SIOUX CITY, IOWA (KCAU) – Baseball has no age limit. But growing weary of having to travel for senior leagues, former fast-pitch softball teammates Bob Wolf and Rick Saunders decided in 2019 they wanted to create their own.
“We kinda looked at each other and said ‘why wait?’ Why aren’t we doing that here?’ So we started to talk to people at the Sioux City Parks Department and talk to people with the Baseball Associations,” Sioux City Old-Timers Baseball Club Co-Founder Bob Wolf said.
From those talks, the Sioux City Old-Timers Baseball Club was born. A senior adult baseball team ages 60 and up that meets twice a week from May through October for practice and split squad games.
“Our motto is ‘Hit and Move’ not hit and run,” Sioux City Old-Timers Baseball Club Co-Founder Rick Saunders said. “That’s what keeps us here I think. Nobody has to move fast, nobody has to run fast, just enjoy it.”
And as word spread for the club, interest followed. Around 20 players joined the team in its first year, with talent spanning from former college athletes to fast-pitch players to those who hadn’t touched a bat since little league. Giving each a chance to catch barrels once again.
“It’s a mix of backgrounds that we have,” Wolf said.
“One just had hip surgery last Thursday and he was playing for us. We got one that said he’s gonna be 84 this month, and he’s the first one out here. He just loves it,” Saunders said.
With no assigned positions, whoever is there plays. Some days even holding two-hour batting practices if they don’t have enough for a starting nine. But it’s that joy of a ball in glove and ringing of the bat that make it all worthwhile.
“You’re not sure if you can catch up with that ball again. It’s a fun moment to see somebody who hasn’t played and hasn’t had the opportunity to do this for many years. That inspiration carried over with me,” Wolf said.
And the club will carry into a new space next year. Beginning at Headid Field to their current field at Goldie Park, the team has raised thousands of dollars toward enhancements of their future Goldie Field diamond. Upgrading dugouts and playing surfaces for an even greater baseball experience.
“This field right behind us here is a 400-foot field that Headid and the city gave to us to play on and next year we’ll be playing on that field. They took all the grass, redid that, and they gave us the field. Hopefully that’ll bring people too,” Saunders said.
Until then, Bob and Rick are staying in pursuit for more players. Wanting to give seniors that extra opportunity to play, and have it become their favorite part of the week.
“I live for Mondays and Wednesdays. We play on Mondays and Wednesdays, and I live for those days. I really do,” Saunders said.
“It transcends generations. It’s still baseball, no matter what the age is,” Wolf said.
The club plays from 9:30am-12:00pm on Mondays and Wednesdays from May through October. Players of all abilities 60+ years of age are welcome.