Ken Reich knows the score, and has for over two decades
Sandy City’s slow-pitch softball scorekeeping guru, Ken Reich. (Billy Swartzfager/City Journals)
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If you play slow-pitch softball in Sandy, chances are you know Ken Reich. Ken is a scorekeeper who has overseen many of Sandy’s softball leagues and seems to know most of the people who show up to the parks, whether it be those there to play or their families there to watch. He is known for going out of his way to greet players by name and to make conversation with those watching a game, making games in a Sandy league a little different than most places.
Reich has been scorekeeping in Sandy for 21 years. He began the job in the late nineties to raise money for his oldest daughter’s wedding. He realized that he liked the gig and found he was particularly good at it, so decided to keep at it. After two decades, Reich has witnessed a lot of different things, but what he enjoys the most revolves around the people he interacts with.
“I get to watch people grow up out here. Some of these younger guys have been coming to the fields since their dads were playing,” Reich said.
Most teams that are familiar with Reich prefer him to be the scorekeeper, and often ask whether he will be manning the league or the field they are playing on. The guy can’t be everywhere of course, but he also trains and mentors most of the other scorekeepers who work for Sandy City’s Parks and Recreation Department.
“He is my right-hand man and understands how everything needs to be run. Other scorekeepers will call him with questions at the fields before they call me sometimes,” program coordinator for the parks department, Linda Martin, said.
At a time when other city’s leagues seem to be shrinking or becoming less competitive, Sandy continues to grow and attract good teams year after year, something Reich credits to Martin’s organization and leadership, which is a big part of it. But, one can certainly see that being greeted by a guy who remembers the big hits, and the small ones, from a previous week’s games is every bit as important as how well the league is administered. People know what to expect from a Sandy league; they are well run and family friendly.
“He is awesome and a big part of why our programs are so successful,” Martin said. “He is very reliable and takes so much pride in his work.”
On top of doing the job for over two decades, Reich played softball for close to 25 years. He also coached both of his daughters during their playing days. He brings a lot of experience as well as a deep love for the game and for people.
“I enjoy it, enjoy the people. Baseball was life growing up and this keeps me involved when my legs won’t let me play,” Reich said.
Reich keeps score every night of the week, mostly at Quarry Bend these days, but he does get out to Crescent Park weekly as well. He oversees men’s leagues, co-ed leagues and Sandy’s unique clean and sober league, all of which welcome teams of varying skill levels from very good to first timers. Reich retired from his career at the post office years ago, but had no plans whatsoever to close the scorebook and shut down the scoreboard.
“I won’t retire from this — they’ll have to carry me out,” Reich said. “As long as I am enjoying it and they’ll tolerate me, I’ll be out here.”
And, Sandy’s leagues will be that much better for it.