West Coast Fantasy Baseball Association
Paul Roman (6/18/02)
Barry Berman (7/12/03)
Les Groobin (8/20/03)
Bob Simon (9/12/03)
Tom Haller (11/26/04)
Jim McCulloch (9/18/06)
Ed Leidheiser (2/26/07)
Harry Wade (3/29/07)
Ray Doherty (4/20/07)
Larry Kowalski (9/6/08)
Brian Marshall (1/19/09)
Brad Betz (2/3/09)
Joe Mausser (3/18/09)
Dave Marston (6/22/09)
Steve Bennett (4/3/10)
Shirley Michaeloff (10/14/11)
Duane Blevins (9/30/12)
Barney Nugent (2/22/14)
Lou Paul (4/21/14)
Dan Mettler (9/28/14)
GIANTS' DAN METTLER PASSES AWAY ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2014
WCFBA member Dan Mettler passed away suddenly on September 28th of a massive heart attack. He was 63 years old. Dan resided in Lodi and was a regular participant in the 'Stuck in Lodi' tournament every August. Dan went to the San Francisco Giants fantasy camp in the late 80's and brought back stories of the great times he had. He is responsible for drumming up interest in the camp with many of the Lodi locals including our own Rich Thomas. On the field, Dan was a 3rd baseman and solid, line drive hitter. At his last tournament, he still wore his fantasy camp uniform from the 80's. How many of us can say that?
Dan's obituary can be found at:
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/lodinews/obituary.aspx?pid=172651453 (feel free to sign the guestbook)
There will be a celebration of life for Dan on Sunday, October 19th at 11:00am. Fittingly, the event will be held at Tony Zupo Field, the home of our annual 'Stuck in Lodi' tournament. The address is 350 North Washington Street in Lodi. Any Giant campers who plan to attend are welcome to wear their black away jersies as a show of support.
GIANTS' LOU 'LINDY' PAUL PASSES AWAY ON APRIL 21, 2014
WCFBA member Lou 'Lindy' Paul passed away on April 21, 2014 at the age of 88 in Gilbert, Arizona. He spent the final nine months of his life in a dementia care facility after his wife Betty could no longer act as his primary care giver.
Betty and Lou settled in Arizona in 1991 after spending the previous 15 years in Marin County. John Wintersteen remembers that Lou attended his first fantasy camp in 1990 at the age of 64. He became fast friends with Tom Haller and Willie Mays. Even though they lived in Arizona, Lou continued to play in tournament events like Lodi and San Diego as often as he could. Each year, Betty and Lou would spend time with old friends in Marin County and Lou would participate in as many WCFBA league games as he could as a pool player. His frequent designated driver was Steve Bennett. Lou continued to play with us into his early 80's. Lou always played second base and was in great physical condition for his age due to his experience as a handball player. Lou's batting style was to punch the ball by the pitcher and try to beat it out.
When Lou used to live in Omaha, he was member of the Jewish Federation acting as their athletic director. His obituary can be found in the Jewish Press at:
In memory of her father, and to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association, Lou's daughter, Judy Paul, will participate in the Chicago Marathon this fall. The family has requested that memorials be sent to act.alz.org (click on ‘AlzStars’; then type in Judy’s name in ‘Find an Athlete.’). Memorials may also be made to the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.
GIANTS' TRAINER BARNEY NUGENT PASSES AWAY ON FEBRUARY 22, 2014
Former Giants trainer and our fantasy camp buddy, Barney Nugent, passed away after a long bout with colon cancer on February 22, 2014. He was 61 years old.
Most of you Giants campers remember that Barney was the lead trainer at most camps. Barney retired from the Giants in 2003 and has been living in Arizona with his wife Denise. The Nugents visited us at the San Diego tournament from time to time as they are close friends with many members of the WCFBA. A few months before he passed, Barney found out he had colon cancer and that the disease was in an advanced stage. He and Denise moved to Massachusetts to be close to family while he battled the disease.
Here is a note that Denise posted on Facebook from Barney while he struggled with the disease:
"I am not on Death's doorstep yet. I am very
tired sometimes and still fighting infections, as well as doing as much as I can
holistically. I still expects a miracle. I am up and about at home, go out on
occasion and talk to friends who call, and stop by. I like seeing friends and
You can read Barney's obituary at:
The Family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to:
PITCH 4 KIDZ
5010 E.Shea Blvd, Suite D-202
Phoenix AZ, 85254 (www.pitch4kidz.org)
GIANTS' DUANE BLEVINS PASSES AWAY ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2012
WCFBA member Duane Blevins passed away on September 30, 2012 at the age of 53 in Kapolei, Hawaii. It was determined that his death was due to a heart attack. Funeral services were held at the Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall in Honolulu on October 20th.
