The other day my uncle asked me how long I have been playing slopitch. After a quick little bit of math, I realized I have been playing slopitch for 21 years this summer. WOW! I played baseball a lot as a kid, early on I was pretty decent, but when I started getting busy with other things in high school, including my first job, first car, first computer, baseball kind of fell by the wayside. When I moved to Saskatoon to go to school in 1995, our CST class put in a slopitch team in the school league, we quickly found success, and I was hooked. It was a great social outing, a way to meet some new friends, and a great excuse to have a beer.
In the early days I was pretty much living it up in the beer leagues. Playing was fun but winning the beer race was the big championship, and luckily we did both with regularity. After a few years of that, I started playing competitive slopitch, first a men’s team and then a coed team. I’ve since left the beer leagues mostly behind (I still sub on occasion), but I’m still in the thick of things in our saspa.ca league. Looking back, here is a list of the teams (best that I can remember) playing on: Horny HounDawgs, Hustin’ Hangovers, Memory Makers, Bugsy’s Bluesox, Piston Broke, Beer Barons, Expos, The Fuze (2006 Coed ‘D’ National Champions), The Machine, Toon Town Twisters, Bombers (2010 NSA Rec Provincial Champions), Longhorns, Whitesox, Thirsty Dozen, Jays (2016 Coed ‘C’ Provincial Champs), and countless other pickup and tourney teams. I’ve travelled to Calgary, Leduc, Lethbridge, Niagra Falls, and all the way to Mazatlan just to play ball. I’ve had the chance to play in my share of championship games, and even won a couple. I’ve met countless friends along the way. This winter I was even able to go back to Mazatlan to see the friends we met during our slopitch trip and had a blast. I consider myself quite lucky for all the slopitch community has given me.
Sometime along the line I stumbled across SportsFreaksOnline, a website of slopitch players across Canada. I’m fairly active on the site (I am one of the moderators assisting the guys doing all the real work) and have met even more fantastic players across the country there. For a slopitch player I highly recommend checking out the site. You will meet great people and find some great deals on gear.
So I wanted to take the chance to reflect, post a few random photos from the few random teams I have played on, and gear up for another year on the diamond. Looking forward to seeing everyone on the diamonds and in the gardens. Play Hard, Get Dirty. – J