2 Freeport Fastpitch Softball Players Are Ageless Wonders [VIDEO]
FREEPORT - It’s summer! That means the softball fields in Freeport are once again busy with activity. The community has a thriving men’s fastpitch softball league – in a time when softball in other communities is dying out. There are 14 teams in the league that plays games on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. It’s a great story!
However, that’s not this story. This story is about two special guys who started playing in this league long before most of the other players were even born.
Nearly 72-year-old pitcher Micky Klasen has been throwing since 1960. And his catcher Hank Middendorf first picked-up the sport 60 years ago when he was just 14-years-old.
Keep in mind this isn’t a senior league, a lot of their opponents are high school and college kids.
We hang in there. I don't think we embarrass ourselves. We win our share of games. And it's kind of fun to beat the young guys.
Several of Hank and Micky’s teammates are even in their 20’s. Hank estimates that the pair have probably played together for about four decades.
I used to play shortstop for quite a few years, and the other guy that used to catch got a job on the road, and I said 'well it's like riding a bike, I think I can do that' and its been another 25 years since then.
But, the fact that these two ageless wonders are defying the odds and are still playing ball at a very high level may not even be the best part of this story. On this particular night Micky’s pitching opponent just happened to be his 23-year-old grandson Louis.
He just started pitching last year. So he wanted to pitch tonight. We'll see how well he does against us, he throws pretty hard.
Louis says it’s his first time pitching against his grandpa. And, he says he does one have dubious honor.
I'm one of the few people who can say they've been struck out by their grandpa. I think it's time to get him back.
In the end, Hank and Micky chalked up another win in their still growing win total.
As for retirement talk, neither one seemed to be too interested in putting away their bat and glove anytime soon.
WJON video reporters Chrissy Gaetke and Rebecca David contributed to this story.
Last week reporters Jim, Dan, and Alex each threw a dart at a Stearns County map, whatever town their dart was closest to they had to write a story from that town.