We only knew Duane for a short period of time, but he made quite the impression on the WCFBA during the one year he played with us. He began league and tournament play with us during the 2008 season. He was an above average player who played a lot of baseball during his high school years in Thousand Oaks, California. He played the left side of the infield and did some pitching as well.
Early in 2008, Duane and his future wife, Rhonda, decided to get married on the field of play during our annual San Diego tournament at Pt. Loma Nazarene University. The Giants team and the Dodgers team scheduled to play at that time participated in the ceremony. It is an event that many of us still talk about today.
Duane and Rhonda decided to move to Hawaii near the end of 2008 to start their life anew. He would check in from time to time to let us know that he missed us all, but he was very happy in his new life. Rhonda continues to live and work in Hawaii.
LODI'S SHIRLEY MICHAELOFF PASSES AWAY ON OCTOBER 14, 2011
A fixture at our annual Lodi tournament, Shirley Michaeloff, the 'Corn Dog Lady', passed away on October 14, 2011 at the age of 77. Shirley's family has run the snack bar at the Lodi tournament ever since Rich Thomas started the event back in 1991. Shirley's family recipe for corn dogs made each year's trip to Lodi that much more fun for all of us. Many of us have pre-ordered boxes of corn dogs to take home after the tournament. We were not alone. Shirley's corn dogs have been popular in the Lodi area since the 70's. She has run concessions at many local events for years.
Shirley always had a smile on her face and loved working our events. Rich often said that if Shirley stopped working the tournament, he would stop running it. Thankfully Shirley has passed down her recipe to her granddaughter Christi. Christi Michaeloff has agreed to keep working the Lodi tournament along with the rest of the concession staff that we have come to love.
Click on the link below to read Shirley's obituary on Legacy.com:
GIANTS' STEVE BENNETT PASSES AWAY ON APRIL 3, 2010
Steve Bennett loved his life and lived it to the very fullest. A man of many talents, Captain Steve, as he was known to many, passionately embraced at least four different worlds. By trade he was an airline pilot for 26 years: first with Western Airlines, then as a captain with Delta Airlines, putting in hundreds of thousands of miles of flight time. He also owned a meticulously renovated 1969 single-engine Piper Comanche with which he ferried fellow ballplayers to and from tournaments around the state, and his mom to and from her home in Nevada. His enthusiasm to fly also led him to join the Navy League’s Oakland chapter where he helped with the refurbishing and preservation of the Hornet aircraft carrier. He was also liaison to the active carrier, Enterprise, and helped with events for the sailors during Fleet Week in San Francisco.
Having never played baseball, a friend coerced him into signing up for the San Francisco Giants Fantasy Camp in Scottsdale in 2003. Since then, he played baseball with the enthusiasm of a twelve year old. There he found a new family and legion of devoted friends by joining the West Coast Fantasy Baseball Association and played in every game possible for the next seven years. He readily admitted that it wasn‘t just the game that attracted him, but “the hang” with teammates and their families. The most recent squad renamed the team “The Captains” in honor of Steve and in support of his battle against cancer.
Then there was Steve Bennett the musician, one of the most talented bassists in The San Francisco Bay Area. He acquired his musical genes from his late father Russ, who played guitar with thirties and forties Big Bands and is enshrined on more than a few discs of vinyl that Steve was most proud of. A Santa Cruz product with 40-plus years of funk, R&B, jazz, rock, Brazilian and Latin music experience, Steve toured, played and recorded with the likes of Richie Cole, Pat Simmons, Russell Ferrante, Joyce Cooling, Smith Dobson and Terry Garthwaite. He performed at the San Francisco and Monterey Jazz Festivals and for many years enjoyed playing with several talented musicians in the Marin County area.
Steve’s first and greatest passion was his family: wife and soul mate Kristen (and their two kitties) of Mill Valley, his “Mother Bear“, Mary Lou, of Gardnerville, Nevada, nephew Jordan LeBeouf and Kristen’s loving extended family.
Steve was one of those rare people whose personality naturally drew others to him. He was a man of humor, integrity, innocence, generosity and great talent whose joie de vivre proved contagious. He and Kristen often enjoyed entertaining friends and sharing gourmet food and outstanding vintage wines from his private collection. And he was a social golfer whose often three-digit scores never diminished the fun he had with Kris and friends on the course. His secret weapon . . . the 1 iron.
