The way Bob Carran figures, he has played in roughly 780 games since joining the St. Petersburg Half Century softball league in 1996. Most of those games were as a pitcher, which got him to figuring some more. He figures he throws 200 pitches in a nine-inning game. At 60 games per season, he throws about 12,000 pitches per season. Over 13 years, that's about 130,000 pitches.
Carran, 72, has thrown more pitches for more years than anybody in the Half Century softball league, which plays three days a at North Shore Park. He is on the verge of winning his 400th game. Carran stands at 398, but the season runs through mid-April so he is sure to pass the milestone soon.
"I've played softball since I was 18, but I didn't start pitching until I joined this league,'' Carran said. "I did some slow pitching, but I had to learn how to do the modified pitch. After that, it's just about longevity.''
Carran knows longevity. He was a member of the first graduating class at Northeast High School. After a stint in the Air Force, he returned to the area and began teaching geography at Pinellas Park Middle School in 1962. He left for Seminole Middle in 1984 and retired 12 years later.
Throughout the years he has made time for softball. When he fully retired, Carran filled the void by playing with the Half Century league, which is for players 50 and older. Aside from a sore shoulder, as well as torn ligaments in his left knee that sidelined him last year, Carran is still spry enough to win games in a surprisingly athletic and competitive league.
"We all love to play out here and we love to win,'' Carran said. "But I do it mostly for the exercise.''
Carran said he will continue to play softball for as long as he can. When he turns 74 he will become eligible for the legendary Kids-n-Kubs, and he has every intention of trying to play in that league. For now, Carran shows no signs of letting up on batters as he continues to rack up wins.
"(400 wins) is nice because when I die my wife can say, 'See, he did something,' " Carran said. "No one has ever done it out here, so it's an accomplishment.''
The County Golf Association's weekly tournament was held at Feather Sound Country Club on Feb. 8. The regular division gross winners were Juice Ahern and Mark Wheaton, who shot 66. The overall net winners were Steve Tarkowski and Mike Sauve, who shot 61. The ladies net winners were Melody Ulen and Carolyn Murphy, who shot 72.
• The West Coast Women's golf league held a tournament at Pasadena Country Club on Feb. 8. The Flight AA gross winner was Kathy Hunt, who shot 79. The Flight AA net winner was Irini Perivolaris, who shot 75. The Flight A winner was Kiely Allen, who shot 84.
Good Life Games
The Good Life Games, an Olympics style event for seniors 50 years and older, is looking for volunteers and participants. The event, which is in its 31st year, needs volunteers for scoring events, recording event times, checking in participants and helping with hospitality activities. There are 24 events, including basketball, golf, swimming and softball. The events take place throughout Pinellas County. For information, contact Anita Oberle at 536-7179 or Peggy Deal at 441-9463.
Bayside Gymnastics of Clearwater competed in Maitland on Jan. 17. In Level 8, Tiffany Paxson was first in vault, bars, floor exercise and all-around. In Level 7, Dominique Greco was first in vault, beam, floor and all-around, Amy Cooley was first in bars and Charissa Hildreth was first in beam. In Modified Optionals, Ryann Purslow was first in bars and beam. On Feb. 5 and 6 at the Magical Classic Invite in Orlando, Greco was first in the vault for Level 7.