Meet the Board – Joe Hosking

 Q&A With BASL  Secretary, Joe Hosking

Joe plays on the Rookies, one of the oldest (if not THE oldest) running teams in the league. This Spring they’re going to be celebrating their 22nd year in the Big Apple Softball League!


What do you do for the BASL?

I am the secretary. I jumped in when Mike D’Antonio relocated to Florida for a new job and serving the remainder of his term. I had been secretary for about three years when I first started in the BASL. Very similar entry, I filled in for the second year of someone’s term, and then was elected to a full term. I’m also one of the managers for The Rookies, helping keep our team together for 21 years! And I often represent the team at league meetings.

When did you start playing in the BASL?

1996… I found out about the league from an ad in Next or Hx magazine. Tryouts were in the Greenwich House gymnasium on Barrow Street. I had played two years in San Francisco and had moved to New York in 1994. I am forever grateful to John
Panarace and Bob Fluet who put 15 new players together to form a new team and we became The Rookies. I have made amazing friends in these 21 years and met Phil through Pete Mercurio who is one of my dearest friends.  We played on Randall’s and at Grand Street years before the fields were renovated and it was pretty gritty. No restrooms
(ask Mason about that…), no snack bar. Do you remember the Chicken Lady in the white van? She barbecued from a grill and sold beer from an ice chest. That was fun!

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area very near Berkeley. I went to college in LA and lived there for about 10 years. I didn’t play softball there. Then I moved back up to San Francisco for five years and that’s where I first played in a softball league. I volunteered for a youth group LYRiC and we were invited to join the league. I was one of the non-youths on the team. I moved to New York City in 1994. My dad and sister live in the Sacramento area now. He was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia so I travel there a lot to help with his care and alleviate some of the stress from my sister.

What do you do for fun? 

I spend time with friends, I still love exploring New York City, see a lot of theater, try to read as much as I can (I’m halfway through my goal to read all Charles Dickens’ novels…it’s killin’ me). Also, I’ve been very lucky to travel with Phil to many of his ComicCons which has been incredible. And The Rookies!

What three words describe you best?

Interested. Friend. Caring.

How did you get involved with volunteering for BASL?

In my second year in the league, commissioner Bob Fluet and assistant commissioner John Panarace asked if I would take over for the then-secretary who needed to step away from the position. I did so for a year and then was elected for a term. I really enjoyed meeting the board and reps, and it got me connected to a lot of the other teams and players. At that time the league was pretty small and it was amazing to watch it grow over the years and with the different commissioners.

Editor’s Note: Email execboard@bigapplesoftball.com if Joe has inspired you to get involved!

What do you love about BASL? 

That I’ve made most my major friendships through other players or people that I’ve met through these players. I met Phil at one of Pete’s infamous Cheesy Parties that included my softball team…he was a good friend of Pete. Been together almost 15 years. After the Hall of Fame honor, we celebrated at brunch with friends. I looked around the table and four friends where linked to me through a SF teammate and the others were all from Rookies world. I’m so lucky. (A bit of odd trivia: My SF team was sponsored by the last butcher shop in the Castro. The one year I played little league, my team was The Rosebush, sponsored by our town’s dress shop. Fate!)


 

The Rookies in one of their early seasons on Randall’s Island before it was restored.

 


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