Softball Player Profile: Charlie Alley

Larry Wolfe

Sixty-one years and counting! That’s how many consecutive years Charles “Charlie” Alley has been playing on organized softball teams, some fast pitch early on, but mostly slow pitch teams. From the fields of North Dakota as a teenager to the Field of Dreams in Sun Lakes as a septuagenarian, Charlie’s been playing the game he loves. And he’s not slowing down. In fact, he’s improving. Last year, Charlie finished 12th in batting in our Lakes Division, but he’s moved up to number 4, hitting a robust .701 in the recently completed Fall Season. He was also tied for the Division lead in triples, which is not too surprising considering that he was the State of North Dakota record-holder in the 100-meter sprint races when he was in his 50s. Besides playing in our league, Charlie is a current member of the 75+ Sun City Sidewinders tournament team. Previously, in 2020, he was a member of the national champion Arizona Outlaws team.

A native of Glenfield, N.D., Charlie graduated from Glenfield High where he was on the basketball, football, and track teams. His high school didn’t have a baseball team, but he played Babe Ruth ball in the summers. Charlie then earned his undergraduate degree in education from Valley City Teachers College before earning a master’s degree in education from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

As you might have guessed, he then began a career in education, first as an elementary school teacher, then later as an elementary school principal. After 17 years, Charlie decided to do something different and entered the field of finance. During his second career, he worked as a financial advisor at Piper Jaffray, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley. His finance career was spent entirely in the City of Fargo, N.D.

Charlie was married for over 30 years and has a son, Gregory, living in Greenville, S.C., and a daughter, Bethany, who resides in Minneapolis. There are also two granddaughters in Minnesota. He visited them right before Christmas and was lucky to escape the wintry north before getting snowed in!

He does have interests in addition to softball. Charlie’s an avid golfer who can be found on the links at SunBird, and he loves to dance, primarily western dances like the two-step (makes my knees hurt just thinking about that!). One of his favorite dance venues is The Stillery in downtown Chandler. Poker Night at SunBird is another interest.

If that’s not enough, Charlie has a small business that buys and sells used golf carts. He cleans up and repairs used carts and then resells them. He says it helps “keep him busy”!

Charlie’s plans are to keep his consecutive seasons streak going. Why not 70+ years? After all, there’s not a sweeter sound than “Play Ball!”