Steve often remarked how lucky he was to have the life he led; he truly appreciated everything and everyone he shared it with. He was, to put it simply, one of the nicest guys anyone could ever hope to meet and get to know. And to know him was to appreciate all he had to offer. He will be sorely missed by so, so many.
Steve is survived by his wife Kristen, mother, Mary Lou Corp, nephew Jordan Le Beouf, in-laws Jack and Ann Myers, Marye Joshua, Dan Myers and wife Alexandra, Jack Myers and wife Suzanne, Curt Myers and wife Sonia, and eight nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, Kristen asks that donations be made in Steve’s name to one of the following organizations:
by the Bay
Giants/Giants Community Fund
GIANTS' DAVE MARSTON PASSES AWAY ON JUNE 22, 2009
Former Giants camper Dave Marston passed away on June 22, 2009 at the age of 56 from a rare disease. Dave was diagnosed with something called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a degenerative neurological disorder. It is very fast moving and presents itself physically by robbing its victims of speech and motor skills. Dave's wife Tami contacted us from their home in Oregon in early May to let us know of Dave's condition and to see if we could help with his special request. Dave and his family were coming to San Francisco the following weekend for tests and further diagnosis at the UCSF Medical Center. Dave wanted to see one last Giants game at AT&T park, but it would have to be in a wheelchair. He could no longer walk. We put the word out and some people really stepped up and made the WCFBA proud. David "Chilly" Chilcote merits special mention. Chilly contacted the Giants directly, explained the situation and the special circumstances, and acquired four free tickets in the wheelchair row with parking for the game. Dave and his family had a wonderful time at the game. While he couldn't say much, Tami could see in his smile how much it meant to him. Dave went to the game on May 17th and he passed away just five weeks later.
In addition to being a ballplayer, Dave was an accomplished musician. He was in a Beatles tribute band called the Nowhere Men. The web site contains videos of many of the band's performances:
The family was hit hard by the medical costs and several funds have been set up to defray costs. Donations can be mailed directly to the Marston's at:
Dave Marston & Family Fund
Alternatively, one can donate at the web site as well at http://site.davemarstonfamily.com/.
Read more about Dave and his family at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/marstonfamily/mystory.
Read about how the community has celebrated Dave's life at http://www.dailytidings.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090720/LIFE/907200309.
DODGERS' JOE MAUSSER PASSES AWAY ON MARCH 18, 2009
One of the caretakers of the Dodgertown West organization, Dodger camper Joe Mausser passed away on March 18, 2009 at the age of 89. Joe suffered a stroke toward the end of 2007 and spent his final months under hospital care. He went to his first Dodger fantasy camp back in 1986 at the age of 63 and immediately fell in love with playing the game again. He became immersed in Dodgertown West and eventually became its commissioner. Joe was the second Commissioner of Dodgertown West and served for twelve years before turning over the reigns to Neil Adams several years back. Even in his later years, he continued to play and serve as an advisor to the Dodgertown West Board of Directors.
Mark Stone wrote an article about Joe's impact on adult baseball in the Los Angeles area which appeared in the Summer 2009 issue of Hardball magazine. Mark also wrote a short article about Joe's baseball life which can be found on the Dodgertown West web site at:
The cartoon of Joe at the left was done by Dan Hofstedt of Dodgertown West and Disney fame.
PADRES' BRAD BETZ PASSES AWAY ON FEBRUARY 3, 2009
Our friend from the Padres, camper Brad Betz passed away on February 3, 2009 at the age of 66 after a long battle with prostate cancer. Brad went to some of the early Padres' fantasy camps back in the early 2000's. After the Padres' camp was discontinued, Brad was a regular participant in tournaments hosted by the Giants. Catcher was his position of choice, but he could be found roaming the outfield as well. He was a Padres' season ticket holder and played in San Diego area MSBL leagues as well.
