At 67, Bay Roberts soft­ball player still en­joys play­ing the game

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

Den­nis Brown re­ally en­joys a game of soft­ball.

It is an en­joy­ment that keeps the 67-year-old Bay Roberts res­i­dent beat­ing over the Trans Canada High­way into St. John’s two nights a week for a game of ball in the St. John’s Masters League.

About three years ago, Brown started play­ing in the city league be­cause of a dearth of 40-plus leagues in the Con­cep­tion Bay North re­gion.

“I heard on the ra­dio about this league and de­cided to play,” he said.

Brown sent in his reg­is­tra­tion and was as­signed to a team.

He has been play­ing in the league ever since. He cur­rently toils with Pops Con­ve­nience.

De­spite stand­ing on the cusp of age 70, Brown said he is in the mid­dle of ages for the league.

“I’m not the youngest and I’m not the old­est player in the league,” he said.

At the same time he was look­ing for a game in the St. John’s league, he was ap­proached about serv­ing, as the contact per­son for what would have been a 40-plus league in Bay Roberts.

Brown said he was in­ter­ested but it never got off the ground.

“For some rea­son, some peo­ple gave up,” he said.

As it stands now, he is the only player from out­side St. John’s mak­ing the drive in.

“I drive in two nights a week, on Mon­day and Wed­nes­day,” said Brown. “We have a house in St. John’s and when it is rain­ing or it’s foggy I just stay there.

“It’s nice to get in­volved and I don’t mind the driv­ing.”

He also spends the oc­ca­sional night there if his team has the late game.

It’s a so­cial thing

The St. John’s Masters League fea­tures an in­ter­est­ing cast of char­ac­ters of lawyers, doc­tors and busi­ness­men play­ing on Bill Ra­hal Ball Park be­hind El­iz­a­beth Tow­ers on El­iz­a­beth Av­enue.

The op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­act with these char­ac­ters is an im­por­tant part of play­ing for Brown.

“I en­joy the so­cial as­pect of it,” he said. “We have our own club­house and its re­ally nice.”

To go along with the player in­ter­ac­tion that Brown en­joys is the phys­i­cal as­pect.

He does not ex­pect to slow down any time soon, al­though he has switched po­si­tions from third base to sec­ond base be­cause “the throw is a bit harder.”

“I’ll play as long as I can,” said Brown. “I feel like I’m 25. It’s a great bit of fun and ex­er­cise.”

Noth­ing around the bay

Brown still holds out hope that a mas­ter’s league will find its way back to the fields in CBN.

He used to play both fast pitch and slo pitch in Bay Roberts.

He sees signs of the game mak­ing its way back with a 19- and- over league and a women’s league in full swing.

“I see signs of it com­ing back, but the league now is not con­ducive to me play­ing in it,” said Brown. Na­tion­als bound This past week­end, Brown was mak­ing the trip to Monc­ton, New Brunswick for the 60 plus Slo Pitch Na­tion­als, Aug. 2-6.

It will be his first na­tion­als ex­pe­ri­ence.

“They just asked me if I wanted to play and I said yes,” said Brown. “I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to it.”

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

Den­nis Brown has been trav­el­ling into St. John’s for the past three sum­mers for a game of ball.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.