Slo-pitch continues to grow in Grande Prairie.
The Grande Prairie Mixed Slo-Pitch League had 228 teams in 2015. It now has 252, adding a dozen teams in each of the last two years.
League President Sue Lambright says participation usually picks up when the economy is down.
“When everybody’s working, our numbers have typically, historically, not grown. But, from last year to this year, we saw growth and I was quite surprised, actually. That, to me, was surprising because usually we would stay the status quo, but not this time.”
She adds slo-pitch is still cheap entertainment.
“It’s only like 900 bucks to play and, if you’re playing once a week and divide that between 15 people on your team, it really isn’t very much to play.”
Lambright says there is a very strong minor baseball organization in the city and once those kids age out, they are looking for a way to keep playing ball and that the league includes players of all ages.
“We have players that play from 16 all the way up to, in our senior slo-pitch, I believe 90. It’s a sport that you can play at any age. We’ve got a team, or two or three, that have grandsons, sons, and dad. It’s crazy, sometimes we have three or four generations playing on the same team.”
Lambright says the County is building two new slo-pitch diamonds while the City is working on upgrading an existing one, with one more planned for South Bear by 2018. She adds the league could be completely off residential diamonds within two or three years.