Cars whiz by Westmoreland Park on McLoughlin Boulevard as the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Californication” blares into the warm autumn night. The leaves are starting to change color and school has just begun.
To the passing cars it’s just another slow pitch softball game, to these Clackamas Community College staffers, it’s a way to relax after another day on campus. The ting of a metal bat breaks the scene as Director of Student Life and Title IX Coordinator John Ginsburg knocks a softball into left center field.
Dustin Bare, Director of Student and Academic Support, rounds third base and scores the first run of the night. This isn’t just another slow pitch softball team, this is the unofficial softball team of CCC workers, the Triple C’s.
Led by Ginsburg, this staff-loaded team shows that even the employees at Clackamas have a life off the campus.
Ginsburg loves playing softball but hadn’t always been able to find a team to play on, so he made the decision to start the Triple C’s; a name he took because of the softball term and a play on CCC’s abbreviation. Ginsburg turned to colleague and friend Bare for help filling out the roster.
Together Ginsburg and Bare found seven staffers including Academic and Career Coach Enrique Farrera, Student Success and Career Coordinators Kara Leonard and Kyle Thomas, CCC graduate, Jonathan Gann (class of 2015) and four others from past teams Bare and Ginsburg had played on. The Triple C’s had their roster.
Ginsburg is a passionate competitor and is highly animated during the games. For Bare, the best part of playing is spending time with his colleagues off campus
“It’s fun being able to hang out, outside of work,” Bare said. “Really all those who play that work at CCC are not much different on the field than at work. They work hard and play hard and give their best effort in both places.”
Even though Gann had attended CCC, he was unaware that most of his teammates worked for the school.
“I don’t recall ever seeing them on campus before,” Gann said. “It’s nice to see them out of their normal element. They seem to have a ‘cool’ side to them you don’t usually see at school.”
So far this season the staffers have won three of their four games and currently sit in fourth place in the Underdog Sports Monday night league. Their latest win came on the first day of classes at CCC. The most exciting win so far this season was a 17-16 victory on Sept. 17.
Down 14-4, the Triple C’s battled back in the fifth inning, putting up 10 runs to even the game at 14-14. In the top of the sixth, Ginsburg gave up a two-run home run that put the Triple C’s down 16-14.
The Triple C’s scored one run to tighten things at
16-15, but found themselves down to their final out when Bare stepped into the batter’s box and smashed one down the third base line that scored two runners and gave the staffers another win. Ginsburg was the most ecstatic of the staffers as the winning run scored.
“[Sept. 17]’s victory had me jumping and hugging people and I didn’t feel I even did that great in the game,” Ginsburg said. “I’m not jumping up and down all the time in the office.”
After the game, if it’s not too late, the staffers go to a local pub to talk about work and swap interesting stories like misunderstood Halloween costumes or the time Ginsburg met Bob Dylan. Leonard’s favorite story is about Bare.
“It was pretty funny hearing everyone joke about their college experiences,” Leonard said. “Like [Bare] declaring a major just a couple of weeks before graduation.”
As the night wraps up, it becomes pretty obvious these administrators really aren’t that different from the students they’re helping.