Friends and family put together a web site to let people know about Brad's passing and the service details. The site also contains several photos of Brad and his family and friends along with an area to post messages in remembrance. You can view the web site by clicking the following link:
GIANTS' BRIAN MARSHALL PASSES AWAY ON JANUARY 19, 2009
Camper Brian Marshall passed away on January 19th, 2009 at the age of 42. Brian had been to several Giants fantasy camps including one with cousins Matt McGough and Scott Olmstead. Brian was an accomplished baseball player and was good enough to receive a college scholarship. Even after it became apparent that his career would not be as a professional baseball player, Brian never lost his love for the game. Brian's obituary appeared in the San Jose Mercury:
Brian Peter Marshall (Nov. 29, 1966 - Jan. 19, 2009) Born in So. California, Brian is survived by his wife, two children, a brother, a sister and his father. His mother preceded his death and he is joined once again with her. Brian attended Santa Teresa H.S., went to San Diego State University on a baseball scholarship and graduated from San Jose State University with a B.S. in business. He worked for several computer software companies in sales and sales management. As an accomplished athlete, his passion for baseball included attending several S.F. Giants spring training camps and more than ever, his involvement as an assistant baseball coach for Santa Teresa H.S. In addition to his love for family, his limitless love and knowledge of music was immeasurable. Brian was known for his generosity and it extended to anyone in need. He touched many lives and his loss is a tragedy. We miss him and always will. Memorial Mass at Holy Spirit Church 1200 Redmond Ave., San Jose, CA, Sat. January 24, 2009 at 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the:
Children Educational Fund
At the time of his death, Brian left behind two children, Jack (three years old) and Emily (nine months old).
GIANTS' LARRY KOWALSKI PASSES AWAY ON SEPTEMBER 6, 2008
GIANTS' RAY DOHERTY PASSES AWAY ON APRIL 20, 2007
Long-time camper Ray Doherty, passed away on April 20th, 2007 at the age of 71 after a short bout with cancer. When this devoted Giants fan turned 65, his wife Joanne surprised him by giving him a trip to the Giants Fantasy Camp. He was actually both terribly excited and terribly scared when he got to camp that week. However, it turned out to be so special that he ended up going back to Fantasy Camp every year for the next five years. He even took son Bill with him one year.
Joanne and friends created a web site to honor Ray called:
Here you can read about Ray's fabulous career in theatre, his love for his family, friends, and baseball, and his difficult final days. Joanne has recently posted a note for all wishing to show their love for Ray:
The Ray Doherty Scholarship
year, a $1,000 scholarship will be given to a Sequoia High School graduating
senior for his or her participation and contribution to the Sequoia Drama
Department. The scholarship was created to honor Ray's dedication to
excellence in drama at Sequoia, and its first recipient will be announced at
the May 28th Memorial Celebration.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to this newly created, perpetual drama scholarship or to the American Cancer Society.
GIANTS' AND DODGERS' HARRY WADE PASSES AWAY ON MARCH 29, 2007
"Home Run" Harry Wade passed away in his sleep on March 29th, 2007 at the age of 55. Harry went to countless fantasy camps and tournaments. Most who met him didn't like him at first. However, Harry had a tendency to grow on you and soon had you laughing. He is in the Los Angeles Dodgers Fantasy Camp Hall of Fame (inducted in 2004). Neil Adams of the Dodgers made the following announcement regarding Harry's death:
Harry's good friend, Dennis McCroskey, had this to say about Harry:
Dennis created the following web page to honor Harry and his music (yes, he could sing):
NOTE : Harry's wife, Helen, passed away on 12/29/08 of a heart attack.
GIANTS' ED LEIDHEISER PASSES AWAY ON FEBRUARY 26, 2007
Father and son, Ed and Steve Leidheiser, attended fantasy camp together in 1994. Ed passed away on February 26th, 2007 at the age of 76 after a brief bout with lymphoma. Steve wrote a tribute to his father and a portion of that follows:
Ed or "Big E" as we often referred to him, was in a class by himself. He had his priorities properly aligned: God, family, and friends.
I will always have fond memories of the time my Dad and I went to Fantasy Baseball Camp together in 1994. Dad was one of the oldest players in camp at 63, yet he competed with guys half his age. I kidded him on the second day of camp about a calf injury he had sustained earlier that day. I told him the only reason he had gotten hurt was so that I would have to run for him. Dad was an avid sports fan and great teacher. He never pushed us into sports, but was always there to support us and lend his advice.
When I hear the word friendship, I think of my father. He had a network of friends that spanned the globe, from Harald in Germany to Bob in Arizona and Randy in Florida. He made it a habit to stay in touch with folks and always encouraged them to come visit. He also loved to travel with friends and enjoyed being around others.
Speaking of friends, I don't know too many sons that consider their Dad as one of their best friends. I can honestly say he was one of my best friends. In fact, my friends considered him a dear friend, too. In high school, everyone would come by my house so he could help us with our chemistry or physics homework. I think he was the only one who understood it. It was his zest and enthusiasm for living that made him a joy to be around.
I'll also miss our telephone conversations after Carolina games or just watching sports on TV with him. We enjoyed playing golf together too. Those were special times. However, even though I'll miss him, he left us all with a lifetime of memories that we will cherish forever. The day before he died, I told him that they were planning a big baseball game in heaven and he needed to get ready. It was his turn to pitch.
