Harris County senior softball league builds camaraderie

They’re taking extra precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic

HOUSTON – The Harris County Senior Softball players aren’t letting COVID-19 stop them from staying active.

“We’ve grown, we’re probably close to 300 people now,” said Jo Hale, player and manager.

Retired folks of all professions are getting in on the action, and the players range in age from people in their 50s to their 80s.

“Doctors, lawyers, policemen, firemen, I know we have a geologist out here,” Hale said.

The seniors love softball, and it keeps them fit. But the biggest draw? The camaraderie.

“Just getting to know people, talk to people, and to visit,” Norm Shugar said.

Shugar is one of many people over the age of 80 playing in the league.

“We’ve made lifelong friends and associations,” Jo Hale said of her and her husband Bill, who both play. “It’s the people.”

But with the risk of COVID-19, they’re taking extra precautions. Bill Hale stresses that they know they cannot eliminate all risk, but they strongly feel it’s important to continue playing; so strongly that they asked the Board of Directors to let them begin play during the pandemic.

“We have sanitizers in each dugout, the balls get sanitized after each inning, and we’re keeping our social distance," Hale said. The umpires also have to wear masks.

To these folks, staying fit and active is essential.

“It’s what keeps us going, and it’s what keeps us healthy,” Hale said.