WALNUT CREEK, CALIFORNIA - Manager Gary Tryhorn of the Old A's 60 Major Plus senior team carries the torch today for a team with a rich and very successful history that began 25 years ago. Prior to the 1985 season, Jerry Matteri and Ed Menosse got together and decided to put together a 40 year old softball team to compete locally and nationally. They came up with the name Old A's, as both were from Richmond, California, and were Oakland Athletics fans.
Menosse had been a long time friend of the then manager of the A's Billy Martin. Billy told Ed to talk to his equipment manager about getting some uniforms. The Oakland A's equipment manager came through with shirts, hats, and jackets at wholesale prices.
This first Old A's team consisted of some of the old Campbell Carpet players, the Bay Area Merchant players, and some of the areas best over 40 players in the area. This team competed all around the country until it was turned into a 50 team in 1989 when Bob Mitchell introduced a 50 program nationally. About 1993 Dan Smith took over sponsorship of the Old A's team and renamed it the Dan Smith Plastering team. This team competed as a 50 major team with Ed Menosse as its manager. This team played about 130 games a year, and traveled all over the country to compete.
In 1997 the Old A's name was revived as a 55 major team with Joe Peach as it's manager. Most of the team was made up of ex-Old A's 50 players. The team competed during 1997 and 1998.
1999 was a banner year for the Old A's. It's manager, Tom French, took the team to two national championships, the World Series in Tallahassee, and the World Championships in Phoenix, and won both.
In 2000, Gary Tryhorn took over as manager of the Old A's. Acquiring Sky Trek Aviation, of Modesto, California, as a major sponsor, has enabled the team to travel to many tournaments that are not local. During the year the team competed in 20 tournaments across the nation. Highlights of the year included winning the NSA Western World Championships in Modesto, California, winning the Senior Softball World Series in Detroit, winning the Senior Softball World Championships in Winnipeg, Canada, placing second in the USSSA Championships in Salem, Oregon, and second in the ISA World Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada. These tournaments included the best 55 Major teams in the nation. 2001 again saw the team compete in about 20 tournaments throughout the year. Most notable was the NCSSA Championships held in Carson City, Nevada, placing first. The NSA Western World from Twin Creeks in Sunnyvale was won by the team going away. Denver was host to the USSSA Championships and the Sky Trek Old A's placed 2nd to a combo team from Florida and Georgia. Off to Detroit and the Senior Softball World Series saw the team win the championship over a determined team from New Jersey. Next was a second place finish at the World Championships in Las Vegas, and on to Plano, Texas for the SPA World Finals. After being behind 19-3 in the championship game, the team rallied to defeat the team from Virginia and take the title. Our worst finish of the year, 3rd, was next at the ISA World Championships in Las Vegas.
During the 2002 campaign, the Sky Trek Old A's competed in, and won, the following National Championships; USSSA in Salem, Oregon, ISSA in Manassas, Virginia, World Series in Des Moines, Iowa, ISA in Ft. Myers, Florida, World Championships in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Huntsman World Games in St. George, Utah. The team also took a couple of third places, at the SPA in Plano, Texas, and the LVSSA in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2003, the Old A's/Miken team competed in 6 National Championships, finishing first at the USSSA in Blaine, Minnesota, first at the LVSSA in Las Vegas, first at the SSWC in Mobile, Alabama, and first at the SSWS in Des Moines, Iowa. Completing the year with a fourth at the ISSA in Manassas, Virginia, and second at the SPA in Plano, Texas.
In 2004, the Old A's/Miken team became a 60 year old team, and changed their name to the Ca Bandits. This in order for the 55 Old A's team to form an identity. During this year the 60 year old team won the USSSA championship in Panama City Beach, Florida, the World Series in Des Moines, Iowa, the SPA in Plano, Texas, the World Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the Huntsman Games in St. George, Utah. They came in second at the ASA in Salem, Oregon.
Also in 2004, the 55 Old A's team competed in and won the following national championships. The World Series in Des Moines, Iowa, the ASA in Salem, Oregon, the LVSSA in Las Vegas, Nevada, the World Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the Huntsman Games in St. George, Utah. They also came in fourth in the SPA in Plano, Texas.
In 2005, the 60 year old team, renamed the Old A's/Miken, won the SPA in Plano, Texas, the USSSA in Hutchinson, Kansas, the World Series in Des Moines, Iowa, the LVSSA in Las Vegas, Nevada, the World Championships in Phoenix, Arizona, and came in second at the ASA in Burlington, North Carolina. 2006 saw the Old A's/Miken team winning the NSA National Championship in Las Vegas, the USSSA National Championship in Salem, Oregon, the World Championships in Seattle, Washington, the LVSSA National Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the Huntsman Games in St. George, Utah. The team also garnered a second place finish at the World Series in Palm Springs, California, and a third place at the SPA National Championships in Plano, Texas. The Old A's have 14 active players that have been inducted into the Senior Softball Hall of Fame, and another 4 players that have qualified and are awaiting the vote for induction.
2007 was a pivotal year for the Old A's/Miken team. It was the fourth year that the team has competed in the 60 Major Plus division, and it became obvious that the team needed to infuse younger players into its ranks. The team started out with a fourth place at the SPA Championships in Kansas City. The Old A's then won the USSSA National Championships in Milwaukee Wisconsin, the World Series in Mankato, Minnesota, and the NSA Western World Series in Modesto, California. The team than came in third at the LVSSA in Las Vegas, and then won the Huntsman Games in St. George, Utah, and the World Championships in Phoenix, Arizona.
The grand total so far for the Old A's/Miken team since 1999 is 37 National Championships out of 52 attended. The breakdown includes 6 2nd place finishes, 6 3rd place finishes, and 3 4th place finishes. For 2008 the Old A's have added six new players to the team in an attempt to be competitive in the ever expanding 60 Major Plus division.