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At 94, Winchell Smith still driven by love of softball

If the sun is up and the diamond is reasonably dry, there's a good chance you'll find a group of dedicated softball players shagging flies and rounding the bases at North Shore Field. The Kids and Kubs, St. Petersburg's storied softball gang of men and women 75 and older, have been fielding games since 1930. They gather near Vinoy Park most Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

For the past 14 years, Winchell Smith has been a key member of the team. At 94 years old, camaraderie and competition keep him coming out to the ball field.

"If I had to sit in a chair," Smith said, "I wouldn't be here."

The Cincinnati native has been playing baseball and softball most of his life and hasn't found a reason to quit.

"I keep coming out here every day, hoping to get some exercise and be with a good group of guys," Smith said.

While he admits his defensive game has slowed down, Smith can still stroke the ball into the outfield.

And he has no plans to put away his glove.

"As long as I'm able to get out of bed and come down here and throw the ball with them a little bit, I'm going to keep on playing," Smith said.

BRENT PUCKETT | Times

At 94, Winchell Smith still driven by love of softball 03/20/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 20, 2014 5:22pm]
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