Reliving the glory days
September 4, 2009
Bill Pidwell didn’t know very many local people when he moved to Park City in 1997, so he joined a Park City Recreation coed softball team.
After 12 years of playing, Pidwell is now on two softball teams, a hockey team, a football team and a basketball team. He said he typically only plays one or two sports at a time, but sometimes they overlap and he may be on three separate teams at once.
"It’s fun and it can be good exercise, depending on the sport," he said.
Pidwell isn’t alone. Several of his teammates play multiple sports on multiple teams with him.
Greg Gendron said he just wrapped up three nights of softball, one night of soccer and one night of hockey. But when one sport ends, another begins. On Sunday nights he plays hockey, on Monday nights he plays mens’ soccer and on Wednesday nights he plays flag football in Kamas.
"I’m down to three nights a week," he said. "I’m a lunatic."
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Gendron said it’s like going to the gym three nights a week, but more fun.
"We’re a (group of) 40-year-old has-beens that get along very well," he said. "I get to hang out with my friends and relive the glory days."
He said he’s not the only fanatic either.
"All the guys on the other teams are doing the exact same thing," he said.
Karen Yocum, Park City recreation supervisor, said there are a lot of core players who play softball and basketball. She said there’s also a set of athletes who play in the kickball leagues and another who play in the soccer leagues.
"I think some people are very team-sport oriented," she said. "It’s a social outlet and it’s fun."
Yocum has been at the center for 20 years and said players weren’t originally allowed to participate in so many teams at the same time.
"You could only play on one coed team and one men’s team," she said. "Now you can play five nights a week."
Gendron said another reason they do it is because the leagues are run so well and the fields are well taken care of.
Yocum said city employees pride themselves in having a quality program.
"Our park crews work really hard to keep our fields in good shape," she said. "It’s a difficult task because we don’t tell people ‘no’ who want to play on them. At the North Forty, they just drop in and play almost every night."
As soon as the snow covers those fields, Gendron and Pidwell said they plan to take it indoors with basketball. But this time, neither of them is expecting to win a championship.
"We’re horrible (at basketball)," Gendron said. "We usually laugh about it afterwards."