There were times in the past month or two where I thought my softball playing days were finished.
And I was OK with it.
The one league we had been a mainstay in since 2003 was starting to falter a bit and we didn’t know which direction it was going. We were still going to play in it, despite competition (as I think most would agree) dwindling over the past few seasons.
Alas, several of the regulars on our team said they weren’t going to be playing this year. With that in mind, we figured it was better to call it the end instead of trying to fill a team with different players.
Then we decide – those of us who were of age – to go to another local league: Over 35.
Yes, it’s time for the old-man league.
And I’m OK with that.
You see, we all need to accept that we get older as time goes on. We can’t do the things we used to do. And there’s nothing wrong with admitting that.
This league is different – there’s no bunting and stealing. There’s a force at the plate (as well as a commit line to cross). There are no helmets required as there’s supposed to be a slight arc to the pitch (despite it still being modified). There’s no sliding.
Basically, it’s a hitter’s league.
This is going to be a tad different for me and for our team. See, we like to bunt and steal some. When I set up a lineup, it’s often based on several factors. All that is basically thrown out the window now as a lot of strategy is gone.
I’m still OK with this.
It’s no secret that my age begins with a 4. I’m getting older and I don’t know how many years I have left in me to play this game. I have a lot of other interests and my time often goes elsewhere. I guarantee I don’t make every single game this year.
But, I still love to play and I think this is the best way to go about it.
We play once a week. There are 10 teams. The season lasts 13 weeks before playoffs. I can handle this.
It’s softball for the twilight, I’d say. And heck, by playing in this league, maybe I’ll even play more years.
The only downside? I’m starting the year behind the plate because, honestly, a catcher just needs to catch the ball. There’s no stealing and such, or worrying about bunts.
We’ll see how long my knees deal with it, though.
The season starts tonight. It’s supposed to be gorgeous weather. I’m looking forward to seeing how we do in this league. It hopefully will, at least, be a lot of fun.
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