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Sober Softball Builds Connections and Community

Sober softball team Chris’ Corner from last fall. Coach Nick Pinto is kneeling and on the left. Regular season play will begin May 5.

By David Dunbar

Options for those in the national drug/alcohol addiction and recovery field are huge. These days, some of the best stories are coming from the local baseball field. 

Which is precisely where something called “Sober Softball” is preparing to open its new season for 2024.

“Anyone can join the team, as long as they are sober,” explains Lisa Trusas, a Senior Recovery Coach with Chris’ Corner in Milford. “We are looking for people in recovery and those who are allies. The practices are usually held in Upton or Milford and games are on Sundays in Worcester. We are ordering new jerseys, so the sooner the better to join. April 27th is the kickoff, and it starts with a single pitch tournament. May 5th is when the regular season starts.  Come join the summer Sober Softball team!”

Chris’ Corner, located at 12 Main Street in Milford, is a newly established location, currently providing virtual recovery-oriented care and support to help individuals, children, and families, with mental health and substance use disorders to improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential, according to its website.

Sober softball players come from surrounding towns, including Bellingham and Franklin. For $60 which includes a jersey, you can join and it’s open to men and women. More information is available at or by calling (508) 552-8080.

Matt Dickie is from Bellingham and learned about sober softball from a friend last March. “He was talking about softball, and I told him I used to play years ago and was interested in playing again. So, he asked me to join the team at Chris’ Corner. I decided I wanted to participate, because I hadn’t played in such a long time, and I missed it. I missed the bond you have with your teammates the excitement of the game and the competition.”

Nick Pinto is the coach of the team. “I’ve been coaching going on three years… I used to play in the sober softball league for a different team and wanted to get my community into it, because sobriety made me scared at first because I didn’t know if I could have fun or what life was going to be like and I wanted to build connections and support for the people in my community.”

“I found a group of people,” adds Pinto, “that I call family, and we’re here for everybody to help everyone and build everyone up, come together for a common cause of just having a better day than yesterday without using drugs or alcohol. It’s my favorite support system to show that you’re not alone out there, the opposite of addiction is connection… alone I can’t, but together we can!”

And from the Chris’ Corner website: “Our leadership team and staff bring years of experience, both working with substance abuse as well as facing our own demons and coming out the other side. We know change is possible, and we’re here to give you the tools to create your own success story.”

“I’m not sure who came up with the idea of sober softball,” adds Trusas. “We are in a league with other sober facilities whether they are sober houses, other recovery centers and detoxes.”

She continues, “Nick runs the Sunday night AA meeting in Worcester, and he is the one who approached us with sponsoring a softball team. He has more than three years in recovery and has played and coached our team. We joined the league in the summer of 2022. So, the team is named after our recovery center, but the sponsors are the Regional Substance Navigation Program, Christopher W. Swindell Foundation, and the Law Offices of Melanie Soloman.”

“It’s just about us coming together and building relationships and support and building each other up and having fun and showing people that sobriety doesn’t have to be boring,” says Pinto. “We can all come together and have a great time – win or lose, it’s for fun. It’s a great opportunity for people to feel part of something.”

“Sober softball,” says Bellingham’s Matt Dickie, “offers amazing support especially for those who are struggling. You don’t have to go through sobriety alone. You know why? Because you can’t. Trust me, I know. So, c’mon out and join the team. It will be the best decision you’ve made in a while.”