Friday, November 7, 2008

Batter Up!

Yesterday, I watched the Austin Senior Softball League games at the Krieg Field Complex. They are quite entertaining. It’s like watching Little League games. You never know what’s going to happen. The men are at least 55 years old, with many players in their 60s and 70s.

During one of yesterday’s games, an unlikely batter hit the ball over the heads of the outfielders all the way to the fence, yet only made it to first base. He was a-huffin’ and a-puffin’. The same batter hit a grounder to the shortstop during another at-bat with runners on first and second base. The batter ran to first base out of breath and began to walk off the bag when the first base coach told him to get back on the base. He said, “But isn’t somebody out?” Nope. The shortstop had fumbled the ball and never even made a throw.

It’s obvious that these guys play for the fun of the game. Many say they are experiencing their second childhood, although a few have told me they can’t remember theirs. The players from the four different teams are all friendly toward each other, joke around with each other and cheer each other on. Some of the men are not in shape or have physical limitations preventing them from running, so they have pinch runners. Still others hit the ball over the fence.

I believe I may’ve found the fountain of youth after all - the youth of boyhood silliness and camaraderie anyway. It’s alive and well in Austin, Texas.

Play Ball, Y’all!

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