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Thorold Oldtimers dust off their bats and gloves

The Thorold Oldtimers Softball League in Allanburg is starting up again; 'It’s been two years and we don’t know which players are going to be able to make it back'

After a pandemic hiatus, the Thorold Oldtimers Softball League in Allanburg is starting up again—and they’re looking for new players to join them on the field.

“It’s been two years and we don’t know which players are going to be able to make it back,” says Joseph Vargovic, captain for team Brand-X, in an interview with ThoroldToday. “We're trying to get the word out and see if we can build up the league.”

The league currently consists of seven teams that meet twice a week at the baseball diamonds in Allanburg from May until September. To be eligible for the league, a player must be 35 years or older.

“We’re not too serious, it’s just softball,” Vargovic says. “That’s why we keep it to an old-timers league. Some of the young guns can run up games on the old guys. A lot of the interest we’ve been getting right now is from guys in their fifties and sixties. We want to keep it nice and fair so that’s why it’s always been over 35.”

A big draw of the league is that it’s a family affair.

“Usually everybody’s wife and kids come out,” Vargovic says. “We’re all older so this is kind of a great family day for everybody. There’s a little park for all the kids to play in. You got the canal right there. It’s a beautiful view, open skies, everybody loves it.”

Vargovic, who is 47, got involved with the softball league seven years ago.

“I was never a ballplayer,” he says. “I just started playing with these guys and I’ve been kind of developing my game ever since then and having fun. I played in a lot of different leagues in Thorold but this is my favourite so far.”

Vargovic has been the captain of team Brand-X for a few years now. When it comes to the team’s strategy, Vargovic says there isn’t one.

“We let our hits do the talking,” he says. “We try not to get hurt. Especially this year we’ll be trotting base to base until we get used to moving again. I don’t want to see a lot of guys injured.”

At the end of the day, the Thorold Oldtimers Softball League is not about winning.

“This is a lot of exercise we get while we’re out there,” Vargovic says. “For us older guys, there’s not much else that we can do. There’s a lot of ground to cover in that field. A big draw is the community for sure, the family absolutely, friends beyond. Thorold is very supportive.”

If you're interested in joining the league, you can send an email to Vargovic.


About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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