The fresh cut grass was shimmering and the dirt infield was neatly groomed (thanks to the Taos High School Tigers baseball team who came out and prepared the night before) as Taos Senior Baseball participants took to the field at THS for the Opening Night game of the league’s 2021 season in early July.
But these aren’t the seniors Taos is used to seeing on the diamond, hitting ferocious line drives and zipping around the bases with the spry energy that comes only with youth. No, these seniors are the other kind: senior citizens.
“If you haven’t played baseball in 30 – 50 years, you were made for this free league. Running is optional, as is pretty much everything else. The idea is to have fun and not hurt yourself,” said league member Mark Pritchard, who acts as an unofficial spokesman.
The Taos Senior Baseball League was forced to go on hiatus for the 2020 season, but now the seniors are back. Their knees are a little creaky. Their eyes are a little cloudy. But their hearts are ready to play some ball.
“Our first night game was held in perfect Taos weather,” said Pritchard. “The field was fantastic, due to the Taos Tigers Baseball Team coming out the day before and fixing up the field for us. They added a bunch of soft dirt to the infield so it wouldn’t hurt as much when we fell down. Quite the royal treatment ... We are extremely fortunate and grateful to be able to use the THS field.”
Now, Pritchard said, the goal is to let everyone else know about the league. Whether coming out to play, watch, cheer, or just have fun, the Taos Senior League wants you. “We’d love to see you out there on Wednesday evenings,” he said. “It’s a beautiful way to spend a Taos sunset ... We had three fans in the stands last [game]. We are hoping for four [next week].”
As far as the teams go, they have leagues for every level of competitive play and are always looking for more people. Pritchard said the first game had 18 players. At 9 to a side, they just reached the bare minimum to play.
“Not much room for vacations … or injury,” Pritchard lamented.
But, on the plus side, he said the league made a profit.
“We also made a profit on the $1 donation for new baseballs. We pulled in 20 bucks and balls only cost $15. Somebody must have cheated and tossed too much in the pot. We’ll get even next week.”
The Taos Senior Baseball League meets Wednesday evenings at THS at 6 p.m. To learn more, just show up, or contact Mark “Homer” Pritchard at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.