Skip Yost, 72, is out at first with a game-winning catch from Peter Golenbock, 76, in February at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg. Golenbock has been playing in the league since 1995 and holds the club record for most at-bats with a number of 5672. He has lived in St. Petersburg since 1989. “It was 75 or 78 degrees on October 31st and I thought to myself, why in the world would I want to live in Connecticut, when I can live here?” Golenbock is a well-known author of several bestselling baseball books including "The Bronx Zoo" and "Dynasty: The New York Yankees, 1949-1964."

Photos: Softball club in St. Petersburg is for young at heart

The St. Petersburg Half Century Softball Club for players ages 49 to 75 is going strong, and so are the players.
Skip Yost, 72, is out at first with a game-winning catch from Peter Golenbock, 76, in February at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg. Golenbock has been playing in the league since 1995 and holds the club record for most at-bats with a number of 5672. He has lived in St. Petersburg since 1989. “It was 75 or 78 degrees on October 31st and I thought to myself, why in the world would I want to live in Connecticut, when I can live here?” Golenbock is a well-known author of several bestselling baseball books including "The Bronx Zoo" and "Dynasty: The New York Yankees, 1949-1964." [ ARIELLE BADER | Special to the Times ]
The St. Petersburg Half Century Softball Club for players ages 49 to 75 is going strong, and so are the players.
Published May 26

For six months of the year, three days a week, groups of men, ages 49 to 75, meet at North Shore Park to play games. It’s modified fast-pitch softball through the St. Petersburg Half Century Club at North Shore Park.

“70 is the new 50,” said Peter Beauregard, 72. “I just figured [if] I can still do this at my age, I’m lucky as hell. That’s the key, how lucky we are all to still be out here.”

Some have played most of their lives, for fun or in school, or coached softball or baseball. All share a love for competition.

Games are lively with energetic players laughing and cheering, some heated disagreements over plays. It’s all part of the game.

Players say they enjoy the warm weather, exercise and community. Many discovered the club as snowbirds escaping Northern winters and now live in the area full time.

“You become like a family after a while and it’s hard to give that up,” said Peter Golenbock, 76.

The club recently completed its 89th season and the team is always looking for new players. Visit stpetehalfcentury.com to learn more or check out a game any Monday, Wednesday or Friday during the season.

Spectators watch a game during the 89th season of the St. Petersburg Half Century Club at North Shore Park in February. Past and present players, wives, children and grandchildren often attend.
Spectators watch a game during the 89th season of the St. Petersburg Half Century Club at North Shore Park in February. Past and present players, wives, children and grandchildren often attend. [ ARIELLE BADER | Special to the Times ]
Peter Beauregard, 72, of St. Petersburg pitches during a softball game of the St. Petersburg Half Century Club at North Shore Park in February. “I’ve been pitching for 40 years probably. It’s not easy,” said Beauregard. “I play to win and I want to win and if I don’t win I’m not happy but I’ll get over it quickly and I don’t take it home with me.”
Peter Beauregard, 72, of St. Petersburg pitches during a softball game of the St. Petersburg Half Century Club at North Shore Park in February. “I’ve been pitching for 40 years probably. It’s not easy,” said Beauregard. “I play to win and I want to win and if I don’t win I’m not happy but I’ll get over it quickly and I don’t take it home with me.”
Pitcher Peter Beauregard, 72, comforts Skip Yost, 72, after an accidental hit from a pitch. Yost has played for the club for 23 years and holds several club records. “When I get old, I’ll start playing golf," Yost said.
Pitcher Peter Beauregard, 72, comforts Skip Yost, 72, after an accidental hit from a pitch. Yost has played for the club for 23 years and holds several club records. “When I get old, I’ll start playing golf," Yost said.
Carl East, 76, of St. Petersburg swings at a ball while up at bat.
Carl East, 76, of St. Petersburg swings at a ball while up at bat.
Bob Brown, 58, of St. Petersburg high-fives a teammate on his run to home plate. Brown has been a member of the St. Petersburg Half Century Club since 2019 and serves as treasurer.
Bob Brown, 58, of St. Petersburg high-fives a teammate on his run to home plate. Brown has been a member of the St. Petersburg Half Century Club since 2019 and serves as treasurer.
Tim Brown, 57, of St. Petersburg warms up his swing before stepping up to hit. Brown, a retired detective from the St. Petersburg Police Department, has 107 hits this season.
Tim Brown, 57, of St. Petersburg warms up his swing before stepping up to hit. Brown, a retired detective from the St. Petersburg Police Department, has 107 hits this season.
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Fred Kopatich, 72, records the score during a game. Kopatich has been scorekeeping during games for the past six years, even at a Major League Baseball games. "It keeps you in the game, you know what’s going on.”
Fred Kopatich, 72, records the score during a game. Kopatich has been scorekeeping during games for the past six years, even at a Major League Baseball games. "It keeps you in the game, you know what’s going on.”
Players watch the game from the dugout. There are about 60 active players in the club, and many are snowbirds.
Players watch the game from the dugout. There are about 60 active players in the club, and many are snowbirds.
Carl East, 76, of St. Petersburg is helped off the field after getting hit in the face by a ball during a game.
Carl East, 76, of St. Petersburg is helped off the field after getting hit in the face by a ball during a game.
Pitcher Peter Beauregard, 72, of St. Petersburg fist-bumps players from the other team after his team’s win.
Pitcher Peter Beauregard, 72, of St. Petersburg fist-bumps players from the other team after his team’s win.
Tim Talbot, 62, of St. Petersburg feeds a biscuit to Bubba, whose owner plays in the league.
Tim Talbot, 62, of St. Petersburg feeds a biscuit to Bubba, whose owner plays in the league.
Second baseman Carl East, 76, of St. Petersburg removes his hat in the dugout in between innings. “I'd rather come out here and play this than go to a gym. I got fresh air and the whole nine yards,” said East. “All the guys get to come out and play after they retire. It’s a good thing to keep it going because once you stop it, you stop.” East is retired from a 33-year-long career in city and country recreation.
Second baseman Carl East, 76, of St. Petersburg removes his hat in the dugout in between innings. “I'd rather come out here and play this than go to a gym. I got fresh air and the whole nine yards,” said East. “All the guys get to come out and play after they retire. It’s a good thing to keep it going because once you stop it, you stop.” East is retired from a 33-year-long career in city and country recreation.
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