“Doctor overcomes aches, pains and illness to get back on field” Written By Bill Plummer
People who play softball are grateful they can play the sport even in their senior years. One of them is Dr. Leon Speroff of Portland, Oregon.
Dr. Speroff is go grateful that he could play softball as a senior that he wrote a book about his experience entitled, “Slow-Pitch Therapy: Playing Senior Softball Through Aches, Pains and Illness.” In the book Speroff chronicles how fellow senior players provided essential support through “aches, pains and illness.” Speroff said the sport helped him through cancer treatment, a double knee replacement and shoulder surgery.
One of the biggest benefits of senior softball, said Speroff, is not batting or fielding or running.”There are more man-to-man hugs during and after a senior softball game than at any other time in most men's lives. Senior softball is a vehicle for emotion, providing excuses and circumstances for manly interactions that are hard to find anywhere else. The older one becomes, the more precious are these moments,and when struggling with an illness, the support of fellow senior softball players is precious.”
Speroff went through extensive chemotherapy treatment for Lymphoma and here is his idea of the perfect psychological treatment.”Five for five in my first games back after a difficult month. What a difference it made after eight units of transfusions to have a good red blood cell level…no less discomfort; no shortness of breath; and the strength to swing the bat with coordination and strength! There is no better therapy for the chemotherapy blues.!”
Considering what Dr. Speroff endured it's amazing how he survived let alone had the well and determination to again play softball. Dr. Speroff is professor emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Oregon Health and Science University.
Speroff also drew praise and from one of his teammates. “Leon Speroff has been a friend since I started playing senior softball three years ago. As a fellow player, I only had brief glimpses of all he went through as he fought one malady after another in his quest to stay on the field. The book filled in the details and should be an inspiration for others facing medical obstacles in their lives. Staying active and having a goal are important factors in getting healthy and staying that way.”
There isn't any doubt that Dr. Speroff had the will and through his love of senior softball found a way to continue playing. Hats off to the good doctor.
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If you happened to watch the opening show of “The Biggest Loser” on September 11th, there was a familiar face among the 16 contestants. The group included former ASA All-American and three-time Olympian Lori Harrigan-Mack.
Harrigan, now 44, was a member of three USA Olympic teams (1996, 2000 and 2004) and is the only pitcher in the history of Olympic softball to hurl a no-hitter, beating Canada in the 2000 Olympics. She also is a member of four Halls of Fame including the ASA National Hall of Fame in OKC.
Now the director of security for a Las Vegas hotel, Harrigan-Mack weighed 301 pounds and now weighs 292 pounds. All those who know Lori wish her nothing but the best in her desire, and maybe even win the show's top prize. All the best to you Lori.
That's The View From Here.
Bill Plummer A 1973 graduate of Indiana University, Ind. Bill has been involved in softball for more than five decades. For 30 years he was a fixture at the ASA National Office in Oklahoma City as a communications coordinator, manager of the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame and historian.
In addition, he also served as the editor of the ASA official newsletter, The Inside Pitch, and as the Trade Show manager. He has written widely about the sport and has contributed to 14 books. In 2008, he authored “The Game America Plays.” In 2012, he co-authored “Best of the Best-Women’s Fastpitch.” In 2013 he co-authored “A Series Of Their Own”. Visit his website at PlummerSoftball.com.
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