Gamer for the ages

Larry Wolfe

Billy Kee may have passed the “three-quarter century mark,” but he hasn’t lost his zest for the softball diamond. For more than 60 years, he’s found the fountain of youth while playing softball. “I don’t feel like I’m 75,” he says. “I can still play with the best of them.” And play with them he does. Billy is the second oldest of the 55 players in our Sun Division where most of the “youngsters” are in their 50s and 60s.

Kee retired from APS over 16 years ago but has never thought of retiring from softball. He started playing senior softball at age 50 when he was first eligible. Over the years, he’s played in hundreds of tournaments throughout the Southwest and West Coast. He’s played on six different world championship squads and has earned numerous individual awards as well. For over 30 years, he “owned” and managed his own team that played all over the Southwestern United States.

In addition to playing twice a week in our competitive Sun Division, he’s a member of a “75 and Over” travel team, the Sun City Sidewinders. That team plays in a two- to three-day tournament nearly every month. He helped that team win a major tournament in Phoenix just this past November. “It’s easy to get on a 75+ team,” he said, “because there’s not that many of us in that age group!”

“If you can still run pretty well, you’ll be in the outfield in senior softball,” he said, laughing. “There are lots of guys still playing who’ve had knee and hip replacements. It’s amazing. They just don’t give up and many come back from those operations even better than before! Knee replacements are kind of like the Tommy John surgery of senior softball.”

Billy himself hasn’t had any major operations. He did recently have a painful bone spur, but he played right through that. “I’m lucky I still have all of my own parts,” he chuckled. “If I can stay healthy, I’d like to play another 10 years. I’ve already had some 80+ teams asking if I’d play for them when I reach that milestone. Heck yeah, I will!”