It's pretty incredible to still be able to play the game you love well into your 80's. This week's News 3 Neighbors story is about just such a person.
Eighty-three year old Frank Hart of Columbus says he's played softball some 75 years. He is an infielder for St. Mark Fitness with the Columbus Senior Softball League.
Frank recalls, “I probably had a bat when I was 15 years old. I'd get all the broken bats and piece them together and I'd play ball with them.”
As a teenager Frank was such a good pitcher he played fast-pitch softball with the men. “I started playing with the guys that were 25 and 30 when I was fifteen.” Frank even made the allstar team his first year playing with them.
Over time Frank shifted to slow pitch, joining a team in Atlanta when he was in his late 50's. He played with them for 17 years during which time his team won two world championships.
Although playing in the twilight of his career, you'd never know it by the schedule he keeps. Recently Frank played eight games in one week.
Frank doesn't mind telling you he's no slouch on the field. “I'm still a pretty good hitter and I can still turn lots of double plays.”
So does Frank the softball player care about baseball? He says he watches the Braves every night they play.
And so does his great grandson Case Charles. Prior to a recent tournament game, Case had his ball and glove and was warming up his “Big Daddy.” Frank says, “He's going to be a great ball player.” It was quite obvious to anyone watching that Case has definitely inherited some ball-playing genes from his great granddad.