When someone reaches 65, retirement comes calling for most.
Golf, reading, grand kids’ ball games, TV shows, the newspaper. That’s just some of the hobbies at that age, each having their own interests.
For a couple of locals, they’ve added softball to that regimen.
Softball? Some may ask.
At age 65-and-up, there’s a league in Cincinnati called “Yesterday’s Kids League” that allows elders to bring out that competitive fire once more in a 65-and-over softball league.
Steve Klump is one of the locals in the league, a Ripley native, Gordon Jones, a teacher at Maysville Community and Technical College is another, who played quarterback for the Maysville Bulldogs in his high school days.
“I had quit playing when I was 60,” Klump said. “Playing against 20-something year olds was tough. Then I found out I could play 65-and-over ball. I’ve had more fun in my life than I’ve ever been playing.”
And Klump wants to spread the fun he’s having. The Ripley “farm boy” as he dubs himself doesn’t think enough people his age are aware of such leagues.
“You don’t have to be great to start out. There’s different leagues and I encourage people my age to come out and try it,” Klump said.
A lot of his teammates in the Cincinnati league consist of guys from Northern Kentucky, including Butch Hays from Pendleton County, who played in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league organization, Tim Nageleisen, drafted by the Milwaukee Braves out of the University of Cincinnati, Ed Gampfer, who played at Western Kentucky University and Leo Osterday, who played for the Cincinnati Suds, a professional softball team. Osterday was named as Player of the Decade in the tri-state area at one point in time.
In Kentucky, there’s just two 65-and-over teams, both out of Louisville. Yesterday’s Kids League has leagues for skill levels ranging from 2-8, two being the lowest, eight being the highest. Initially, players are rated on their skill level and move up or down after the season.
In the Tuesday league that Klump and Jones play for, they went to the Bluegrass Games with their team, won the tournament and a berth into the Senior Olympics next summer in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Klump found out about the league from a relative, Dave Klump. Steve was just 60 at the time when he found out about it.
“I told him to wait five more years and I’ll join you,” Steve Klump said. “Dave was fast and would pinch run at 80 years old for guys that were younger than him. He died the summer before we were going to play together, but I wanted to carry his legacy. I’m pretty fast and pinch run now too for some of the guys.”
Steve Klump also plays for a travel team out of Dayton called the Dayton Legends. The Legends are a highly competitive team that travels all over the United States for tournaments. In three weeks, they play at the US Open Championship in Myrtle Beach for their last tournament of the season.
Klump stated if anyone is interested in participating in these leagues, they can contact him directly for more information at (606)584-8881 or [email protected]