To return to the SSN 667 main page, click here.

The 1974 Softball Champs

We were in the shipyard at EB at the time.

We had a successful season the year before, but because we weren't in the shipyard, the season wasn't as complete as this particular year. This year, it all came together.

"Pappy" McMaster and "Gabby" Gabarra acted as player coaches and had us on top of the submarine world.

To the best of my memory, by position:
Catchers - Freddie Reed and Gabby Gabarra
Pitchers - Rob Myers and Pappy McMaster
1st base - Rick Sitts
2nd base - Sammy (Baby Face) Gangwer and Les Holman
3rd base - Dave Lloyd Shortstop - Tom (Mr.) Butcher (our token Officer)
Outfielders - Kenny Lomba, Ted Kunges, Bruce (Goose) Louis, Marty Kohus and Me, Mike Curtis

We won the league regular season that summer, and had to play in a short tournament to see who got to go to Virginia Beach for the Atlantic Fleet tourney. My recollection is a tight championship game with the Thomas Jefferson (who was also dry docked at EB that year). We won our first round game against another team, and had the big game the next night. I remember I had duty and had to get permission to have somebody cover for me for a few hours. Capt. Wyatt approved.

But after the victory, Capt. Wyatt confronted both me and my replacement together at the victory party we held at the Chief's Club. Captain Wyatt was very subtle as he congratulated me for the win, and noted how both I and my substitute were there together sucking down victory beers. It's a good thing we won.

We had a really solid team. When you think of our crew size, it's really amazing what we put together. Sammy and Kenny were always on base with huge averages. We had sever guys that could hit home runs, led by Dave Lloyd. I think he had the most, but we really didn't have a weak spot in the line up. At Virginia Beach for that Atlantic Fleet Championships, we got beat twice by the same team, the eventual champion, a flat top troop carrier with a crew of about 5,000. Both losses were close. My memory says 3 to 2 in the earlier round game and the championship game was 8 to 6. Disappointing to come so close and miss by a hair.

I remember that Marty Kohus made about a dozen miracle catches in the tourney. Dave Lloyd cracked a dinger or two, at fences that were way deeper that we were used to playing on.

The evenings in the bars in Virginia Beach bring back a few memories, too. I still think of this one topless dancer from those days every time I hear "Radar Love". I can still see those tassels rotating in opposite directions. And I remember a particular "massage" parlor that a couple of our guys visited. I'll leave the names out to protect the guilty. One of them, the youngest looking guy on the team, was given the royal treatment because we convinced the ladies he was a virgin. He was in there an hour or more. He definitely got his money's worth. And the other guy? Let's just say he got a pat on the back and a hand shake. His comments about, "You ain't a man 'til you split a black oak" didn't sit well with the employees. Actually, we all caught hell for their escapades when we got home. The wives had convinced themselves that if those two did it, the rest of us must have done it too. It wasn't true, but we caught the wrath of them anyway. Still, we had a great time.

After all these years, the only other guy I've heard of from the team was Bruce 'goose' Louis. We hooked up together about 20 years ago at a softball tournament hear in Oregon.

Mike Curtis


To return to the SSN 667 main page, click here.