Thanks for being a true inspiration to all of us, Dad. You taught us the true meaning of life.
GIANTS' JIM "CHAINSAW" McCULLOCH PASSES AWAY ON SEPTEMBER 18, 2006
My former teammate and friend, Jim "Chainsaw" McCulloch, passed away after a long illness on September 18th, 2006. Jim attended a couple of camps in the mid 90's and then played in several tournaments in the Southern California area where he lived. My memories of Jim include the time he played in a game in San Diego while his then 10 year old umpired the bases. Jim was always smiling and just loved being on the field. Even during his illness, Jim lived vicariously through us by reading every email and web update we sent out. He frequently sent me updates on his condition some of which I shared with you all from time to time.
Jim is survived by his wife, Karen, and their two children. Karen emailed to thank us all for our support. Pneumonia proved to be too much for his system. Karen said he always wanted to get back on the field with us and that at his funeral, his Giants jersey was displayed. She told those in attendance that baseball was his first love and that the jersey represented that.
If anyone would like to send Karen their condolences, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOM HALLER PASSES AWAY ON NOVEMBER 26, 2004
As many of you know from the email updates sent by camper Dennis Healey, our good friend and former Giant catcher Tom Haller had been ill for quite some time. It is believed he contracted the West Nile virus during a trip to Colorado. After a long struggle, Tom passed away on November 26th in Los Angeles. He is survived by his wife Joan and their two children, Tom Jr. and Tim.
Cards can be sent to the home at:
75-315 Montecito Drive Indian Wells, CA 92210 E-mails can be sent to them at Hallers2@aol.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to go to the scholarship fund at Marywood Country Day School (where Tom was active as the past President of the Board of Trustees) or to St. John's Lutheran Church. The addresses are as follows:
Former Dodger General Manager and current MLB.com correspondent Fred Claire wrote a nice tribute to Tom which has appeared on both the Giants' and Dodgers' web sites. Take a read at:
GIANTS' BOB SIMON PASSES AWAY ON SEPTEMBER 12, 2003
Bob Simon, Michael's dad and our baseball teammate at many a camp and tournament, passed away on the evening of September 12th after a long illness.
Services were held at Holy Angels Catholic Church in Colma on September 16th and 17th.
Virginia, Bob's wife, has requested that donations in lieu of flowers be made to Holy Angels Building Fund or the San Francisco Giants Community Fund. The church can be reached at:
Holy Angels Catholic Church
Bob's obituary can be found below:
GIANTS' LES GROOBIN PASSES AWAY ON AUGUST 20, 2003
On Wednesday, August 20th, the world lost a great man when our friend Les Groobin was killed in a car accident near Parker, Arizona. He is survived by his wife Linda and his children Scott, age 18, and Chrissy, age 16. Les was driving his son Scott down to the University of Arizona where he was to start school. Scott survived the accident and is back at home with his mother. The memorial service was held on Sunday, August 31, 2003 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Walnut Creek Civic Park Community Center, 1375 Civic Dr. Walnut Creek.
Randy Wallace was the master of ceremonies for much of the memorial service and some other former teammates of Les spoke as well. Several other things were done to honor Les:
- Mike Marks now has some bat patches similar to the ones made for Paul Roman and Barry Berman. These will be made available at future tournaments for $1.
- Lapel pins with Les' #13 were available at the service.
- Les' Giants warm-up jacket from Lodi was available for us to sign at the service.
DODGERS' BARRY BERMAN PASSES AWAY ON JULY 12, 2003
Another member of our baseball fraternity has passed away. Barry Berman from the Dodgers, who has successfully run our annual Bakersfield tournament since the early 1990's, was shot to death by his ex-wife early on the morning of Saturday, July 12. Barry was one of the people who understood what our tournaments were all about . . friendship and camaraderie. He loved baseball and he loved to laugh. He made sure that those who attended his events had a good time. Once Barry was introduced to you, he didn't need to be told your name a second time. Working with him to put any event together has always been a pleasure and not a chore. He will most certainly be missed.
Many of you met Barry's fiancee, Kay, in either Bakersfield, Fresno, or San Diego this year. They were to be married at home plate during Dodger Fantasy Camp this coming November. I have included a note from her about Barry's death:
Hello all -
I have some
very difficult news to report. This morning, at 5:25 a.m., Paul Roman passed
away in his sleep. His wife Jackie said she is unsure at this point what the
exact cause of death is, but it is believed to be a massive heart attack. The
paramedics said things happened very quickly and that Paul had no extended