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There are no rules when it comes to my blog because it’s my blog.

If I wish to use this space to impart feelings I have, related to events or things I view as important or noteworthy, then that’s what I’ll do. Why, because it’s my blog.

So, with that beautifully worded introduction, let me share a couple of experiences that happened over the past six months or so. These experiences revolve around my participation in softball, but the point of this blog is the part that memories play in our lives.

Anyone who has spent much time around me knows I like to take pictures. There are several reasons I take pictures but if I had to pick just one, it would be that pictures spark a memory of an event that I may not have entirely remembered.

Memories- “The mental capacity or faculty of retaining and reviving facts, events, impressions, etc., or of recalling or recognizing previous experiences.”

Each year, the traveling softball team I play with participates in five or six tournaments. We are a part of Senior Softball USA which has over 40,000 men in age brackets between 40 and 85. The tournaments can range from maybe forty teams to over seven hundred coming from all states and Canada. Each age bracket can have several divisions, with each division having between six and as many as thirty teams. The SSUSA World Championship tournament is held each September in Las Vegas, NV and this is the tourney that attracts up to seven hundred teams.

I’ve been playing softball for a long time and have played on many teams, but I’ve never made it to the finals of the World Championships, until last September. Our division had seventeen teams from Hawaii, to Texas, even New York. We never lost a game and were crowned World Champs! This was such a memorable experience and really cemented my teammates and I as a band of softball brothers.

But, as the late Paul Harvey would often say, here’s the rest of the story.

Each February, there’s a SSUSA Tournament of Champions held in Florida. This tournament is just for teams that WON a tournament the previous year, so of course; we were invited. At our season ending softball party, the team took a vote as to whether we wanted to participate. I mean, it would be six days, airfare, housing, meals and so on. And every team we we’d be playing would be really good, because they too had won a tournament. The team voted to go. Eight of us rented an eight-bedroom home where we would gather in the theater room each night after softball (and a little time in the hot tub) and watch Ted Lasso. We won our first game, but then lost the next to a team from Michigan. Yeah, these teams were good. Now we started double elimination bracket play. We lost our first bracket game and went into the loser’s bracket. This also meant that if we lost again, we were done. We won the next game, and the next, and the next, which meant we now made it to the semi-final. But to get to the final, we would need to beat the winners bracket team twice, once in the semi-final, and then again in the final. We’d just played a game at 8:00 am, then 9:30 am, and now would be playing the semi-final at 11:00 am against the team who had given us our first loss a couple of days earlier, and they were fresh as they hadn’t had to play that morning. We won the semi-final game which meant if we could win the next game at 12:30, we would be crowned Tournament of Champion winners. As you might expect, there was a larger crowd watching this championship game, as well as media. This made it just a bit more fun for my teammates and I. One thing I failed to mention is that if you win one of these major SSUSA tournaments, Senior Softball buys each player a ring. It’s something that every person playing would love to have. When we won the tournament in Las Vegas, we all got a ring, which for me; was my first. So how did the championship game end up? Let me just say that now, I have two rings sitting on my shelf!

I started off talking about pictures and how they can help with memory. The title picture for this blog is from our championship in Florida and will always help me remember these two tournaments and the teammates I was able to share these memories with.

2023 65AA Tournament of Champions – BAT ATTITUDE St George, UT

Life is short. Go out and create memories, and don’t forget to take a few pictures.