79-year-old Sweetwater softball player brings more to the game than just a good swing

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SWEETWATER,Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A Sweetwater softball team is getting ready to hit the field for the first time in a year, after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of their season.

But no one is more excited to step up to the plate than 79-year-old Wayne Armstrong.

“It makes me feel good inside, my arms and my legs,” said Armstrong.

Armstrong has played in the Sweetwater First Baptist Church league for six years.

“He said, ‘Can anybody play softball?’ and we said, ‘Well, yes,’ and he said, ‘Well, I want to play,’ and we said, ‘Do you got a glove?’ and he said, ‘yes,'” said Armstrong’s teammate Tique Hamilton.

“He had the full gear, baseball pants, baseball gloves and I thought, ‘Oh, this is a ball player right here,” said teammate Eli Espinoza.

Armstrong has special needs, but he says that wouldn’t stop him from taking the field.

“He plays out in the outfield every game and then he gets to bat,” said Hamilton.

More important than a base hit or a double play to Armstrong, is being part of the team.

“To see him play the game, that’s the way it’s supposed to be played,” said Espinoza. “When you see him run the bases and he has a big smile on his face, the whole world stops and you know that he’s just free out there.”

“It’s a blessing to me, it’s really down in my heart. It’s a blessing to be with all my friends,” said Armstrong.

At the end of each game, Armstrong takes the field one last time to hit a few home runs, living up to his nickname “Walk Off Wayne.”

The team will have a special game Saturday, Oct. 17 at 5 p.m. at Newman Park in Sweetwater.


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