Lynn ALford & His Softball Team Prove That Age Doesn’t Matter to Win
Memphis, Tenn.- What do 18 men have in common who are over the age of 50 and whose professions range from civil engineer, doctor and business owner to teacher, utility worker and computer programmer? It’s one word – softball.
For Cordova resident Lynn C. Alford, the love of softball began at age 8 and has stayed with him to this day at age 52. And what an exhilarating moment for Alford and his team, the Memphis Po-Men, to have won the American Softball Association’s (ASA) Masters (50 & over) Fast Pitch National Softball Tournament in Texas this past July.
His team tasted victory at this same tournament last year, placing third.
“Our coach, James Pope, has been coaching for 26 years and has made 18 trips to national tournaments, with this tournament being his first championship,” said Alford who is vice president and an agent of Crye-Leike Insurance Agency, Inc. in Memphis. The team’s name, Memphis Po-Men, was derived from part of the coach’s name, Pope, and from the fact that their team doesn’t have any sponsors.
Memphis Po-Men is in the Open Fast Pitch Division of the Memphis Park Commission. As a participant in an open league, their team, which is comprised of men all over 45 years of age, plays against teams with much younger players. The Po-Men began competing in the over 40 nationals years ago and as the team age progressed, they advanced to older age brackets, the over 45 nationals and the over 50 nationals, when the competition became an ASA sanctioned event several years ago.
Verifying your age is required, said Alford. “Every team member has to show proof of age at the tournaments.”
The regime to be on a softball team does not come easy, even at age 45 or older. Practice for the Memphis Po-Men starts in late March or early April with actual league games beginning in late April. The league continues through mid-August with twice a week games. A final tournament, the Over 45 National Tournament will be held in September in Alabama.
Alford hasn’t missed a baseball or softball season for 44 years. But, Alford says his family understands. “My wife, Susie, is my biggest fan,” said Alford. “She has been watching me play since 1968 when we began dating. My son, Blake played baseball in high school, so he understands my passion for the sport. My wife and son both understand that sports is part of me and part of who I am.”
Alford’s track record speaks for itself why he still continues to play. He was named All-Memphis his junior and senior year while playing at Trezevant High School. He was starting 2nd baseman for Bill Speros American Legion baseball in 1968 when they won the World Series in Manchester, NH. Baseball earned Alford a college scholarship to Columbia State Community College in Columbia, Tenn. where he earned All-Conference and All-Eastern District his freshman and sophomore years. His batting average was .400 and his team finished third in the Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, CO. Alford finished his college playing days at then Memphis State University where he was twice named All Missouri Valley Conference as lead-off hitter, batting over .300. He later coached at Trezevant High School, where he led the team to two district championships in 1978 and 1979. Alford was inducted into the Memphis Amateur Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. He has earned All-American honors in 1997, 1998 in the 0ver 45 Fast Pitch Nationals and in 2003 for the Over 50 Fast Pitch Nationals.
Out of all the years Alford has played the game, he discovered life’s greatest pleasures. “First, to have a son, Blake, who appreciated the game, and to have been able to play both with and against him in softball.”
Alford has served the insurance needs of residential and business owners in Shelby, Fayette and Tipton counties for the past 25 years. As a certified professional insurance agent, he specializes in life, health and financial services as well as property & casualty insurance. Alford also holds the Life Underwriters Training Council designation (LUTCF). He is a member of Insurors of Tennessee and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.
Within his community, Alford is an agency representative for Youth Villages and has served as past president of both the Kiwanis Club of Cordova and the M Club, the University of Memphis’ Lettermen Club. He was inducted into the Memphis Park Commission’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.
Crye-Leike Insurance Agency, Inc. is an independent and full service insurance center with an experienced staff of insurance professionals who serve the insurance needs of more than 5,000 families and over 300 business concerns in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. It offers a wide range of insurance services and products, representing a variety of insurance companies that specialize in property and casualty insurance as well as life and health.
Crye-Leike Insurance Agency Inc. is a division of Crye-Leike (www.crye-leike.com), a full service real estate company for 27 years. Crye-Leike is the nation’s 10th largest real estate company and the largest serving Tennessee and the Mid-South.
Crye-Leike Insurance Agency is headquartered at 6525 Quail Hollow in Memphis, Tenn. To schedule a comprehensive insurance review, contact its Memphis office toll free at (877) 797-7210.