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A sixty game (modified) fast pitch softball schedule will be launched on Friday, October 18, 10:00 am, when the first pitch raises the curtain on one of the most storied softball leagues in the United States. The St. Petersburg Half-Century Softball Club, known for its unique modified fast pitch style of play and organizational structure continues a long history of softball at North Shore Park.
The “Boys of Winter” have a rich history in St. Petersburg. Beginning in 1933, when a group of men met in a corner of the old ballpark, where Al Lang Field at Progress Energy Park is now located. Each contributed ten or fifteen cents with which they bought balls and bats. These men started what is now a nationally known organization that has been going strong for what will be the club's 81st season.
The club has been in existence since 1933. It is a truly unique organization with a history and foundation that goes beyond your typical slow-pitch recreational softball league. No! This isn’t Kids and Kubs. Those guys are older more mature and play a more relaxed game of softball.
This is the younger fellows age 49-74. It is a modified fast pitch game (no wind-up) with pitches that cover the 46ft distance from the pitcher’s rubber to the batter with plenty of speed and craftiness. The pitchers curve it, knuckle it, inside, outside and drop the ball at the batter in a constant battle to keep the hitter off balance.
Players come from all walks of life. “The Boys of Winter” hail from 20 states and Canada. Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida are the leading states of origin.
These “Boys of Winter” have held all manner of career positions, such as Public Policy Analyst, English Teacher, Engineer, College Professor, Printing Plant Manager, Environmental Scientist, Woodworker, Accountant, Broadcaster, Insurance agent, Electronic Technician, Tool and Die Maker, Respiratory Therapist, Army Analyst, Public School Superintendent, Librarian , Real Estate Agent, Federal employee, Dentist, Coast Guard veteran, Author, Police Captain, Actor, Firefighter, Radio-TV Broadcasting, Law Enforcement, and Weapons Defense Specialist.
The age diversity spreads over 25 years. The club’s constitution calls for players who turn age 49 before the season begins. Currently, 22 of the “Boys” range from 53 to 63 years of age. Thirty-one fall in the 64-74 age bracket, with six members over 74 granted “extended service” as provided in the club’s constitution. This requires a 2/3s vote of the club’s membership
Opening day ceremonies are slated to begin at 9:30a.m, Friday, October 18, at North Shore Park and will be followed by games two (2) games. The four-team league play features a 60 game schedule. All games are nine (9) innings. Games and occur every Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s at 10:00a.m. and 11:30 a.m. until early April.
New players are always welcomed. Immediate try-outs are available for men and women, ages 49-74. Information and applications are available at www.stpetehalfcentury.com . Persons interested should contact President Joe Hannah (727-420-8102) for additional information.
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