As many softball players will tell you, it’s always nice to play on a team that has a sponsor willing to subsidize the coast of tournaments, uniforms and travel. That’s what Don Metz, the sponsor of Metz Tool, provided for 25 years for his teams and players at all levels of Men’s USSSA play.
His teams never won a State Championship, but finished second one year and finishing as high as seventh at a National tournament. They did, however, win titles in Forest Hills leagues with Metz as a player and manager.
Metz says a few different years he handed over the coaching reigns to good friend Bill Hazer because of the difficult playing outfield and making on field decisions at the same time.
Metz played baseball and football at both the high school and college level. After college, Metz found it hard to find ball leagues to play in, but still had the craving for competition, so he turned to softball. A solid left-center fielder, Metz, who is still an active player playing USSSA softball in Florida, funded many trips for his friends and teammates to play in tournaments. It was those acquaintances who helped him through a very tough time nine years ago when Metz’s son passed away from D.M.D. (Jerry Lewis disease).
“It was my softball buddies that I leaned on and depended on,” Metz said. “It seemed softball was the one place I could go and be treated as a player, not a victim. I can tell you fully the debt I owe to all the softball people for their kindness.”
Metz praised the Illinois USSSA for their professionally executed tournaments and leagues.
“[Illinois USSSA] was, and is, the best run sports organization in the state,” Metz said. “No other organization even comes closer to what the USSSA does for its teams and players.”
Metz summed up his thoughts saying, “I’ve been all over the world and had many great times, yet the truth is the best people, the most fun and real-life victories have come from my time with softball people.”