I played in my first softball game of the season last night. I’ve been playing in a Stelco league for about 10 years now – Gail used to play too, but hasn’t since she was pregnant with Ryan. I threw the first pitch of the season! I went 3-4 at the plate with one cheap little foul out to third base, and three hits to exactly the same place – right between 1st and 2nd. Two went for doubles, and the other was a triple because the fielder bobbled the ball. I played OK in the field – one inning in centre field, two at shortstop (only booted the ball once!), and I sat for one. We only played 5 innings because the teams are going to be shuffled around, so this was just an exhibition game. In fact, we only played 4 1/2, since we were the away team and we lost.
I’m not having as much fun in this league as I used to. Because it’s a Stelco league, and Stelco hasn’t hired all that many people in a number of years, there haven’t been many new players, other than friends and relatives of existing players. As a result, I, at 35, am one of the youngest people in the league. There are probably more retired people than people under 40.
Another issue is that many of the players in the league use the league as an excuse to just go drinking. I enjoy a beer after the game as much as anyone, but half the league just wants to sit in the parking lot after the game and drink beer, and then drive home. Since I always drive to the game, I limit myself to one beer at the bar afterwards. Craig (the convener) is cracking down on drinking in the parking lot though, since he’s been warned that if the police catch anyone in the league drinking there, the league will be shut down permanently. Why we don’t all just go to the bar right after the game is beyond me – my team does, but the rest of the league doesn’t show up for at least an hour, if they show up at all. If you want to drink after the game, fine, but I thought that the idea of picking a bar that we all go to was for socialization after the game. I end up socializing with my own team – which is fine, my team is full of cool people – but we never see half the league there.
I did look into a men’s league in Waterdown a few years ago, but you had to be 35 to join, and I was only 31 or 32 at the time. Maybe next year I’ll look into that again.