Monday, July 22, 2019
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Softball season set to start June 5

More teams, more games, Stichter rule? 

by Than Acuff

Everything, and I mean everything, is running ahead of schedule. Flowers, trails, hormone- and pesticide-laden foods causing early onset of puberty, early loss of eyesight, early onset of skin cancer, earlier mornings, earlier disappearance of glaciers and ice caps, “the new Schwalbe Hans Dampf 426 allows for earlier initiation when cornering,” town is busier earlier, early bird used to get the worm but now the meth bird that’s up all night gets all of the worms, even though he isn’t hungry.

And with the fields opening earlier than usual, players have been practicing earlier than usual but one thing, thank God, remains a constant. Softball season starts the first week of June, no earlier, with opening night slated for Tuesday, June 5.

This year promises to be another incredible season and then some as there are two leagues again with more teams and games spread out over three evenings a week.

Last season, the softball intelligentsia established a new format for the league set-up. Gone are the days of comp and rec leagues; instead the softball committee and former parks and recreation supervisor Kyle Thomas created a Tuesday/Thursday league and a Wednesday league.

Current parks and recreation supervisor Joey Carpenter stuck with that plan for the 2018 season and it seems to have worked out numbers-wise.

“There’s a lot of people in town who want to play, just not twice a week. That starts to impinge on other activities like biking and boating,” explains Carpenter. “We thought about other ideas but the feedback we received was to keep it the same again this year to have some years of consistency. The softball committee guys would probably play four nights a week if possible.”

There is a caveat, though. As you may recall, there was a certain crew of players that won titles in both leagues last season. In an effort to mitigate monopolizing the softball league titles, a new rule is in place to prevent a bunch of players from one team in one league playing on another team in the other league. I would explain it further but it hurts my head and would render you senseless. We’ll just call it the Stichter rule.

Anyway, as a result of the consistency with the league set-up and the one-night-a-week Wednesday league, Carpenter has 18 teams signed up this season, 12 for Tuesday/Thursday and six for Wednesday, up from last year.

All games will be played at 5 or 6:30 p.m. all three nights at any one of the three amazing fields right here in town. Rosters will remain open until the first week of July for anyone who wants to get in on one of the best, and surprisingly most dangerous, summertime traditions in Crested Butte.

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