“Baseball gives you every chance to be great. Then it puts every pressure on your to prove that you haven’t got what it takes.
It never takes away the chance, and it never eases up on the pressure.”

~ Joe Garagiola
St. Louis Cardinals catcher from 1946 - 51
Vol. 19, No. 3 • Mailed monthly to over 12, 400 homes in the Gateway & Parkrose Communities Free • JULY 2003
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Gateway team beats the odds in Reno

Teamwork displayed by Edelen Custom Doors and Windows company softball team exemplifies owners’ business philosophies and personal attributes


Edelen co-ed softball team, front row, left to right, Stephanie Sook, Cindy Thomason, Rhonda Railton, Sara Thomas, Deanne Edelen and Marilyn Rueck. Back row, left to right: Ken Rueck, Tim Curran, Paul Rueck, Steve Hunt, Denny Edelen and Coach Rick Baker.
Twenty-eight slow pitch softball teams from around the west descended on the Don Mello Sports Complex in Sparks, Nevada over the weekend beginning on Friday, June 13. Edelen Custom Doors and Windows, 700 NE 102nd Ave., entered a team in the co-ed division. While they did not bring home a trophy, they did finish in fifth place and were the highest placing team from Oregon in the tournament.

Comprised primarily of Edelen employees, their spouses and family members, the team spent the daytime hours on the field in the bright desert sunshine. With tournament games completed for the day, the neon lights and casinos of downtown Reno beckoned. Players enjoyed one another’s company at the open-air market, the gaming tables and shows of the Biggest Little City in the World.

Come game time, Coach Rick Baker, Edelen Custom Doors & Windows installer, faced the challenge of assorted pulled muscles, sliding scrapes and general fatigue resulting from four games in 90-plus degree heat with liberal substitutions, plenty of ice and buckets of rehydrating fluids.

Pitcher Ken Rueck had an outstanding tournament. Rueck did not walk a batter all weekend and had 12 hits on 15 at bats for a batting average of .800.

Sisters Cindy Thomason (second base and Edelen Accounts Payable Manager) and Stephanie Sook (third base) provided a potent one-two punch with Cindy chasing down a fly-ball that threatened to drop in front of the outfielders and Stephanie coming through with a crucial double that sparked a big inning.

Playing on a pulled thigh muscle, Deanne Edelen was a defensive standout springing from behind the plate to record an out on a fly ball in foul territory and tagging out a nonchalant base runner in a rundown.

Husband and wife team Paul (Edelen Sales Manager and brother of Ken) and Marilyn Rueck roamed right and right center field.

Edelen Custom Doors & Windows Comptroller, Steve Hunt, covered the hole at shortstop, smothering anything hit his way and showing opposing teams why he is called ‘Ranger’ by teammates.

Rhonda Railton showed her versatility by playing left field and subbing at third and second. She had a great tournament at the plate, going 4 for 5 in the last game.

A relative new comer to the sport of softball, Sara Thomas displayed her athleticism substituting in left field and at catcher.

Inspirational team leader, Denny Edelen, showed his patience at the plate by drawing a walk in one game that resulted in two runs scored. At games end the scorebook showed him to be responsible for 5 of the 10 runs scored in their final game. Edelen covered first base with tenacity throughout the tournament.

Although sore and tired, the Edelen Window and Doors co-ed softball team plans a return trip next year.

The esprit de corps so evident in this group is generated at the top. Company president Denny Edelen, baseball aficionado and lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan, recognized that a leisure activity in the form of a team sport would engender camaraderie and bring a focal point of discussion to the office setting. Employees who do not play often come to games to lend support, and at the very least are anxious to learn of the results of each game. Edelen reports that suppliers as well, are curious about the team.

Edelen hales from St. Louis, Missouri. As a young man, he entered the United States Air Force serving oversees in North Africa. He was then stationed at the Portland Air Base until he left the Air Force in 1964.

It was during his stint in Portland that he met his future wife Joyce. She grew up in Northeast Portland attending Jason Lee Elementary School and Madison High School.

Attracted not only to Joyce, but to Portland as well, Edelen hired on with SP&S Railroad. The Edelen’s married in 1965 at St. Rose Catholic Church in Northeast Portland.

Meanwhile, back in St. Louis, Edelen’s brother, John, had started a garage door business and encouraged the newlyweds to join him in the enterprise. Off they went, entrepreneurial spirit in tow. It was in St. Louis that Denny and Joyce began their family, but they both longed to return to the Northwest, so before their three children reached school age back they came with a newfound trade and ingrained work ethic.

Settling in Oregon City, they started a garage door installation business out of their home. Denny worked on sales and installations, Joyce answered phones and did the book work. To help make ends meet, Joyce did legal transcription work for court reporters. This allowed her to be home with her children, but often meant working into the night to complete assignments. While out on calls, Denny would often drop off Joyce’s completed transcriptions and pick up new work for that evening.

Edelen describes himself as the risk taker and his wife as the cautious one. This blend of talents and teamwork has led to a 26-year venture with 44 employees and three locations.

After about 10 years in the garage door business, the Edelens expanded to include windows and entry doors and moved from their home to a location inside the Gateway Fred Meyer. Changes in the Gateway district soon resulted in the demolition of the old Gateway Fred Meyer store so Edelen Custom Doors and Windows moved to its present location at 700 N.E. 102nd Ave. The Westside store is at 5334 S.W. Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy. The Lake Oswego store, which opened in January, is at 16949 S.W. 65th Ave.

To enhance your home with new custom windows or entry doors, or for the convenience of a new automatic garage door, call the Gateway location at 503-255-6552. While you have them on the phone, ask how the softball team is doing.
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