Softball League Is A Family Affair
Photos by Chuck Freedman
The Inter-Congregational Men’s Club Summer Softball League is as much about family as it is competition and camaraderie.
Take Mitch Kline and his son Evan Kline, for instance.
They play for Temple Shir Shalom No. 2. Mitch Kline is the team’s manager. Father and son have been on the team since its inception in 2016 after playing one season when Shir Shalom had just one team.
Evan Kline and his wife, Lisa, are expecting their first child in October. They found out about a month ago that the baby is a boy.
“One of the first things Evan said to me after he learned he and his wife are having a boy is he wants his son to play on the same Inter-Congregational league team with his father and grandfather,” Mitch Kline said. “I’ve got to hang in there and stay healthy for that to happen.”
Indeed, he will. He’s done the math.
Mitch Kline is 59. Evan Kline is 29. The minimum age to play in the league is 18.
In the meantime, Mitch Kline said his son will continue playing in the league after he becomes a father.
“Evan said he knows he’ll have to give up some things because he’ll be busy with the baby, but he doesn’t want to give up playing softball,” Mitch Kline said.
Evan Kline plays mostly left field for Shir Shalom No. 2. He fills in at shortstop and pitches occasionally. His father plays first base and right field and sometimes is behind the plate as the team’s catcher.
Another Kline family member plays once in a while for Shir Shalom No. 2. Brett Kline, 27, who lives in New York City and makes a living as a standup comedian, fills in as a substitute on the softball team when he’s in town.
Mitch Kline said he and Evan joined the Shir Shalom team so they could play softball together.
Steve Achtman tells a similar story.
He said he gave up playing golf on Sunday mornings a decade ago so he could play softball with his sons Shawn and Brandon.
They play on the Temple Israel No. 1 team. Steve Achtman is the manager. He’s also an Inter-Congregational league director and he runs the league’s fall season.
Shawn Achtman, 30, is an outfielder. Brandon Achtman, 28, is an outfielder and catcher. Steve Achtman, 56, is a first baseman and catcher.
Jonathan Fellows, 47, Steve Achtman’s brother-in-law, also is on the team. He plays second base.
“It’s a family affair,” Steve Achtman said.
Inter-Congregational league leaders through June 24 were Temple Israel No. 6 (7-0) in the Greenberg Division, Temple Israel No. 3 (6-2-1) in the Koufax Division and Shir Shalom No. 2 (6-3) in the Rosen Division.
Regional Maccabi Games
Maccabi USA has put out a call for Jewish athletes, coaches and volunteers to represent the U.S. at the 15th European Maccabi Games from July 29-Aug. 7 in Budapest, Hungary.
These regional games are held every four years, two years after the Maccabiah Games are held in Israel.
For more information, contact Maccabi USA Program Director Shane Carr at (215) 561-6900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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