Playoffs wrap summer season on Monday
Sports do not end for an individual just because they get older.
Just ask the members of the Baytown Area Senior Softball league.
Every Monday at the Wayne Gray Sports Complex, members of BASS get together and battle it out on the diamond.
On Monday, they will wrap up the summer season as the playoffs put a cap on A league action.
Five teams are in the A league while two teams toil in the B league, although it does not have a playoff.
The league consists of spring, summer and fall seasons that take place over eight weeks and men 50-and-over and women 45-and-over can sign up.
No women currently play in the A league while mostly older and lesser competitive players battle it out in the B league.
“We have gotten increasingly more competitive as time goes on,” Andy Crawford, the league’s vice president, said. “We have guys in their 50s that still play actively and play tournament ball. They play with some of the better players around.
“It’s also for the every day guy to come out and we make sure everyone gets to play and we make sure the teams balance out. We don’t want a team to be 10-1 and another team to be 1-10.”
Crawford said that the league has plenty of talent and despite the age of the collection of over a hundred players, it means just as much to them as any competitor in a younger age bracket.
“As you get older you can’t play as many sports competitively; you can play golf, you can play tennis, but a lot of guys like to play softball,” Crawford said. “It’s still not too taxing on the body and it gives you a chance to get out and get exercise. It’s a close-knit group of guys have been playing together for many years in the league.”
Gene French, who is a coach and player, has played in BASS since 2006.
“A lot of players played when they were younger and some stopped playing for a while to raise their kids, like I did, and then get right back to it,” French said. “It’s a great bunch of guys out there.
“We have guys who can hit multiple home runs and we have a 300-foot fence. Sure there are more errors than you would see than guys in their 30s and 40s, but the A group is pretty competitive.”
The league costs $75 for the full year or $55 for just the spring and summer seasons and $35 to just play in the fall.
The league knows how to keep players around with camaraderie and a good competitive atmosphere.
“I think ‘maybe I should retire this week’ and then I find myself right out there,” Crawford said.