LAND O' LAKES, Fla. — The North Tampa Bay Senior Softball League (NTBSS) is in off-season mode. But these veteran players keep their skills sharp with practice and pickup games twice a week.
Every Tuesday and Friday, around two-dozen players meet at Heritage Park, 60+ for men, 55+ for the ladies.
“We got about a dozen guys to join the league because they drove by,” league commissioner Jim McCausey told ABC Action News sports anchor Kyle Burger. “‘Hey, gee, what’s going on over there?’”
The players come from all walks of life. But on this field, it’s all hustle.
“They can hit and a lot of them can run really fast,” David Meadows said.
“They want to win, and they’ll do anything to do it,” McCausey added.
The league has been around for about ten years. The big reason players keep coming back is the friendships they create.
“There isn’t a bad egg in this whole group,” McCausey said. “Everybody comes out because this is what they did when they were kids. They just love it. The intensity goes up as soon as they step on the field.”
“I also tell people, you got 40-50 new friends, but when you mess up out in the field you hear it from 40-50 of your new friends,” Leo Sterger said. “We kind of rib a lot.”
It’s a six-team league with an average age of 76. The oldest player is 83. Meadows is one of the youngest at 63.
“I joined when I was about 60,” Meadows said. “I thought I was going to be able to come out here and run over these old guys. But there is a lot of talent out here."
Once the players step out of the dugout, they create their own field of dreams believing you’re never too old to get out and live.
“It’s like being 12-years-old again for me,” McCausey said. “I’m 71-years-old, I get out of the car, I have aches and pains. Then I walk across the white line and they kind of go away.”
McCausey would like to have that feeling more often. Right now, he says there is only one softball field on the west side of Pasco County. He’s hoping more fields will pop up soon.
If you are interested in playing, you can find more information here.