Seniors still swing in softball league


Sports editor

Jack Kain was born before bubble gum was invented, before the planet Pluto was discovered and before sliced bread was sold in stores.

But all those years of experience didn’t stop him from rounding third and heading for home to score a run for his softball team on Thursday at Celebration Park.

“I almost never run like that,” said Kain, out of breath as he returned to the dugout.

Kain, 81, plays on Federal Way’s 55-and-older co-ed softball team. The team has a 12-7 record and is in fifth place out of 13 teams.

“It’s good exercise, it’s good fun and you meet good people,” Kain said. “We’re all friendly. It’s not a real competitive league.”

For this group of Federal Way seniors, playing softball is better than sitting on the couch.

“They hit it pretty far, for their age,” said Quinton Rico, 14, watching his grandfather Duane Warner’s team.

Last year the team finished first in its nine-team “B” Division. But this year the league combined the the “B” division with the higher-level “A” division into one league. Despite the tough competition, the team is looking forward to the playoffs in August.

“It keeps us flexible and active,” said teammember Anna Steinmetz. “It’s good for our health and I like to be social.”

Steinmetz grew up in Italy, where her father was a soccer coach. She played soccer when she came to the United States in the 1950s, then tried volleyball. Now, 40 years later, she plays softball and tennis.

“It’s my 10th year playing,” said Duane Warner. “I like the association with the people and the competitiveness.”

The modified rules allow base runners to over-run all bases to avoid injuries when stopping.

But it’s hard to tell Jack Kain to stop running when home plate is just around the corner.

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