By TOBEY SCHMIDT
A big part of Skagway summers, next to cruise ships and tourism, is the adult co-ed softball league.
“I remember watching softball games as a kid, too,” said Orion Hanson, who has been playing in the league since 2012.
Teams have been playing at the Seven Pastures ball fields for years, and continue to keep the tradition of a good time going.
“You get some teams that, really, they’re just out there to try and break away from the cruise ship grind and get out there and have fun,” said Adam Smith, co-commissioner for the league. “And it is all about having fun and that’s what we try remind everybody.”
Smith and Mike Mileski, who is also a co-commissioner, are in charge of the league this season, which began towards the end of May. The annual Fourth of July tournament is coming up and will be held the weekend before the holiday, from June 30 to July 2.
The tournament is not exclusive to the Skagway league; Smith said that typically most teams are from Canada.
Since the Fourth of July is such a busy time in Skagway, Smith said they usually don’t get too many local teams. So far they have 10 teams signed up, with one from Skagway and one from Juneau.
“It’s good to see another Alaska team in there right now,” Smith said. “Already having 10 is pretty big for us. I think we’ll get some more that trickle in.”
In the Fourth of July tournament all the teams will play each other once and from there they’ll be broken up in to an A League and a B League. The teams will play each other in those leagues and there will be a winner from both A and B.
As for the Skagway league tournament, that won’t be until the weekend of July 21.
Since there are only seven teams in the league this year instead of eight, one team gets a bye every week instead of their normal eight-game format.
The teams are seeded and will all play in the tournament, ending with only one winner.
“I think one of my favorite lines is, ‘for the love God, this is co-ed softball in Skagway, Alaska,’” Smith said. “You know, we’re all out there to have fun, have a beer or two and hangout with our friends, and if we get to come away with a softball league game win then more power to us.”
The regular games are every Monday and Friday night; the first starts at 6:30 p.m. and the next at 8 p.m.
They have two fields to play on.
If folks missed out and would still like to be involved, they can check out the Skagway Softball Facebook page, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.