A new Lower Mainland baseball league for players 60 and older held its inaugural game Sunday morning at Langley City Park.
After sorting themselves into two teams, one called the Caps and the other the Buzzards, and suiting up in their colours, the players took the field.
It is a newly created division of the Lower Mainland Baseball Association (LMBA), explained League Commissioner Dan Taylor and the organizer of the new division, Langley City’s Howard Sandrel.
Plans for a 60-plus division have been in the works for several years, spearheaded by Sandrel.
How did the idea come about?
“We got old,” Sandrel grinned.
“Older, basically yes,” Taylor agreed.
“The league (LMBA) started in 1994,” Taylor elaborated, “as the guys got older, we added an over-45 division in 2004, and the guys are still playing and they’re still getting older, so now it’s time for an over-60 division.’
It is believed to be the first 60-plus baseball league in the Lower Mainland.
Umpires for the debut game were from Langley Minor Baseball, Taylor added.
“So they get some experience with adults.”
Plate umpire was Spencer Toporowski, a six-year umpire, while base umpire was Brayden Erickson, a third-year umpire.
Sandrel played for the Caps team, which defeated the Buzzards 14-8.
“We lorded it over them,” he laughed.
Plans are for the 60-and-older competitors to play a series of games until September, in preparation for setting up a four-team division in 2022.
The LMBA began play in 1994 with four teams in an 18-plus division and six teams in a 30-plus division.
With the growth of adult recreational baseball, the league expanded to 38 Lower Mainland teams with the 45-plus division added in 2004.
COVID-19 interrupted the 2020 season with most teams taking off the entire season, while a group of players in the 45-plus division continued play under what was described as “a very modified format” by Taylor and Sandrel.
This year, the LMBA has 24 teams playing in three divisions and more teams are expected to return for the 2022 season.
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