By Blake Spurney
Hesston Record Staff
Softball has a way of bringing old friends together, even if their bodies don't always cooperate with their memories of how they used to play the game.
On Saturday, more than 40 men played in the inaugural In5anity softball tournament at the Hesston High School and city diamonds. Rusty Whitcher and Chris Koehn organized the tournament after Whitcher read about the unusual format on a softball website. He then emailed someone from the Pacific Northwest and contacted someone from Utah.
Three of four teams made up of at least five players compete on the diamond at one time. Four outfielders and a catcher are on one team, while the infielders and pitcher are on a separate team. A third team goes to bat, and the teams rotate every half inning or until one team scores seven runs. The winner is the team that finishes with the most total runs at the end of the tournament. In this case, each team played six games, which were shortened from five to four innings after the first two games.
"The goal is just to have fun," Whitcher explained before the tournament. It also was the first such tournament of its kind that he knew about in the state.
Afterward, reviews were all positive from those participated, so much so that future tournaments are being planned. Kan of Corn, a team put together by Ricky Snyder of Hutchinson, took home the first-place T-shirts by scoring 83 runs.
For Bad Grandpa, the tournament was a reunion of sorts for a group of former teammates who used to regularly win Hesston's slow-pitch league. Tom Vinduska, 38, hadn't played a game for five years before Saturday.
"The thing is everything remains the same except the age," he said. "Other than I pulled my leg the first inning of the first game, but I thought it'd be worse."
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