Spirit Softball is an ASA Women’s Class A Fastpitch team. Four diehard players, Elaine Bedell, Jean Buskirk, Julie Wolfe, and Cindy Slocum founded Spirit in 1995. Since it’s inception, Spirit has won countless Tournament Championships, three State Championships, three National Qualifiers, and has placed in the top ten at the National Tournament eight times, including a 2nd place finish in 2003, and a 3rd place finish in 2006. The Spirit features many current and former collegiate players.
Spirit’s season runs from Memorial Day through Mid August. Games are played on Wednesday nights and weekends.
Shorty’s is an ASA Men’s Open Fastpitch team. Shorty’s has been around for about three decades, making it one of the oldest competitive men’s teams in our area. Shorty’s was also one of the first teams to call Lyons Field home, playing their first game in the summer of 1987.
The team originated as Lyons Fire Company, but when the new field was built in 1985, they changed names and became Fleetwood Chiropractic. Ten years later, the team returned to their original name, Lyons Fire Company. In 2001, the team changed again and became Bowers Hotel. In 2002, the name changed one last time to become Shorty’s. They think this name is a keeper!
In 2004 the team joined the Berks/Schuylkill Men’s Fastpitch League. Shorty’s is coached by Dwayne Sheidt, and managed by Naaman Schlegel. Since 2009 Shortys has won 4 league titles, a 2010 State Championship, and a 3rd place finishes at the Men’s C 2013 and 2015 National Tournaments.
Shorty’s season runs from late May to mid August. Games are played on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
The Lady Lyons are an ASA Women’s Class B fastpitch team. The team was formed by Arlan Schwoyer in 1989, and he served as manager and coach of the team until 1995. The Lady Lyons were one of the first teams to call Lyons Field home, playing their first game in the summer of 1989.
The team took a few years off in the late 1990s, but picked up again with Bruce Ernst as a coach. At that time, the Lady Lyons played most of their games on Field #2.
Over the years, the Lady Lyons have gathered many accolades including three state titles, one regional title, and two fifth place finishes in national tournaments. The Lady Lyons are a competitive team, and have played against the Puerto Rican National Team, as well as the Blasters, Spirit, and Topton VIPs.
In 2006, Amanda Behney took over managing and coaching the Lady Lyons. As of 2014, Amanda passed the management of the team to Karen Hertzog and coach John Gilmer to continue the tradition the Lady Lyons hold.
The Lyons Seniors are an ASA Men’s 65 & Over Slowpitch team. The Seniors formed in 2001, and require their members to be at least 65 years of age, although many members are well into their 70s. The Seniors play over 50 games each year, playing and practicing every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the season. Each season ends with a benefit game against WFMZ Channel 69 News. The Seniors have collected over $10,000 from benefit games over the years, and show no signs of stopping any time soon. Proceeds from the benefits games are given to local members of the community who are in need of assistance.
The Lyons Seniors season runs from early May to mid August. Games are played on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. All games are doubleheaders.
Ball Field History
In the early 1980’s, a guy by the name of Ronnie Scheidt noticed that softball popularity was on the decline. An avid softball fan, Ronnie didn’t want to see the sport fade away, and the idea of a new field was born. Ronnie spent the next several months raising money, and in the summer of 1985, construction began on what would become Lyons Field. Ronnie attributes much of his success to two incredibly helpful people. Randy Schlegel, who provided the field with electricity, and Karl Hilbert, who took care of the field and cooked for many years.
Opening ceremonies were held on August 22, 1987, a beautiful late summer day. The Rising Sun Sunners played the first game at Lyons Field, marking the beginning of a great future for softball in Berks County. Over the next few years, several teams moved to Lyons Field, and the future grew even brighter.
Along with entertainment, Lyons Field also provided food for hungry players and fans. Before every game, Suzie Reed would load up the back of a pickup truck with hamburgers, hot dogs, and drinks and set up shop under the trees near Lyons Fire Company. The pickup truck soon evolved into a Coke Wagon, and fans could purchase food behind the backstop during games.
Knowing he had created a good thing, Ronnie wanted to give Lyons Field even more. In 1987, restrooms, a press box, and a concession stand were added to the complex, making Lyons Field what it is today. Ronnie ran the complex from its first days in 1985 until early 2001, putting his heart and soul into every day of operation. Ronnie held numerous fundraisers and concerts to raise money for the field, and it was obvious that players and fans alike adored Lyons Field.
After 16 years of service and with a heavy heart, Ronnie retired from operations in 2001, handing the reins. Ronnie remained a huge part of Lyons Field however, and he was found at every game until his death in February 2008.
Ronnie will be sadly missed by the Lyons Field family, as well as the players and hundreds of devoted fans. Rest assured, Ronnie’s love for Lyons Field will remain strong, and his spirit will continue to root for our home teams as we continue his legacy.
Thank you Ronnie, for sharing your dream!