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60+ softball league signups under way

January 15, 2020
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

If you've traveled up and down U.S. 41 in North Fort Myers, you may have seen those tiny signs along the side of the road seeking people to play in a winter softball league.

Well, the Ray Tibbs 60+ softball league has been seeking players since the start of the year and will continue to seek them for a league that started 17 years ago from a Cape Coral softball legend who, at 93, has continued the tradition of giving older players a chance to enjoy the game.

The league started in 2004 when Tibbs discovered there wasn't a league for older players and since the city or county didn't have a rec league for them, he started one of his own.

While the league has thrived, Tibbs can't do this forever, so he has delegated much of the authority to Scott Marinelli, who has helped Tibbs put the teams together and set all the logistics in order from putting teams together to making sure there is a pitcher and catcher for each team.

On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, the league plays its games at Shady Oaks Park on Marion Street in Fort Myers, behind Terry Park, from mid-January until the third week of March, when the seasonal residents start going home.

There are currently 10 teams throughout Lee County and vicinity which just want to have a good time while also being competitive.

"We take people of all skill levels and when you're 60 and up, you're thinking of health and exercise and be with people who enjoy the same things as you," Marinelli said. "We make teams as equal as we can and spurs them to be competitive but not too serious."

Those who play softball also contribute to the economy by eating at restaurants after the game or taking part in other activities.

"This league helps with the tourist population and the business people here. These are sports people who play golf and boating but love softball," Marinelli said. "When they call, they are chomping at the bit to play."

Sign-ups are continuous because not all players can make every game due to family obligations or work, and people get hurt at that age.

To reinforce continuing signups, the league put up 150 signs all over Lee County, especially North Fort Myers.

For more information, call (239) 703-3942.



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