Older men enjoy softball with Rochester summer league

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — For one group of Rochester men, softball is more than just a sport. It’s a chance to connect with friends, and stay active, no matter your age.

The Rochester Softball League is for men in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80’s and 90s. The new season started this month.

News10NBC got a chance to visit the 70+ age group, which plays on Mondays at McAvoy Park in Irondequoit.

Getting up on a Monday morning is hard for most people. But these men say they have something to look forward to.

The league has been a tradition since the 80s.

Ron Lohrman is 81 years old, and has been playing softball for over 20 years. He always knew this sport would be gentle on him as he aged.

“Everybody gets to play, I mean, every defensive position is important, and in fast pitch, in baseball, there’s a lot less, it’s a lot more, ‘pitcher, catcher, pitcher catcher,’ here it’s a lot less of that,” he said.

John Hannon will be 80 in January. He’s been a part of this since 2004.

“I’ve known all these people for 19 years, and it’s been fun — we travel, play people from Canada and all over the East Coast,” said Hannon.

Many of these men share a similar story; they started playing years ago. And not just a few years ago.

That includes 78 year-old Shifty, who said he never tires of the game.

“We enjoy playing, everyone enjoys playing, if we didn’t enjoy it, we wouldn’t be here,” said Shifty.

It’s not just the friendships that keep him coming back.

“My health,” he said. “That’s what’s going to keep me in the ballgame, it’s your health that’s gotta keep you there.”

“Every year I have less and less of an arm,” said Lohrman. “And less and less speed, less and less power. But you do what you can. The longer you can play, the longer you can survive.”

And no matter how the game ends, everyone can be a winner.

“Everybody roots for everybody.”