Softball season on the near horizon

Opening day May 30

By Than Acuff 

Not sure if you’ve heard but there are robots now that can write term papers, a senior thesis, create a lesson plan for business school courses and, I’m assuming, write softball articles. So, have a great season because after nearly 30 years of covering local softball, I will now hand the reigns over to Helen 247.

I kid, I kid.

I’ll give you my keyboard when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. Or two fingers and a thumb because that’s what I use to type.

Also, not sure if you’ve heard but the adult softball season starts on 13.0.10.10.12, according to the Mayan Calendar. That’s Tuesday, May 30 if you follow the Gregorian Calendar.

 This may be the earliest start date in the history of local softball, but it’s merely a matter of how the calendar worked out.

The big news, no Pitas OGs and no Rent-A-Gades in the Wednesday league this year. The two very teams that battled in the title game last year, with Pitas OGs winning, will not be there this year so it’s a wide open slate. I’m looking at you, Rasta Hairnets.

“They never got a spot and it’s full,” says Recreation, Open Space and Trails supervisor Joey Carpenter. “There are some new teams.” 

Games for the Wednesday league will be played at 5 and 6:30 p.m. at either Gothic or Tommy V Field.

The Tuesday/Thursday league is a different story. As of press time, there’s still plenty of room in the league for more teams.

“We only have four teams right now, but we will probably have eight,” says Carpenter. “We can actually take 12.”

If you’re reading this, the team registration deadline has passed so it is what it is for the 2023 season. I look forward, as do we all, to see if any of the new teams can bring something to the title race. Or, if it’s another group of people just looking to party at a softball field every Wednesday evening. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 

Tuesday/Thursday games will be held at 5 and 6:30 p.m. at any one of the three fields in town. Speaking of fields…

“Tommy V and Pitsker look great,” says Carpenter. “The pile of snow behind the Marshal’s Office is still melting and running onto Gothic but hopefully that’ll be gone by the time we get started.”

Any teams wishing to get some preseason training in (I’m looking at you, Gray Hares), make sure to contact Parks and Recreation to schedule the field you wish to use.

Much like death, taxes and dust on the snow are guarantees in life, so are rule changes to adult softball. This year the two that stand out are, players must play in at least half of the regular season games, minus one, to play in the playoffs. Also, whether you knew it or not, infield players were not supposed to play any deeper than the 90-foot base plugs at Tommy V. Now, they can play as deep as they want, as long as they’re on the dirt/gravel.

“The play is so fast and high scoring on Tommy V anyway already,” says Carpenter.

So, be warned you pooch hitters pinpointing the shallow parts of the outfield, those “weird areas” will be smaller. Perhaps this is the season of the powerbunt if the infield is playing deep? Actually, just put the ball in play because anything, and I mean anything, can happen on the softball field. 

It’s gonna be a great year.

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