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  • Sacramento Veteran Ball Player Ted Bofinger Passes Away at 93

    By Lanny Ropke and Jim Tygrett-DeNuzzi, Sacramento Men’s Baseball League

    Long-time Sacramento Men’s Baseball League member Ted Bofinger passed away quietly at home on April 1st at the age of 93 with his family by his side.  Ted started playing baseball in the Sacramento MSBL at the age of 65 and was elected to the Sacramento Hall of Fame in 2007.  Ted was the oldest player in the league.

    "I would like to thank the entire SMSBL organization for all of the warmth, kindness and brotherhood that you have shown to my father for so many years,” stated Ted’s son Bob. "Dad is indeed indebted to Val Lewis not only for establishing the league, but for including him on the Yankees so that Dad could continue to do what he loved most. It was a wonderful blessing for dad to be able to share in the baseball experience -- even at his age -- with such a wonderful group of ballplayers and class acts!” (Ted's obituary is displayed below)

    Theodore F. Bofinger, 93, passed away peacefully in his sleep, with family by his side, on April 1, 2017. Ted was born in Murrhardt, Germany on Feb. 11, 1924. At age 5, he and his mother left Germany for America. His father arrived in New York a year earlier to work for GE. He had one goal -- to save enough money so his wife and son could join him in America. With the goal achieved, the reunited family settled in San Francisco near family members that had already transitioned from Germany.
     
    San Francisco was Ted's home for the next 35 years, and though his career ultimately took him away from SF, he always considered SF his home. Soon after settling in the US, young Teddy discovered baseball on the playgrounds of San Francisco. Teddy developed a genuine love and undying passion for the game -- a passion that would ignite him from that day forward. If Ted wasn't playing baseball, he was watching it. He was a big SF Seals fan, and he found many creative ways to see games at Seals stadium -- most of which did not involve buying a ticket. One day at age 13, he ran on the field during batting practice and asked an outfielder if he could shag some flies. The outfielder graciously allowed him to stay a while. The outfielder was a young Ted Williams.
     
    Ted played college baseball at SFJC and SF State, and in 1943, he joined the Army. At age 20, Ted landed at Omaha Beach early on June 6, 1944. In addition to the D-Day invasion, Ted was involved in 4 other campaigns in the European theater throughout France and the Ardennes. After returning home, Ted earned his JD from USF Law School. For 13 years, he practiced law privately and was a deputy city attorney in SF. In 1963, he became a Federal Administrative Law Judge, a position he would hold until retirement 22 years later. That same year he was admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court, and shortly thereafter enjoyed a private visit with Chief Justice Earl Warren. In 1981, he began playing softball in the Sacramento Golden Seniors Softball Club, and played until age 80. He received a life membership award from the Golden Seniors in 1999.
     
    At 65, he began playing in the Sacramento Men's Senior Baseball league (SMSBL) and was the oldest player in the league. An inspiration to players much younger, he was inducted into the SMSBL Hall of Fame in 2007, as a member of the HOF's inaugural class. His later years were spent among many friends at University Retirement Community in Davis, and also with many wonderful friends from his playing days. Ted was never happier than when he could join his baseball buddies at Club Pheasant for a lengthy lunch discussing nothing but baseball.
     
    Ted was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Connie and his daughter Peggy. He is survived by his son Bob, granddaughter Bridget, grandson Brett and cousins Marcel and Gail Pardo and Gary Furness. The family wishes to thank Yolo Hospice for their loving and compassionate care for Ted, and suggest that any memorial donations be made to Yolo hospice, 1909 Galileo Court, Suite A, Davis CA, 95618.
    Published in The Sacramento Bee on Apr. 7, 2017
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