Senior Softball Players Keep Their Engine Running

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JACKSON, Tenn. — Don’t be fooled. These softball players are here to win. “I’m really surprised. If somebody asked me 10 years ago, if I’d be out here, I’d say no, I would be in the grave,” laughed Hugh Harvey, Sr. Harvey Sr., 82, says softball is what keeps him young. He’s part of Jackson’s popular adult senior men’s league. A decade ago, there were three teams. Now, there’s nine; one for 45 to 60-year-olds and another for 60 and above. “When I got too old to play with the young boys, then I started playing with the older ones,” Russell Grant said. The rules for the league have been amended to keep the men playing as long as they can. If they can’t run, a pinch runner is brought in and each game has a 50 minute time limit. “There’s no contact in our sport. We have two home plates. No one gets hurt. The biggest thing is pulling some muscles,” Gary McCann said, a player in the 45 to 60 league. Outside of the great exercise, players say walking down memory lane with their friends is the biggest benefit. “We have three in this league that’s over 80. We were all on the first football team that North Side every had,” Harvey Sr. said. The league’s message to others is plain and simple. “Just don’t give up playing. Just keep playing and you can play till 80 plus,” McCann said.

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