There was, in the '60s, a softball pitcher with a mannerism that distracted batters on men's slow pitch teams.

A variety of readers responded with names of pitchers possibly fitting the description in an inquiry from a Michigan man stationed at the radar station at the Houma-Terrebonne Airport in 1968.

"He had some kind of eye disorder, may have been hit in the face. He would be facing first base when he threw strikes over home plate," recalled Terry Scrivener, recently in Houma.

"Sounds like John Dugan," responded Delvin Foret, echoing a name proposed by several readers. The name Charlie Dagate also came up. After a hit in the face caused facial fractures, he played wearing some kind of protective mask. Other readers recalled the situation but not a name.

"Look" fixed: The most likely candidate is John Dover, still living in Terrebonne and whose off-putting sideways look was corrected by surgery long ago. "I drink coffee with him nearly every morning," said Larry Theriot, who explained that muscles controlling the eye pulled his eyes far to the side, forcing Dover to compensate by turning his head far to the left.

"You think it distracted batters in slow pitch; baseball batters were really distracted; and when he drove, 'looking' out the side window to drive straight ahead." Dover's pitching "advantage" is rarely discussed in Dover/Theriot coffee gatherings.

Mary Breerwood weighed in late with a further reminiscence: "His name was John Dover. He pitched on my husband’s Babe Ruth team when he was young. He was a great pitcher but he had a lazy eye handicap which he used to trick the other batters. It was a birth defect. He would be 70 now. His sister, Irma Dover, taught French at VCHS for many years.

"Our fifth child had the same defect and was operated on when he was only 3 to correct it. He healed perfectly and does not even need glasses now." Breerwood, whose responses are usually very quick, was out of the state when the inquiry was first published.

The teams: Camille Duplantis, 80, younger brother of late Courier wedding columnist Tracy Duplantis, remembers when adult men's slow pitch was popular across Terrebonne: "There was 'Haydel Drugs,' 'Jax Rams,' 'Delta Iron,' 'Southern Bell,' 'Gray Ghosts,' and possibly the 'Air Force' team.

"We used to play at the 'big pit' near Houma waterworks, until they moved us to a field where Chauvin Funeral Home is today."

Bayouside Cleanup: "People are upset about the amount of trash throughout our parish. We’re hoping that we can mobilize that energy into something positive," said Jonathan Foret of the Wetlands Discovery Center. The cleanup is scheduled for March 3, followed by a party for volunteers.

Foret urges leaders of volunteer groups and individual volunteers to a planning session at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Waterlife Museum, 7910 Park Ave., Houma, where locations and logistics will be discussed.

Focus of the cleanup is along the sides of the bayou and roadways of the parish. Volunteers with boats and water cleanup equipment must discuss plans in advance. Watch for additional details.

Writers' Conference: 15th Annual Jambalaya Writers' Conference is March 3 at Terrebonne's Main Library, 151 Library Drive, Houma, with "Goosebumps" author R.L. Stine the keynote speaker and participation by several other prominent authors, including H.L. Bourgeois grad and Louisiana Poet Laureate Jack Bedell.

Registration information and other details are at mytpl.org/jwc. Contact Jessi Suire at 850-5301 or jwc@mytpl.org.

Oops! The combined Terrebonne High School and St. Francis classes of 1958 reunite April 21 with a 4 p.m. Mass at St. Francis Cathedral and then a gathering from 6-10 p.m. at Woodmen of the World Hall, 309 S. Hollywood Road, Houma. Information: 872- 1998.

Responding? Contact Bill Ellzey at 381-6256, ellzey@viscom.net, billellzey312@gmail.com or c/o The Courier, P.O. Box 2717, Houma, LA 70361.