The Olde Tymers Softball League (OTS) is set to begin its 22nd year this coming season, and this year they have created a Hall of Fame to honor members from the past who have played or supported the league.
Established as a senior softball league back in 1998, the OTS is open to men and women 60 or older. Both men and women of all skill levels are still being invited to attend, although a woman has not played in at least the past five years or so. More than 184 players played in the league in 2018, on 13 teams, and league officials anticipate close to 200 will play this year.
“Our numbers have increased several years in a row now,” said Steve Unger of the OTS. “We had a waiting list last year of players. We have had great support from the community, and we look to continue with another fun season of softball for our league.”
The OTS practices and plays its games at the “Field of Dreams,” located at the Church of God in Dagsboro. Pre-season practice begins on April 2, for four weeks, to prepare for games that start on April 30, which are played on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
On April 30, the first game’s first-pitch will take place at 9 a.m., which will be followed by the Opening Day ceremonies around 10:30 a.m. It is at that ceremony that the inaugural inductees for the Hall of Fame will be announced.
“We have had some great people involved in the league over the years and have discussed coming a Hall of Fame before,” Unger said. “It is finally coming together this year, and we are excited for the opportunity to honor those that have helped make the league what it is today.”
The inductees will be honored at the first annual Hall of Fame banquet on Saturday, Aug. 17, at American Legion Post 28 in Oak Orchard from 1 to 5 p.m. The cost to attend the banquet is $15 per person or $25 for a couple, with a cash bar available.
As a non-profit organization, the OTS often has fundraising events throughout the year, and they will be hosting a bowling tournament later this month at Millsboro Lanes. The response has been impressive, as all 96 spots for the tournament have been filled.
The OTS will gladly accept any donations to help defray the costs associated with maintaining the two fields on the complex, and they already have all the teams for this season sponsored by local businesses.
The OTS also sponsors teams every year to play in the Delaware State Senior Olympics. In 2018, the organization sent two teams up to the tournament. Their 65-year-old team won the gold medal, and their 70-year-old team came away with the bronze. The 65-year-olds were led by the pitching of John Walker, and the offense of Dave Sroka and Buddy Griffith.
Anyone who is interested in donating to the OTS can contact Unger at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who are interested in playing, or who want more information about the league, can go to http://www.eteamz.com/Delmarvaots/. Registration forms for the 2019 season are on the website.
By Jason Feather