GLENS FALLS — If you’ve driven past Crandall Park on a Wednesday evening this summer, you may have noticed something that was missing last year.
The softball fields are back in action. After a one-year absence, the Glens Falls recreation softball league resumed this summer with six teams. There are plans to expand the program in the future.
The revival has Glens Falls bucking a national trend of gradually decreasing numbers in recreation softball. The city got back on track when league directors Edward Corcoran and Ken Quimby, who are both long-time players, spent the off-season rounding up support.
Corcoran said the two got together for lunch in February and talked about how they missed playing and decided to try to recruit players and teams. They went around to bars, restaurants, clubs and just about anyplace they could find potential athletes.
“We called them, left messages, emailed them flyers, spoke to them, everything,” Corcoran said. “We spent a lot of time out there, going out and meeting people in person, getting leads. It was almost like a sales job.”
In 2018, the league didn’t run because it had only three teams. Quimby and Corcoran lined up six teams and 160 players, with players and teams from Glens Falls as well as the surrounding area.
The league began May 8 and is currently in playoffs that run through Aug. 28.
Many localities in the United States have seen a decline in adult softball participation in recent years. Hudson Falls no longer has a league. Queensbury, which has the most robust program in the area, had 37 teams this year compared to 48 five years ago.
“And 20 years ago we would turn teams away,” league director Steve Lovering said in an email.
Corcoran said he and Quimby are hoping to grow the Glens Falls league to 10 teams. They would also like to have co-ed and women’s leagues and a fall league.
The league came back just as Glens Falls finished upgrading the second of its two softball diamonds at Crandall Park.