Lyseng impacts rebounding Royals
Posted October 1, 2009
Josh Lyseng “was” a good ball player back in the day. But after taking a break from the diamond, many didn’t know what kind of return the happy-go-lucky kid, with a senior citizen demeanour, would make.
Nicknamed “Flapjack” by teammate Jason Buzzell, Lyseng used last year as a tune-up for 2009. He hadn’t played baseball for a few years, and wasn’t too keen on even attempting a comeback when the Axemen were around.
“I don’t think I was good enough to play with (those) guys back then,” the always bashful Lyseng said. “I always thought, ‘Maybe I’ll try and play next year,’ but those teams were so good.”
Then Clark Banack and a bunch of former Armenans came calling and Lyseng all of a sudden was most definitely – “good” enough.
But the 1-14 season in 2008 was agonizing.
In 2009, Lyseng’s arm strengthened (three shoulder injuries from hockey doesn’t help), his bat got quicker and most importantly…
“There (were) runners on base to drive in this year,” Lyseng joked.
And drive in is exactly what he did. A team-leading 22 RBI this year. Although batting behind all-star Joel Boettger didn’t hurt matters one bit either.
The other reason Royals’ management loves “Flapjack” besides his stellar batting stats, is the local flavour he adds to the team. A team that for a while, didn’t have a single player from the hamlet of Armena.
“We’ve always been a community team that’s drawn from Hay Lakes, Round Hill and Kingman just to name a few,” Jason Buzzell said. “But Josh brings a presence back to Armena, and he has a voice with the Rec Board we haven’t really had in almost 10 years.”
He also drags the field and helps mow the grass on a regular basis at Anniversary Park – something that is a much harder task than some other diamonds.
“As much as some new guys to the league complained about our infield, Josh’s tireless work…made the infield about as good as it could have been,” Buzzell said. “Without Josh, it would be much worse.
It disheartened me to hear guys bashing it with the amount of work he’s put in – especially after seeing a couple other fields, which in my opinion weren’t much better.”
Lyseng convinced the local board something had to be done.
“I told (the board) if we don’t get a new infield, there might not be a team anymore in Armena,” Lyseng said.
This week, hired help was supposed to be working to level and add clay to the infield. Lyseng and a couple other Royals will be working this fall before winter arrives to sculpt a new mound.
”If we can level off that infield and get a fresh start in 2010, it will be big to solidifying that there be a men’s team in Armena for many years to come,” Buzzell said. “Josh’s work, both on and off the field, are much appreciated by all of us who have played and are still playing at Anniversary Park.”
Posted on October 1, 2009 by Jason Buzzell