Clyde Bennett fastpitch umpire

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Clyde Bennett celebrates 60 years in men’s fastpitch softball

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

(What a wonderful tribute by Rudy Soriano to Clyde Bennett, one of the most dedicated men in the history of boys’ and men’s fastpitch softball.)

2014-Bennett,Clyde.1web Clyde Bennett, front and middle, with his Santa Barbara League Champion Clydesdale team. Bennett, who plays, manages, sponsors, umpires, and runs the Best of The West men’s fastpitch tournament, will celebrate 60 years as a player on Wednesday night. Photo courtesy / Rudy Soriano

By RUDY SORIANO / Santa Barbara Clydesdale and NAFA 23-Under Fastpitch Player

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – If you were to go to the Santa Barbara’s Elings Park softball fields on any given evening, you will find a man who has been playing longer than the existence of the park itself.

This man wears many hats here: league/tournament coordinator, umpire, coach, but the most impressive hat this man dons is player.

This year marks the 60th anniversary as a player for Clyde Bennett and this Wednesday night he will put on his catcher’s mask to celebrate this tremendous milestone.

Clyde started playing fastpitch at the age of 16 in 1954 with his church team in the fastpitch leagues of Paramount, CA. Since then it has seemed almost impossible to get him away from the game. His love for the game didn’t just stop at playing but he contributed back by becoming an umpire in ’61 and continues to do so to this day, whether it be for the fields of Elings or local area high school games.

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