpitch.

“That championship was pretty epic because I started to understand what it took to be a pitcher,” he said. “It showed me that I had it in me to do this (pitch seven games in 24 hours).”

    MARRIES INTO FASTPITCH FAMILY

During the regular season, Goss pitches for Those Guys, managed by none other than his father-in-law. And it’s no surprise that if Castillo would bring a son-in-law into the sport, he would surely urge his son and grandson into playing.

That’s exactly what he’s done as son Kevin Castillo (a USA Men’s National Team player) and grandson Dominic Marquez (a member of the 2016 USA Jr. Men’s National Team) help make the team very competitive in the So. Calif. Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL).

And the guy who never played baseball, never played fastpitch, is now one of the veterans leading the way. All thanks to cupid’s arrow and a very savvy father-in-law.

“I had no clue about fastpitch until I met my father-in-law,” Goss said. “It was an eye opener and I fell in love with it.”

4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Batman says:

    Great article Bob!!!

  2. Bob says:

    Thank you, much appreciated, and I’m happy you enjoyed it. Best of luck this season.

  3. Cory says:

    What a great guy to get a spotlight from you, Bob! A true competitor and proponent of the game, Lumar has helped me tons in my own pitching development and playing in general.

  4. Bob says:

    Great to hear Cory. That’s what it’s all about, helping others improve themselves, whether it be in fastpitch or in life. Best of luck this season. Hope to catch you guys in action at a SCIFL tourney or two.

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