Been 3 years since I was drafted to play senior softball. At 70, I am a lucky guy to be able to romp around the diamond with many really good ballplayers. Thankfully, my aging body still allows me to have fun competing in a young mans game without taking my talents or lack of too seriously. After all, on our field of dreams, everyone is a winner!
Our game day wardrobe proves that clothes do not make the ballplayer. Just a handful of guys dress in flashy team jerseys like the old stud in the Cialis TV ad who's hoping to get lucky after the game. Most are less fashion conscious. I assume the Cialis type guys also wear sleek, tight fitting Under Armour jocks. Guys who are always repeating things like "who's on first?", "what inning is it?", "etc." during the game probably forget to put on underwear at all. Some guys might even rely on Depends.
Our 55-80+ year old gazelles gallop at their own speed. A fast base runner is an endangered species. Some run like slugs. Fortunately, throwing boo boos and dropped balls can fool you into thinking Ricky Henderson is running the bases. Some games are like tee-ball where a sure out at first can be stretched into a home run, thanks to multiple screw ups on the field exaggerated by bad calls by our professional umpire crew.
We have no A-Rod types on the field with us. The only performance enhancing drugs our guys give testimonial to are Lipitor, Aleve, and Viagra, confirming that testosterone does not age like a fine wine.
Earlier I stated I was drafted to play this game. Really, it was more like when I was drafted in '68 and sent to Nam. In either case, I wasn't picked for my talents. At the time they just needed a warm body.
Before reading further, you might want to open link directly below to see how our fearless leader sucked me into this game:
So now reset your iPhone calender to the current date and time. Yes, I've developed a passion for the sport as promised. For me, unlike most of our players, I can honestly say that I bleed senior softball.
I mean really, why would a clumsy first baseman with 20-50 minus vision in his right eye embed himself into a Century link fence chasing a foul ball other than to prove his studliness? It was hot summer tournament day and I was running on a magaextratestosteronal high. My reward was 5 stitches over my right eyebrow, a badge (band aid) of honor over that, plus a bill from Urgent Care.
The bonus was hearing many supportive comments from my ball field buddies ranging from "that was dumb" to "that was really the dumbest thing I've ever seen" as I lay on my back on a picnic bench for tourney players from around the state to view. If it hadn't been for one of our lady ballplayers, Nurse Jan, I could have bled out and had to wait for the groundskeeper to call the mortician.
Oh ya, like most old jocks I've suffered other bumps and bruises along the way. My resume includes hamstrings, groin pulls, multiple foot injuries, and numerous ego traumas. Now my cheerleading wife just screams at me on game day, "don't you get hurt again!". Her shrill sounds fade quickly and I find man serenity sneaking away in my Prius in hush mode, listening to Johnny Cash instead of her.
As for the ego bruises, they're pretty much gone. Learning to live with my warts has been tough on me and many times tougher on my teammates. I'm guessing right now I lead the league in throwing errors, have a 1 in 3 chance of catching balls I don't have to move for, and carry a .200 batting average with a career little league home run. Still, that's OK! Because it's not all about the stats.
You see, it's about being able to show up and be the best that you can be. It's about shrugging off your own bone headed performance and laugh at yourself (and others too). It's man (and Jan) bonding without hugs. It's about playing a kids game in the late innings of life. It's senior softball and it doesn't get any better than this!
Thanks Doc and the volunteers who make West Metro a success! Happy Holidays to a great group of guys and gals who leave everything on the field Tuesdays and Thursdays!
CHECK THE LINKS BELOW FOR MORE INFO ON WEST METRO SENIOR SOFTBALL:
Mike Maxx Show#136 - "For the Love of the Game"
Minneapolis area West Metro Senior Softball