Fun and tribute

We hear that the LT. CHUCK MARGIOTTA softball picnic the other week at Manresa Park in New Dorp was a bit of a stitch, as anything that's for fun and that used to be called the annual Pound Puppy game would be.

Here's the story. According to firefighter Anthony Cittadini, many years ago when a new crew started its fire department rotation program (rookies used to spend a certain amount of time at different fire houses to learn various aspects of the job) at Engine 165/Ladder 85 in New Dorp, the guys decided to organize themselves into a softball team and called themselves the Pound Puppies.

When the rotation ended, well, the team didn't. The Pound Puppies and the regulars at E165/L85 continued with a battle each year -- mostly instigated and kept alive by CHUCK, who spent half a decade with the New Dorp crew.

This year the guys in the house wanted to honor their interim lieutenant (who, as we're sure you gathered, didn't make it back from 9/11) so they changed the name of the game and picnic to his.

And this year they didn't go with the original Pound Puppies vs. the Vets, they divided the house with the Truck (Ladder 85) winning the opener 6-4 and -- very judiciously, don't you think? -- the Engine taking the nightcap, also 6-4. (What could be neater?)

Bobby Sohmer (who's the Truck captain) earned his team's win on the mound while Dom Pace was the winning pitcher for the Engine. The aforementioned Anthony, Alex Capobianco and Vinny Spartacus supplied lots of offense with home runs.

Anthony also tells us that Tommy Schweizer and Richie Durso (the recently retired Richie Durso) "provided the entertainment" for the picnic portion of the day.

(PS -- Don't ask just what that "entertainment" was, please, but we bet Jimmy Gunning, who's recently been made Engine captain at the New Dorp house, learned some things about his new mates.)
 JULIE SUMMERS / Staten Island Advance