For over 25 years, local baseball diamonds have been hubs of activity a few nights a week as Creston Valley Slo-pitch Association members enjoy their sport. And they want the public to enjoy it, too — by coming out and watching a game.
“Come out to a game and see what it’s all about,” said president Len Ringstad.
From Tuesday through Friday evenings, any of the six diamonds (Lister and Canyon parks, Lower Kootenay and the Creston and District Community Complex) will host some of the league’s 19 teams, a number up from a low of 12 not too many years ago.
About 250 people, including players and volunteers, take part each season, with some jumping in as soon as their “other” sport is finished.
“The first thing they do is put their curling broom away and pick up their ball gloves,” said Ringstad.
Members vary in age, with many in the 25-45 range, and with two over-50 teams, Coffin Dodgers No. 1 and No. 2.
The game is played much like baseball, but with the teams following Creston rules, such as 10 batters on each team batting in each inning, and no bunting, sliding into base or base stealing.
“The rules are designed to be recreational rules, and be safe,” said Ringstad. “The whole idea of Creston Valley Slo-pitch was to make sure everyone — everyone — had a chance to play ball.”
Teams’ placement in divisions depends on their performance throughout the season — the top two in the B division go to A the next season, while the bottom two of A go to B.
“It puts everyone where they should be,” said Ringstad.
After more than 20 years on the team, he’s proud to help carry on this Creston Valley sports tradition.
“I just love playing ball,” he said. “I played ball as a kids, then had kids and coached ball.”