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Senior softball league looking for players in Portland

For more than 30 years, the Portland Area Senior Softball league has proved that America's pastime doesn't have an age limit.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A day on the baseball diamond never gets old, even as we get older.

“There’s nothing like a great day in the sun, playing a doubleheader,” player and commissioner of Portland Area Senior Softball Bill Tidd said.

Since the 1990’s, the Portland Area Senior Softball League has invited players of a certain age to get active and play America’s pastime.  

“I think at last count we had almost 20 that were 80 and above. Our oldest is 89 who plays every week,” Tidd said.   

The league has more than 100 players in three different divisions from May through October, playing at Delta Park in North Portland and North Clackamas Park in Milwaukie.

“I’ve always played softball, both in the military and here,” Tidd said. “And of course, I hate sitting on the couch.”

Dick Johnson doesn’t play on the mound anymore, but he hasn’t left the game. He is a former administrator and now manages a team.

“I came on board here 18 years ago—played for the first time when I was 65,” Johnson said. “There’s nothing like it. You never know day-to-day what might happen, particularly with senior softball.”  

There are both recreational and competitive leagues. Competitive divisions start at age 61 and recreational at 65.

“It’s been a pleasure to be a part of this because I see guys doing what they love to do. They become a second family,” Johnson said.

The players come from all different backgrounds – from scientists and former police officers to writers and retired doctors. But they all have one thing in common: a love of the game.

Credit: KGW
Players watch from the dugout

“To watch all these guys at the various age groups that will come out and play — there's not a lot of animosity. They just enjoy the game,” Tidd said.

Portland Area Senior Softball is a place to find comradery and encouragement to stay active.

“I watched, in the military, guys who retired young, in their 50s, 60s, went home and grabbed a case of beer and basically died on the couch. I refuse to do that, and I plan on playing until I’m 90 or 95 or 100,” Tidd said. “When the scooter battery dies, then I guess I won’t make it to first.”

The league is looking for new members, both men and women, to grab a bat and glove and join a team.

For more information or to sign up go to seniorsoftballportlandoregon.com.

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