Batter up! More than 900 kupuna assemble for Senior Softball Tournament
Fifty-six teams have entered from around the state.
WAILUKU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As Central Maui Little League All-Stars compete thousands of miles away in the Senior League World Series, a different kind of senior league is happening on the Valley Isle this week.
“I made a lot of friends in my 21 years playing senior softball, and I look forward to it,” said Reggie Caires.
Caires is 81 years old and plays for Maui’s very own “Bases Loaded.”
“He used to be a home-run hitter,” said Yolanda, his proud wife of more than 50 years. “And one season, he hit 23 home runs!”
Day one of the three-day state tournament started with all 56 teams, encompassing more than 900 of Hawaii’s most experienced softball players, on the War Memorial Stadium field for a welcome ceremony.
“It’s pretty much an all-hands-on-deck kind of thing. We brought in some of our staff from Molokai and Lanai as well,” said Pat McCall, Maui County Parks and Recreation Director.
The National Anthem and Hawaii Ponoi was sung, the first pitch by Mayor Richard Bissen was thrown, then teams hit the diamonds.
“My favorite thing is meeting my friends and playing the game,” Reggie said.
Most players must be over the age of 60. However, each team is allowed to have one player between the ages of 55 and 59.
Winners will get their $300 entry fee reimbursed. But most of them are vying for bragging rights.
“If we can keep people active, keep people healthy, I think we just have a better community,” said McCall.
The tournament ends on Thursday.
Games will be played at Keopulani Park, War Memorial Stadium, and the War Memorial Little League Fields between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
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