No bunting. No sliding. No stealing. These are some of the rules for the senior softball double elimination tournament held on June 10 at the Charlestown retirement community in Catonsville. There are two first bases and two home plates, to avoid collisions. The only score that matters is having fun.
The Erickson Living teams and their supporters arrive early from Oak Crest in Parkville, Riderwood in Silver Spring, and Greenspring in Springfield, Virginia, ready to play a quartet of five-inning games. Camaraderie wafts through the crowd, mingling with the aroma of hot dogs on a perfect summer day. For some players, this is a rare opportunity simply to run. Other players hit and field, but need others to run for them.
John Kasuda, 73, playing on the Charlestown Sluggers team, uses two canes to get around. At home plate, teammate Glen Young grabs his belt from the rear, enabling Kasuda to maintain his balance as he swings the bat. Many players came up to him, Kasuda reports, “to tell me what an inspiration I was to them. They thanked me for trying.” Kasuda, a retired schoolteacher, adds that next year, “I’m going to see if I can do it again without a person holding me up!”