Family affair

Robin
Robin Short
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Boland boys hit the pitch with dear old Dad

Sandwiched between his two boys in the top third of West Side Charlies/Bud Light's batting order, Dave Boland became the Gordie Howe of St. John's senior softball Sunday afternoon.

Boland, a career .335 hitter in the local senior circuit for nearly 20 years, stepped between the Lions Park lines as a player yesterday, the first time since 2001 when he wound down a career that should generate some Hall of Fame chatter.

The Boland clan from left, Dave and his sons Ryan and Shane were out in force Sunday to help West Side Charlies/Bud Light in their Molson St. John's senior softball game against the Kelly's Pub Junior Canadians at Lions Park. It was the elder Boland's f

Sandwiched between his two boys in the top third of West Side Charlies/Bud Light's batting order, Dave Boland became the Gordie Howe of St. John's senior softball Sunday afternoon.

Boland, a career .335 hitter in the local senior circuit for nearly 20 years, stepped between the Lions Park lines as a player yesterday, the first time since 2001 when he wound down a career that should generate some Hall of Fame chatter.

Making it special was the fact Boland was playing with his two boys, Shane and Ryan, the first time a father and his two sons appeared in the same St. John's Molson Senior Men's Softball League game. Shane led off for West Side in its 7-5 win over Kelly's Pub Junior Canadians, the old man batted second with Ryan in the three spot.

Just like Mr. Hockey, who suited up with his boys, Mark and Marty Howe, for the old Houston Aeros of the WHA.

"Boy, I have to say," Boland said Sunday evening, "it was nice to get back in the (batters) box, scrape down the dirt, dig in and see a few pitches."

And to his credit, the 46-year-old didn't miss a beat, drawing a bases-loaded walk before bouncing a high hopper over the first baseman's head for an RBI single off Mike Noftall.

Of course, this wasn't about softball, per say. This, said Boland, was a "planned thing" by the two boys who thought "how cool" it would be to play a game with Pop.

"It's a one-shot deal," said Boland, who broke into the senior league in 1982 from the Outer Cove and Junior 50s junior clubs.

"I was very nervous," he said. "At the same time, the lads made me feel quite comfortable. I was pretty proud," said Boland, who patrolled right field Sunday, while Shane played short and Ryan caught, following his father who donned the proverbial tools of ignorance for so many years.

"Ryan wanted me to catch. I said, 'Uh-uh.'"

rshort@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Softball League, Houston Aeros

Geographic location: St. John's, Lions Park

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Recent comments

  • Neil
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Proud Moment for anyone who knows Dave and how much it means to him to play ball with his sons. Well done !!!!

  • Terry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Its a proud moment when three, future Hall of Fame representatives for NL Softball play in the same game......not only that but all three of the Bolands are Big Game players in their own right,,,Dave suuccessfully represented Canada in National play,Ryan and Shane as well. Shane with the honor of being the youngest Player to wear a Canadian jersey. Dave has shared his abilities with the boys and others through coaching and Ryan has the same determination in his eyes as Dave did throughout his career behind the Plate You can't say enough....Mr Softball indeed...... Congrats..and Janet keeps everything on schedule.....

  • Sandra
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    I was lucky to have had the opportunity to enjoy yesterday's game and believe me to see those 2 boys and their father start off the batting order for that team was an unforgettable moment that brought tears to my eyes.
    The dedication and committment that Janet and Dave have shown Ryan and Shane over the years was worth every minute yesterday afternoon . From the thousands of trips to countless ball parks in this country to the many trips to the local field with the boys to bat out a few balls, it all came together yesterday. Janet, WELL DONE! I know it was a very proud moment for you . You certainly have alot to be proud of!
    I was so pleased to be there to witness this great event in softball history in this provice and privledged to say that they are family.
    Love you lots
    Aunt Sandy

  • Jean
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Dave, Ryan & Shane: & (My sister Janet Boland)
    No words can really express our pride, admiration, gratidude for you 3 wonderful Ball Players, and of course to my dedicated sister Janet Boland, who have been there for her husband Dave, and their 2 sons,Ryan & Shane spending so much precious time, love, admiration, unconditionally at the ball fields through Canada etc. , but now can so honestly admire the accomplishments they have all received and will continue to receive. Not only through sports, but the boys have excelled in their educational goals as well .Ryan has recently been awarded the Brad Gushue Schorarship $5,000.00, and Shane has received $1,000.00 Premier's Scholarship , what an accomplishement!!!!!!!!!! goes to show that cooperation, hard work, love, dedication, and pride can allow one to excel to the top.
    Congratulations Dave, Janet, Rayn & Shane, you have made us all so VERY PROUD OF YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Love you all so very much. Jean

  • Chuck
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Very nice story! I'm sure it will be a game neither of them will ever forget.

  • Neil
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Proud Moment for anyone who knows Dave and how much it means to him to play ball with his sons. Well done !!!!

  • Terry
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    Its a proud moment when three, future Hall of Fame representatives for NL Softball play in the same game......not only that but all three of the Bolands are Big Game players in their own right,,,Dave suuccessfully represented Canada in National play,Ryan and Shane as well. Shane with the honor of being the youngest Player to wear a Canadian jersey. Dave has shared his abilities with the boys and others through coaching and Ryan has the same determination in his eyes as Dave did throughout his career behind the Plate You can't say enough....Mr Softball indeed...... Congrats..and Janet keeps everything on schedule.....

  • Sandra
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    I was lucky to have had the opportunity to enjoy yesterday's game and believe me to see those 2 boys and their father start off the batting order for that team was an unforgettable moment that brought tears to my eyes.
    The dedication and committment that Janet and Dave have shown Ryan and Shane over the years was worth every minute yesterday afternoon . From the thousands of trips to countless ball parks in this country to the many trips to the local field with the boys to bat out a few balls, it all came together yesterday. Janet, WELL DONE! I know it was a very proud moment for you . You certainly have alot to be proud of!
    I was so pleased to be there to witness this great event in softball history in this provice and privledged to say that they are family.
    Love you lots
    Aunt Sandy

  • Jean
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Dave, Ryan & Shane: & (My sister Janet Boland)
    No words can really express our pride, admiration, gratidude for you 3 wonderful Ball Players, and of course to my dedicated sister Janet Boland, who have been there for her husband Dave, and their 2 sons,Ryan & Shane spending so much precious time, love, admiration, unconditionally at the ball fields through Canada etc. , but now can so honestly admire the accomplishments they have all received and will continue to receive. Not only through sports, but the boys have excelled in their educational goals as well .Ryan has recently been awarded the Brad Gushue Schorarship $5,000.00, and Shane has received $1,000.00 Premier's Scholarship , what an accomplishement!!!!!!!!!! goes to show that cooperation, hard work, love, dedication, and pride can allow one to excel to the top.
    Congratulations Dave, Janet, Rayn & Shane, you have made us all so VERY PROUD OF YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Love you all so very much. Jean

  • Chuck
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Very nice story! I'm sure it will be a game neither of them will ever forget.