Adult softball returning to Miss-Lou after decade absence

Published 12:35 am Thursday, February 4, 2010

NATCHEZ — After more than a decade of absence from the Natchez scene, adult softball is on the verge of returning.

Don Butler, who runs an adult softball league in Vidalia, said he’s already gotten several prospective teams lined up for a vision he had this past summer.

“Me and some other people, we got to talking over the summer and said, why not get a bunch of guys together and play ball in the spring and summer,” Butler said. “It will be called the Natchez Adult Softball League.”

And the plan has already been met with help from the Adams County Board of Supervisors, he added.

“(Board President) Henry Watts said he’s going to give us what we need — dirt, bases and everything else,” Butler said.

“We plan to use the old Kingston school field. There’s nothing around here for us, because the school board took away our field 10 years ago. It was behind Rite Aid (on Seargent Prentiss Drive), and we used to play co-ed softball on it. The school board took it away because they bought the property, and they were supposed to give us a new one, but never did.”

In the meantime, Butler has been helping out with a Vidalia adult softball league that the Natchez one will be based off of, he said.

“I started a team three years ago in Vidalia, and last year, we won the city championship. They’re building a new recreational complex, and from what I heard, they’re planning to charge $100 a night for its use. I can’t do that, which is why I got to thinking about starting one in Natchez.”

Butler said he plans to charge $200 per team, and set up the league to have a president, vice president and treasurer. He also said the league will have board members.

“We’ll pick those members from a list of all the coaches in the league,” Butler said.

The final product will have both a spring league (March-May) and a summer league (June-August). This year, Butler said he plans on doing a spring league only in Natchez, and keep the summer league in Vidalia.

“After that, we’ll probably just drop everything in Vidalia and play here,” he said.

Interest in the new league is already pretty high, Butler said.

“I know we have four teams in line right now. We’d like to build the field up and get a concession stand out there. If we can get good enough participation, I’d like to donate the concession money to charity.

“I’m not interested in getting money for myself — I want this league to succeed. I want to get young men and women off the streets and onto the field.”

He might be interested in starting his own team, however, and had a warning to potential teammates.

“I can still pitch a little bit,” Butler said. “I struck out around 30 people this past time around. I have a defibrillator in my chest, so I’m not here to play around. I’m intense, and I’m not afraid to kick anyone off the team.”