MERIDIAN - A group of senior citizens is proving that you're never too old to play the game you love.
The Idaho Senior Softball Association is a league made up of more than 130 players aged 60 to 85 years young. It was founded by Del Drake after he moved to Boise from California.
"One of the first things I did was go to Parks and Rec in Boise and asked them to put me on a senior softball team, and they said they had no senior softball teams," Del explained. "So I made up some posters put them in the grocery stores, health clubs, places like that."
Others seniors started to join up. They played in a tournament, and got some media attention. That's when the idea really took off.
"In the next couple of weeks, my wife Joyce and I took 50 phone calls from guys who wanted to play senior softball," Del said.
In 2005, he started a draft league in Meridian.
"We play with wooden bats for nostalgia and it's a little safer, a little slower for the old people," Del said. "I think we had four teams that first year... we have 17 teams now."
The response has been incredible.
"Like anything else, there's a certain percentage that are whiners," Del said. "I would say 95 percent of the players say this is better than being on the couch."
Del's granddaughter, Hailey Fisher, is a member of Eagle High School's national championship softball team.
"He always inspired me to come out, and he actually taught me to play," Hailey said. "It's amazing, I hope to be as good as them and be out here playing when I'm that old."
These guys prove age is not an issue.
"Every time they get out here and play ball they show that you can get off the couch," said Del's daughter, Andrea Benedict. "You can be active and be a part of the community."
"I just love softball," explained Del. "I love football too, but it would be kind of hard to start a senior football league."
If you or someone you know is interested in joining the Idaho Senior Softball Association, here's how you can get in touch with Del:
Idaho Senior Softball Association
I.S.S.A., P.O. Box 371
Star, Idaho 83669
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