Hall Of Fame Works To Keep Game Alive

 Huntington Softball Hall of Fame President James Coschignano Jr., left, and Vice President Clint Riggs, right, present SPS Nation sponsor and player Mike Ruconich, center, with a plaque for winning Division 2 in the Town of Huntington recreation softball league.

Huntington Softball Hall of Fame President James Coschignano Jr., left, and Vice President Clint Riggs, right, present SPS Nation sponsor and player Mike Ruconich, center, with a plaque for winning Division 2 in the Town of Huntington recreation softball league.

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

The Huntington Softball Hall of Fame recognized earlier this month the top recreational softball team in the Town of Huntington.

After a season that ran from the end of April until August, the SPS Nation team was crowned champions of Division 2 of the Town of Huntington slowpitch softball league.

Huntington’s slowpitch softball league has been in existence since 1976 and is made up of teams of co-workers and friends who meet for weekly competitive games at the town run softball fields at Milldam Park in Halesite.

SPS Nation mustered an impressive regular season record of 22-2 on the way to their championship victory. In addition to SPS Nation, the teams from Axis Construction and the Valencia Tavern captured lower division titles.

The Huntington Softball Hall of Fame was founded in 1978 and is comprised of men and women who have played a major role in the growth of softball in the Town of Huntington.

Hall of fame president James Coschignano Jr. said the organization decided to recognize the winner’s of the softball league’s top division this year in an effort to “keep softball alive.”

“We are still trying to keep softball alive and well in the town,” Coschignano said. “We felt we should try to keep it alive, so we decided to donate a plaque to the winning team.”

SPS Nation’s victory in Division 2 made them Huntington’s top team because there were not enough teams to compete in Division 1.

Softball leagues have a rich history in the Town of Huntington.  At the time the Huntington Softball Hall of Fame was founded the games were fastpitch, Coschignano said, but the league has since changed to slowpitch.

Coschignano recalled days when he used to play softball almost six nights a weeks in several different leagues, but said the sport’s popularity is diminishing.

“There used to be six or eight leagues in the Town of Huntington, plus the firemen’s league,” Coschignano said. “It seems to be fading away, not that many people are playing any more.”

Despite the league’s shrinking size, Coschignano said the friendship and camaraderie created through softball is unmatched.

“That’s how all these people in the Hall of Fame met; we used to play against each other for years,” Coschignano said. “There’s definitely a level of camaraderie having known these people and played against them or with them.”

The Huntington Softball Hall of Fame will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Oct. 6 with an induction ceremony at Northport Yacht Club.