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“Fast Eddie” – The Peacock Shortstop

May 1, 2012

It was the late 1970’s and adult slow-pitch softball was just getting popular in Salina. The great thing about slow-pitch – versus fast pitch – is you don’t have to be much of an athlete to play the game – sorry slow pitch players, that’s the painful truth.

Almost all the slow-pitch teams had sponsors. One particular team was called “The Peacock” after their sponsor, a bar on North Broadway. The team was a mixture of firefighters and friends of firefighters.

The word “average” is probably a generous description for most the players on the team. Our shortstop was a friend of the firefighters by the name “Eddie Koelling.”

Eddie would buzz around the base paths with short, rapid strides which made him appear to be faster than he was. Nevertheless, we called him “Fast Eddie.” He got this nickname not because of his blazing speed, but because of his occupation – Car Salesman.

It was typical of firemen to give out nicknames. And Eddie’s nickname was just in fun because Eddie was the polar opposite of somebody who would slicker you.

For some time, here of late, our shortstop “Fast Eddie” has been competing against a bigger opponent than we ever did on the slow-pitch diamond. The opponents name was “Cancer.”

Eddie gave the opponent as good a game as anybody could have. But, every game has its’ ending and this one ended yesterday.

Some day all of us will see our game come to an end. We can only hope that we play the game as well as “Fast Eddie” – The Peacock Shortstop.

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