For a group of coaches that have collectively played less than 100 collegiate baseball games, McAleece Park has served as the home field for the Duhawk Dingers, a recreational softball team.
Started by Women’s Basketball Head Coach Justin Heinzen, the Dingers are made up of an assortment of coaches and athletic department personnel with experiences ranging from collegiate athlete to little league all-star.
“I’ve played summer softball in Dubuque on a few different teams since I moved here and always found it as a fun way to compete, albeit in a more fun and social setting,” Heinzen said.
2017 marks the first year that a group of Loras coaches have come together and the team’s formation has sparked a fan following thanks to Twitter, which has been used to promote both the team and its unique take on recreation softball.
“We have a young staff and a lot of newer coaches, so it’s been a great way for us all to connect and get to know each other,” Heinzen said. “It’s a place, with or without a background in softball or baseball, that we can do something together other than spend time in the office.”
Followers of the team have regularly been entertained with softball-related comedy, often pertaining directly to home runs and bat flips. On Thursdays, the team’s Twitter account publishes a graphic to promote the game as well as an additional graphic that shares the lineup for that week’s game. Occasionally, a coach will be interviewed after the game using Twitter’s Periscope feature.
Nine games into the season, the Duhawk Dingers are 7-2, a mark that has caught some by surprise.
“I had no idea what to expect when Justin asked if I was interested in playing,” Director of Athletic Communications Jim Naprstek (’13) said. “There’s no doubt that the winning has been fun and aided our enjoyment, but at the end of the day, it’s something that we all look forward to doing on Thursday nights.”
Follow the Dingers on Twitter, @DuhawkDingers, or better yet, catch one of their last games, on August 3 or 10!