You don’t have to be young to enjoy a good ball game.
Just ask Jamie Moyer of the Philadelphia Phillies – or any of the players in the senior softball league at Big Oak Park near Smyrna.
Although the league is for men ages 50 and up, it features some players who are well into their 70s.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Drew Sheftz, who plays for the ABC Self Storage team. “The guys keep coming back. They love it.”
The games are modified slightly so there’s no contact or collisions. Pinch runners are also allowed for players who have difficulty making it around the bases.
“It’s fun and we laugh a lot,” said Sheftz, who added that the league organizers are always looking for more players.
The first senior softball league at Big Oak Park was held last fall, with doubleheaders on Sundays at the park’s new ball fields.
Now the teams are back in action for a summer league with games on Monday and Wednesday evenings. The current season began in mid-May and will continue to July 27.
This fall, the league will go back to Sunday games.
Kent County Parks & Recreation administers the senior softball league, as well as a separate league for men ages 16 and up.
Robert Probst, recreation program supervisor at Kent County, said the senior league is up to four teams which each play about 20 games.
The current sponsors for the teams are Ronny’s Garden World, Jonathan’s Landing, ABC Self Storage and DiMeo Pizza.
Eddie Goodhand, 73, of the Ronny’s Garden World team, is one of the senior league’s organizers.
He’s among a group of players who used to drive to Wilmington or Georgetown to play softball.
Now there’s a place nearby at the new fields at Big Oak Park.
Goodhand said the senior league has grown to about 70-75 ball players.
“We started getting a bunch of phone calls,” he said. “People were interested. We hope next year to get maybe six teams.”
Goodhand said that softball is a good way for seniors to stay in shape and have a good time in the process.
“It’s a lot of fun, a lot of good friendship,” he said. “We’re just trying to keep everyone interested. Instead of watching T.V., get out for an hour and a half and run around the bases.”
How to join
Those interested in joining the men’s senior softball league at Big Oak Park can do so by going to a game and getting in contact with a team manager, or by calling Kent County Parks & Recreation at (302) 744-2495.
Page 2 of 2 - Prospective players can also call Eddie Goodhand at 670-6015 or 734-8582.
The cost for the league has been about $35 per player, and $150 per team sponsor.
An organizational meeting for both the senior softball league and the 16-and-up men’s softball league is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, August 3 at the Kent County Administration Building in Dover.