CAPE CORAL, Fla. — It’s time to dust off that old glove and head to the ball field: a 50-plus softball league is searching for new players.
You might have doubts about getting into softball, but the team says don’t worry. One of the best players on the field is Al Diaco, an 85-year-old and who hits dingers for his team.
The league is for all skill levels – even people who've never touched a bat.
“There's quite a few of us that haven’t played in years. I mean, we come out here, and it’s like riding a bike. Like anything else, it comes back to you,” Joe Arguinzoni said.
The players in the Half Century League use softball as a way to keep active.
“The more exercise, the better. If you are sitting around not getting exercise, you grow old quick. Out here, you kind of find your youth again,” Bill Lamarche said.
“We refuse to grow up, and that’s why we keep playing - to keep us young - and it’s working,” Arguinzoni said.
Recently, the league created rules to make the game fair for all.
“We are going to have a coed line. When we have women get up, all the fielders have to get behind the line. You can’t cross the line unless the ball crosses the plate or is hit,” Lamarche said.
Lamarche said it can get frustrating to continuously ground balls, so the rule allows each player to get that hit. Those hits are addicting for the players.
“If I make one good play, it makes my night,” Lamarche said. “It makes you feel good. You go out and get a hit, and it makes you feel good. You want to go up and do it again.”
It’s not all about the softball field. The Half-Century Softball League meets up away from the diamond to make memories.
Eileen LoPerena said her best memory was meeting her fiancé.
“Meeting that gentlemen right over there. And I am going to be marrying him in a few months,” she said.
Opening day is September 8th. Each season costs $60, and lasts for 30 games.
If you want to join, new players need to fill out an application, and the deadline is August 25th, 2021. New players also have to attend an assessment session on August 23rd or August 25th.
New players will be drafted to a team. Depending on your team schedule, you will play Monday and Wednesday at either 6:30 p.m. or 8:00 p.m.
The league is also looking for volunteer umpires to help officiate the games. Spectators are welcomed at the Strausser BMX Sports Complex in Cape Coral.