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August 27, 2013

76-year-old slugger

Sarofian continues to hit away in Haverhill over-45 league

You could easily call Ron Sarofian the Dean of Haverhill softball, or even — if you dare — the old man of Haverhill softball.

After all, the 76-year-old Sarofian has been playing softball for over 45 years in Haverhill since he began competing in a fast-pitch league in the 1960s.

But Cam Boyd, who runs the Lebro’s team in the over-45 league for which Sarofian still plays, thinks of Sarofian more as Mr. Reliable.

“He’s there every single week and you can time him,” said Boyd. “The games start at 7:30 and he shows up at 7:25 without fail. If we’re one guy short at 7:20, we know we can count on him.”

In fact, Sarofian can think of few games that he’s missed over the years. He’s been largely injury free and, since he loves the game, why not show up?

“I like the game, I like the guys and I really like the competition,” said Sarofian, who has lived in Haverhill all of his life. “I play a lot of golf and this is a good alternative.”

Naturally, Sarofian’s game has changed over the years. When he was younger, he was a speedy outfielder. When he started slowing down, he switched to catcher.

And, because he’s slowed down, Sarofian is usually replaced with a pinch runner when he reaches base. But he remains remarkably competitive.

“When Ron was younger, he could fly and now his (lack of speed) is his main problem,” said the 67-year-old Boyd, who is the second oldest on Lebro’s and perhaps in the league.

“But he can hit. He’s a singles hitter. Teams have learned to play in on him, but sometimes he’ll burn them. Of course, with his speed, that’ll mean a double, nothing more.”

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