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Democrat Photo by Frank Rizzo

MEMORIES: Charlie Barbuti of Liberty identifies teammates from a long-ago photo to Sun King manager Steve Prince and Mike Ligotti, former scorekeeper for the perennial Liberty Men’s Slo-Pitch Softball League champs.

Memories Aplenty

By Frank Rizzo
LIBERTY — July 25, 2000 – When 85-year-old Charlie Barbuti Sr. of Liberty took to the mound for the Sun King softball team earlier this season, he marked his ninth decade of playing in an organized softball league. The occasion was a Liberty Men’s Slo-Pitch Softball League contest between Sun King and the Little Beaverkill Inn at the Liberty Elementary School softball Želd.
Sun King manager Steve Prince let Barbuti start the game, and the octogenarian acquitted himself well against skilled players one-quarter his age. He was replaced by regular starter Mike Juron with Sun King down 9-5. Eventually, Barbuti’s team came back to win.
“It was nice of Steve to let me play,” Barbuti said.
Barbuti Žrst played on the Elementary School Želd in 1938 for the Liberty Engine Company No. 3 team (both softball and hardball).
“We used to play the Grossinger’s team, and there’d be 2,000 people in the stands,” Barbuti recalled.
In addition to being on the roster of Sun King, Barbuti is also active with the Sullivan County Seniors softball team.

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