Who says playing baseball has to stop in retirement? Senior baseball is alive and well. There are hundreds of leagues dedicated to those lucky individuals fifty and over who can still get out onto the playing field and show their grandchildren how it’s done. And don’t think they’re not serious about it! Just listen to the chatter after a hard fought game and see if they’re not every bit as competitive as they used to be in their Little League days.
Baseball is still considered the national pastime and it’s a wonderful sport to participate in or to go and be a spectator. It may take a while to get back into shape but many will tell you that they’re glad they did. We know of someone who has been participating in a senior baseball league for over twenty years and was heartbroken when the pandemic caused him (and everyone else) to miss his first season. We’re confident that he and his teammates will be back out there as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that baseball is also a great sport to watch. I used to be glued to the television keeping score and could not wait for Mickey Mantle to step into the batter’s box. Only recently did I realize that talking about Mantle was like my father talking about Babe Ruth but I didn’t care – I still like to watch old film clips of the great players of the fifties and sixties. There is a history with baseball that is hard to match with other sports although football is right up there with me. It does seem like the two hour baseball game is a thing of the past and it’s difficult to give up four hours or more especially if the game starts at eight at night.
One of the highlights of my youth was when we got to go to a game and it’s still exciting to see the players of today but it’s also a little on the expensive side. We’ve found local leagues in the community to be a lot of fun and, if you’re lucky enough to be near a minor league stadium, a day at the part can be great entertainment at a very affordable price with the possibility of seeing a future major league star in the making. We’ve also made spring training games part of our snowbird activities and it’s a great way to meet people from “up north” following their teams in the off season.
The hobby of baseball extends to collecting as well. Baseball cards are not only a hobby, some of them can be wort a lot of money. As the collecting craze grew, the possibility of having a card worth thousands of dollars got smaller and smaller but it was still fun to collect the cards from year to year.
Another aspect of baseball as a hobby are the board and computer games that are very popular. Here, you can start your own league with friends as you practice your skills as a manager and relive the game with the stars of the past. You can replay whole seasons or do a draft of all players and create your own teams. Two companies lead in this area: Strat-o-Matic and APBA and I can tell you from experience that their products will give you hours of fun.
And we can’t leave the topic of senior baseball without mentioning the fantasy leagues. This is right up the alley for the seasoned fans who like to put their judge of talent to the test. Here you draft players and earn points on their performance in real games. I don’t think fantasy baseball is as popular as football but there thousands of people who check the box scores every day to see how their fantasy team is doing.
Senior baseball is thriving as you will be able to see if you visit any retirement community. And why not? Baseball is a wonderful sport and whether you’re playing on the field, sitting in the stands or managing a fantasy team, it’s one more way to Enjoy Retired Life.