The Long Island Senior Softball Association inducted five players into a new Hall of Fame for its oldest age group on Wednesday.
The Division 5 league, sponsored by Bristal Assisted Living, consists of about 100 members who are 68 or older. The inductees, honored for their work on and off the field, range in age from 72-86.
Inductee Bill Capparelli, 74, of North Massapequa, is a retired NYPD officer, U.S. Army veteran and the starting right fielder for the Cubs. Capparelli works with AMVETS, a veteran aid organization, and volunteers at the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
“It’s something I can give back for what they [veterans] have given to us,” Capparelli said.
Other inductees were Ernie Catanese, 86, of Uniondale, Pete Zaccaria, 83, of Point Lookout, Sal Frosina 75, of Seaford, and Charlie Matassa, 72, of Floral Park. They were each chosen in large part because of their community service, said LISA board member Bernie Rosen, 81, of Old Bethpage.
“We wanted to honor those who were giving back to the community,” Rosen said.
Inductee Ernie Catanese, founder of the community group Uniondale Neighbors in Total Effort, has played baseball since he was 7 years old and doesn’t see himself getting off of the field any time soon.
“I look forward to this every week,” Catanese said. “Baseball is my joy.”
After Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray presented awards, the inductees joined their teammates in a special three-inning softball game.