This Is Carolina: Senior Softball Myrtle Beach launches 70+ league
“It’s giving you something to look forward to every morning,”
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A crack of the bat to prevent a crack of the hip.
Several seasoned softball players are bringing the heat by playing for the Senior Softball Myrtle Beach, a competitive organization for men over 50.
“These are guys that have played before but they had to stop because they can’t compete in some of these other leagues. So this is giving them a new lease on life. Plus, really good exercise,” said Mike Dimaina, board director of Senior Softball Myrtle Beach.
Their passion to play is so strong, there’s a league for men in their 50s, 60s, and a newly launched league for men over 70.
“We attribute that of course to the population explosion that has happened down here at the beach, and people’s love for softball and their ability to play,” he said.
Dimaina is also the organizer for the over-70 league.
“They still love the game, they still love to play but physically they got some challenges, and perhaps this is an outlet that will enable them to get back on the field,” he said.
But for one of the league’s oldest players, he’s never left.
“Keeps me in shape. It’s giving you something to look forward to every morning,” said Jet Nixon.
Nixon, the team’s 81-year-old ace has been playing ball since little league when he was 11 years old. He’s the epitome of the slogan, “Baseball is life. The rest is just details.”
He’s laser-focused on every game and every stat, especially when he’s at the hill.
“Especially pitching. I can do what I want to. I try to fool them a lot,” he said.
When he’s not pitching, you can find him sharing smiles and stories in the dugout at Grand Park in The Market Common.
“It’s like when you look forward going to work, you look forward to coming out here and meeting your buddies and having a good time and cutting it up with people. And I’m always cutting up,” said Nixon.
“It’s competitive but friendly. It’s something everybody really looks forward to, is coming out and playing,” said Mark Levine, Director of Communications for Senior Softball Myrtle Beach.
Levine said he also relishes the opportunity of an equal playing field. He also said if you come to play, you better bring it.
“That’s what we’re doing here today. We’re actually evaluating some of the guys who are going to be in the draft for the coming season. You got to be able to hit, hit for power, catch, throw and run. Those are rare. The guys who can do all five are rare,” he said.
The players show off by making a double play at the chance of not only becoming part of the team but part of a brotherhood.
“Come on out. Please come out. You’ll have a good time. You’ll have a good time. No matter if you’re peg-legged getting to first base, we’ll run for you,” said Nixon.
“There’s an old saying you know, we don’t stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing,” said Levine.
Senior Softball Myrtle Beach plans to launch the over-70 league by the end of March. There are also opportunities to play pick-up games year-round.
Click here to register.
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