History continued and a new tradition began on Friday, Oct 19, as the Half-Century Softball Club Opened its 80th season of play.
The club has been in existence since 1933. Although the club itself is based on St. Petersburg, it attracts players from throughout the Tampa Bay area, from Manatee to Pasco counties.
That is because this stalwart league truly is a unique organization, with a history and foundation that goes beyond a typical slow-pitch recreational softball league.
No! this isn’t Kids and Kubs. Those guys are older more mature and play a more relaxed game of softball.
Here you find younger fellows, ages 49-74. It is a modified fast pitch game (no wind-up) with pitches that cover the 46-ft. distance from the pitcher’s rubber to the batter with plenty of speed and craftiness.
The pitchers curve it, knuckle it, inside, outside and drop the ball at the batter in a constant battle to keep the hitter off balance.
It is a fast-paced game when compared to slow-pitch. North Shore Park, the home of the “club,” hosts a four team competitive battle for the club championship.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, beginning at 10:00 and 11:30 am, two teams square off over a sixty game schedule stretching from late October into early April.
The first and second half champions square off in a best two- of-three playoff for the club championship.
The group of men who started the organization had little idea that it would last for 80 years. An eight Board of Directors is ever dedicated to preserving the organization through its constitution, by laws and playing rules. It is serious competition with careful attention to the details of budget, competitive balance and the image of the club.
Change does have its place within the 80-year old organization. Opening day this year found the club retiring the jersey numbers of three Senior Softball Hall of Fame.
The trio has amassed 67 years as members of the club while compiling record performances not only in the Half-Century Softball Club, but several other tournaments and leagues throughout the country.
Hal Olver, Larry McCurdy, and Darwin Shiflett aren’t really retiring from the Half-Century Club (HCC) this year; they will wear their current jersey numbers until they “hang it up.”
Their jersey replicas hang outside the home team dugout during games. Come see us play. You’ll enjoy a fast paced game of competitive softball.