The great American pastime will be drawing a crowd to this summer. The church is accepting , which is set to kick-off in June. If early registration numbers and the league’s dramatic growth last year are any indication, participants and observers can expect plenty of softball action.
“Last year we more than doubled our size. We went from four teams of 15 people to eight teams of 15 to 20 people,” said Melissa Berde, a Morganville resident and the coordinator of the softball league. “We’re already at almost 100 people signed up for this year. Right now we’re at least at eight teams and we have a few more weeks to go.”
Registration for the league is $25 and each team plays one weeknight game per week at the church. And this is no light pick-up league: an umpire oversees each game and teams are sponsored by area businesses.
Any adult over 18 may participate and players don’t necessarily have to be a parishioner at St. Benedict’s.
“We’ve had people of all ages play. We’ve had an 18-year-old to people in their early 60s. We’ve had people who are grown and are playing with their parents. It’s a whole-family thing,” Berde said.
And there’s also plenty of camaraderie to be had among members of the league. Players frequently make a post-game trip to or the , according to Berde. She joked that the restaurants, which sponsor teams in the league, more than earn back the sponsorship fee through the players’ patronage.
“People are already saying, ‘I can’t wait for the season to start.’ Everybody really enjoys it. People look forward to it and it’s the highlight for their week,” she said.
What originally started out as a recreational activity for church members quickly branched out.
“We started advertising in the church bulletin and then friends and neighbors would hear about it and want to play. It’s been growing ever since,” Berde said.
While recreation is a large part of what the league is about, the softball players also participate in community service activities, Berde noted.
“We call it a softball-in-service kind of thing. We look for opportunities where we can give back, like Habitat for Humanity,” she said. “We’re trying to schedule some days with Habitat for Humanity where we can come out and help.”
To sign up for the St. Benedict Softball League, visit the organization’s Web site. Registration costs $25 and is open through Monday, April 30. Team sponsorships are also available for area businesses for $250, with business names appearing on the team t-shirts.
If you have any questions about the league, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.