Saturday, March 23, 2019
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20180301 Canada USA Softball Game Preview MILLER IMG 6642The Senior Texan Softball League, made up primarily of Winter Texans, but is also open to locals, has two mottos.

The first is “Life is a Game – Softball is Serious.”

The second is “You don't quit playing when you grow old. You grow old when you quit playing.”

Competition is something that these men and women have never gotten out of their bloodstream. That competitive nature and talent will be on display Thursday, March 8 during the United States – Canada Day at the Westside Softball Park, located at 1000 S. Ware Road in McAllen.

20180301 Canada USA Softball Game Preview MILLER IMG 6585Ed Martens, who coordinates the games, said that the competition may be high, but the emphasis is on having a good time.

“Sometimes we've had some people who are just a little too competitive,” said Martens, who played baseball most of his life before the transition to softball. “Our goal really is to have a good time and show how much fun it is to be able to play and have the fellowship.”

Martens said he’s had to politely let two players know that they couldn’t play on a certain team – but both were out of safety concerns including a 91-year-old pitcher. “Some of these guys at the plate still crush the ball,” Martens said. “If you don’t have quick enough reflexes, some bad things can happen and we’re not there to have those things happen.”

For the first time, the U.S.A. - Canada Day will hold three games, some on a separate field at the park. A U.S.A. team will play a Canada team at 9:30 a.m. A second U.S.A. team will play an All-Texas team at 10 a.m. and at 11 a.m. two teams from the “B” Division will compete.

20180301 Canada USA Softball Game Preview MILLER IMG 6786“Our B Divisions teams have a few older players and some ladies,” Martens said. “They're the ones who are always saying that they have the most fun.”

Fans come dressed in their Canadian or USA gear; others will have flags representing both countries sticking out of their hats or visors. Flags will line the backstop and there will be some friendly jeering back and forth – and applause for a great play or big hit, no matter which team it comes from. Just like going to a semi-pro or minor league game, there will also be some contests for the audience to participate in between innings.

“It’s just a day for a lot of fun,” Martens said.

All players must be 55 and older and sliding is not permitted. The batter will start with one ball and one strike when coming to the plate. A foul ball after the second strike will be considered an out.

20180301 Canada USA Softball Game Preview MILLER IMG 6621Martens said he’s hoping that the regular league will expand next year.

“Our season usually starts around November 1 and runs through the first part of March,” he said. “The Fall season goes from Nov. 1 to Jan. 5 and the winter league begins Jan. 6 and goes through approximately March 8. Everyone is welcome.”

For more information on the Senior Softball League, call Martens at (956) 581-2254.

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