WEST ALLIS, Wis. (CBS 58) — They are saying you possibly can’t educate an outdated canine new methods. Do not inform that to the gamers of The Better Milwaukee 65+ Softball League.
Each summer time, the league makes use of a barely tailored model of softball to get males 65 and older off the sofa and on the ball subject for enjoyable, aggressive video games at McCarty Park.
“Preserving folks energetic and having enjoyable and making new buddies,” defined Greg Baker, a participant, supervisor and league president. “The performs that a few of these guys can nonetheless make and the athletic capacity that they’ve; it is unbelievable while you’re watching these guys.”
The league has roughly 180 gamers making up 12 groups. The common age of a participant is 76.
“We now have 30 gamers which are 80 or older,” Baker stated. “Our oldest participant within the league is 90; Al Behling.”
Al Behling walks as much as the sector with a way of swagger and pleasure that solely somebody with 83 years of baseball/softball expertise might muster. With a smile on his face, he laces up his cleats and prepares his glove for the motion. He is the catcher, in any case. An integral a part of a ball membership.
“For 70 years I have been hoping to get this job,” Behling stated, speaking in regards to the catcher place. “Now, I bought it.”
Behind the plate, the 90-year-old Behling is a pacesetter, barking out orders and ensuring his infield is conscious of the state of affairs in which the group finds itself. When he steps as much as the plate, the right-handed hitter can nonetheless pack a punch.
“I haven’t got the talents I had earlier than,” Behling admitted. “I acknowledge that. I am not a real asset anymore, I am extra of a legal responsibility,” he laughed.
Taking these realizations into consideration, the 90-year-old slugger has determined Summer time 2022 might be his final on the ball subject.
“It is laborious to stroll away, however I’ll stroll away this coming 12 months,” Behling stated. “83 years, it has been my life. Me and my spouse, we’re baseball all the best way.”
Whereas Al would possibly miss the sport, it is his teammates who’re actually going to really feel his absence on the ball park.
“To have a 90-year-old out right here like Al Behling, it simply conjures up all people,” Tim Whiting stated. “He is an inspiration for all of us. We’ll miss him.”
“He is my idol,” Baker added. “I need to be like Al. I would like to have the ability to play like Al at 90, after I lastly develop up.”
As for Behling himself, he is able to commerce within the glove for a fishing pole, his bat for golf golf equipment.
“I do not need to simply sit down,” Behling stated. “I haven’t got a backyard within the yard. I need to do issues.”
Nonetheless, he is grateful for the time spent on the ball subject, all 83 years, and hopeful he could encourage others to hold on the sport he loves so dearly.
“Benefit from the sport. Do not stroll away,” Al stated. “Too many guys stroll away.”
Strolling away, one thing the league hopes to proceed to stop for years to return.
“We do not care the place you need to come from so long as you are prepared to make the drive to play each Thursday,” Baker stated, encouraging gamers to contact him to join subsequent season. “We would love to have extra males be a part of our league. We would like to get extra males out to take part and keep energetic.”
Anybody concerned with enjoying is requested to contact Greg Baker at 414-771-9532.