Creeker Gary Pennington celebrated his 10th anniversary at the Senior World Series recently in Arizona.
During the first week, Pennington and his San Diego Padres 70-plus-team was attempting to win its fifth straight champ-ionship, but it was not to be this year.
The Padres compiled a 2-2-1 record tying the championship Sacramento team during divisional play.
The team performed well at the plate overall. Padres' pitching was very good at times, but lacked consistency and depth.
Pennington hit .267 for the week, scored five runs, and patrolled centre field.
In all, 11 teams participated in the 70-plus division. More than 350 teams from all over the world participate in the three-week tournament.
In the second week of the competition, Pennington and his mates did much better, winning the inaugural 75-plus age category.
The championship was arranged in an East versus West all-star format with teams recruiting for players from across the U.S. and Canada.
The West team won four games and tied one against the East squad.
Pennington had to return home after the first game because of illness in the family. In that opening game, he went three for five, scored four runs, hit two RBIs and played second base. This was the 10th year in a row that Pennington has played in the Senior World Series, an event he describes as amazing because of the perennial enthusiasm and skill of the players despite their advanced years, but more importantly due to the fine camaraderie of those taking part.
He wishes that all amateur and professional sport could emulate this kind of ethic in their competitions.
He said his roommate, catcher Ed Frank, always signs off his letters and emails saying, for the love of the game, something Pennington feels we all need to remember and embrace in our actions, both in life and sport.
Another highlight of the series for me was to see the team from Australia called the Aussie Aces, he said. I had the pleasure of playing and coaching teams in Australia on three separate occasions and it was good to reconnect with old teammates. In the tournament this year, the Aces had a very good run, beating us in league play and making it to the quarter finals. Baseball is very big Down Under with several fellows playing in the major leagues.