Softball League a Big Hit
The NMU faculty/staff softball league’s inaugural season is being billed as a success. Six co-ed teams – with names ranging from the Winded Wonders to Victorious Secrets – have been playing most Wednesday evenings since May 15.
Players umpire themselves, there are no team uniforms and games are held on a makeshift field in the grassy recreation area off Lincoln Street. But despite its humble beginnings, the league has proved to be a welcome summer diversion for NMU employees. At right, Darnell Bradley (Multicultural Education and Resource Center) prepares to swing at an incoming pitch.
“We had an overwhelming response when we first sent out the e-mail in March trying to gauge interest in a softball league and we’re hoping to build on that next year,” said Marcus Robyns (Archives), who co-founded the league along with Max Graves (Audio/Visual Services).
Michelle Kimball (Olson Library) had never played softball before and might not have considered joining the league until she was recruited.
"I had taken a group fitness class on campus and complained about how brutal it was. Somehow the word got out that I had been exercising," Kimball laughed. "Two team members approached me because they were trying to get more women on their roster. They said, 'You're active,' which was a total lie. But when the fitness class ended, I saw softball as an opportunity to keep doing some physical activity. I'm the worst player on the team and there's not even a close second to how bad I am, but I'm still having loads of fun and my teammates seem happy to have me, especially when we're in danger of falling below the minimum player requirement."
While it's perhaps not as competitive as other softball leagues, do not be totally deceived by the laid-back approach and emphasis on having fun. Outcomes are important. The players want victories and bring their best game each week in the hope of achieving that goal. It's likely the competitive spirit will surface more intensely with the end-of-season tournament planned for Aug. 15.
For more information on the league, contact Robyns or Graves.