He’s the mayor, he’s your local optometrist, and last week he was inducted into the North American Fastpitch Association Hall of Fame.
Dr. David Drotzmann was presented with the honor alongside seven other players during the NAFA A-Major tournament in Mankato, Minnesota.
Drotzmann has been playing fastpitch softball for over 30 years. Back in the day, he played basketball and volleyball. He wasn’t introduced to fastpitch until after high school, as he prepared to head to college.
“Some friends of mine were playing this game called fastpitch. I had no idea what it was about, and they invited me to play,” Drotzmann said. “I played, and I wasn’t very good. But I found it fun, and I stuck it out.”
The hard work eventually paid off. Today, he plays with the Lacey A’s of Lacey, Washington.
“We’re probably one of the most competitive teams in the Northwest,” Drotzmann said.
He noted that the team usually fares well during Nationals, but this year they underperformed.
Next season, Drotzmann will also be eligible to compete in Masters tournaments through NAFA, as he heads towards his 50th birthday.
Drotzmann, along with other experienced members of the Lacey A’s, provide leadership and guidance for the team.
He’s also got 20 years of coaching behind him.
In the past, Drotzmann has acted as an assistant and pitching coach for high schoolers, first in his hometown of Yakima, Washington.
When he moved to Hermiston in 1998, he resumed coaching the following year. Drotzmann was coaching the Bulldogs when his daughter Abi was on the team. They took second to the Sandy Pioneers at the state championship in 2013, 1-0.
Drotzmann took a 9-year break from his own fastpitch career as his children went through school, and resumed recently as they’ve begun college. He doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
“I go out and throw for an hour, an hour and a half against a concrete wall by myself three nights a week,” he said. “That’s the kind of dedication it takes to be successful.”
Drotzmann said the sport helps him destress from his day-to-day, as mayor of Hermiston and at Lifetime Vision Source, where he is an optometrist.
“I get to hang out and be an average Joe, joking around. It helps to make me more level-headed,” he said.
And while he does put in hours of personal practice, Drotzmann said he never would have made it this far without his teammates and family.
“It’s not a one-man sport,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it without my family or my teammates.”