Since April, almost 700 men and women from the area have been gathering on a regular basis to play softball throughout Cortlandt. While some are looking to continue playing at a competitive level, many are simply looking to have some fun.
“The (upper level divisions) are more for the people who are still playing baseball or just stopped playing baseball or just got out of college,” said Tim Fisher, Cortlandt’s senior recreation leader.
“There's a division that's more for the older male who just wants to keep on playing and get out there and enjoy a night of recreation for the most part.”
The players from the town’s 42 men's and women’s teams play once a week at Lent's Cove, Sunset Park, Frank G. Lindsey Elementary School or Sprout Brook Field.
"It is just fun meeting new friends," said Mary Anne Ruvo of Yorktown. "And to show my kids that you can still go out there and play even when you're a mom, because they play sports, too. Most of the women on my team are moms."
Ruvo’s team consists mostly of Yorktown moms and is sponsored by Yorktown Pizza & Pasta and Suburban Wines. They play in the Cortlandt league because Yorktown does not have one for women.
The summer league is broken up into a number of divisions, based on competitiveness. The 33 men’s teams are separated into A, B and C divisions, with A being the most competitive. The nine women’s teams are separated into A and B divisions.
Each team plays 14 games and the teams with the top four records from each division make the playoffs. The women’s league two-round, two-of-three playoffs started this week. They were set to kick off last week but a downpour left Sprout Brook Field unplayable.
Cortlandt profits from the $400 per team signup fee for teams with fewer than three out-of-town players. Fees for teams with more than three non-Cortlandt residents are higher. For teams with four to six out-of-towners it’s $450; for teams with more than six it's $500.
Many of the participating teams are sponsored by local bars and businesses, including Fulgum’s, The Sunset House, Peekskill Brewery, Birdsall House, Piazza Roma, Kyle's Pub, Brodie's Pub and Suburban Wines.
Each team is also required to pay a fee of $40 before every game to the umpires who work the games.
While the summer season is nearing its end, 16 men's teams have signed up to participate in an arc softball league that starts the end of August and runs through early November.
The league will take a hiatus during the winter season but pick up again with a spring league that starts during the third week in April.
“All teams who played the previous year are guaranteed spots for next year,” said Fisher, who added that each year the league loses only one or two teams on average.
Entry into the league can prove difficult as a result. Those wishing to sign up can call the league office and will be placed on a waiting list. For additional information please e-mail Fisher at TimF@townofcortlandt.com