PARKER, Colo. — A Colorado women's softball team may be the oldest in the country. The Colorado Peaches compete in the Huntsman World Senior Games every year. This year they were the only team in the 80 and over division.
"It’s just the realization that our spirit never ages. We have this amazing essence of who we are, of who we all are, and we can forget that and I think many people do," Peaches infielder Maggie McCloskey said.
At 91 years old, Maggie has been the glue of the team for that last couple of decades.
"She is joyful, she tries her best. You couldn’t ask for a nicer teammate," one of her teammates said just before their last game of the season.
"She just never quits. She’s always up, she’s just delightful to be around, she’s enthusiastic, plays her heart out," another added.
Maggie McCloskey has been playing softball before women's organized sports came to be, but as she aged her focus changed.
"I was 11 years old when I first met the Sisters of Loretto," she explained. "I was kind of a quiet child but had a lot of influence on people, and the nuns kept telling me I was a leader and I didn’t know what that meant."
Through the years, Maggie discovered what that meant and went on to become a vowed member for 15 years. She met her future husband, Don, at that time as well.
"Don was a priest at that time. I was a nun," she explained. "But I didn’t leave to get married. I left because that life was complete for me and it looked like there was nothing else.
"We have two children and five grandchildren now," she added. "The best of two lives."
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Maggie's husband Don may only be found in photo albums now but his death reminded her how crucial every relationship is no matter the age. The Colorado Peaches gives her that opportunity to keep making new friends.
"That’s what really inspires me to continue this work. It is my purpose, it is that, that giving older women the opportunity to experience," she said. "You know in softball terms I'm rounding third base right now and I'm on my way home but I'm not stopping."
Just because life is slowing down doesn't mean its over. In a team filled with players pushing 90 the Colorado Peaches continue to compete.
"She really is our leader and we really just admire and feel so lucky to be here and to be able to play with her," her teammate said.
"I don’t know what we’d do without her," another added.
For these athletes, life's game may be a little more challenging to play but with teammates like Maggie by their side, friendship will always win.
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