Aaron Grife may play softball, but he asks hardball questions.
"Spokane is steeped in a good softball tradition. We need to revive it," he says. "The real question is, why don't you play?"
This year, Spokane Parks' softball league was bigger than ever, with a whopping 108 teams in its seven-week spring season.
"I think the number pingwise is coming from a millennial audience," recreation coordinator Carissa Ware says. "We also are getting an uptick through seniors."
Often, entire teams join the league for the first time.
"We wanted to get our church and school together," principal Jacob Biebert of the all-new St. Matthew Lutheran School Mighty Timbers says. "It was a great way to get to know each other."
The abundance of teams has changed the league in some ways.
"It has been different. There's not enough fields to house us for the earlier games," player Matt Deakins says.
Deakins is playing his second season as part of Nerd Herd, a team made up of scientists working for Jubilant HollisterStier, a pharmaceutical company. So far, the team's score sheet is as sterile as a laboratory.
"We haven't won a game yet," player Todd Lewis says.
For those who want to join, the league has nine different levels for all ages and skill levels (single sex or co-ed) and three seven-week seasons. People can sign up teams for $750 for spring, summer or fall sessions on my.spokanecity.org/recreation/sports/softball/. If you don't have a team, you can sign up as a free agent and Spokane Parks will provide you with a team.
Spokane County Parks and Recreation
• Fall, spring and summer I and II sessions
• Spokane Valley and North Spokane locations
Coeur d'Alene Recreation Department
• Fall and spring/summer sessions
• Coeur d'Alene, Idaho