McALESTER — A softball player spending a couple hours in the sun may find herself drenched in sweat. A baseball player sliding into a base may find himself covered in dirt.
Getting messy is an escapable part of competitive sports, but getting slimed? That was an honor reserved for baseball and softball players at the McAlester Boys and Girls Club baseball and softball awards ceremony Tuesday and Wednesday at The King’s House in McAlester.
Club director Terry Green said this was the first sports season to end with an awards ceremony of any sort. Green, who spent 19 years with the Boys and Girls Club until leaving in 2007 and returning last year, called the two-day ceremony “definitely” a success.
“Right now we’re looking at maybe doing all of our sports like that,” Green said Thursday.
The ceremony awarded trophies to all 52 teams that played for the Boys and Girls Club this past season. Those teams were broken up into eight leagues:
• Coed T-ball, ages 3-4
• Coach-pitch coed baseball, 5-6
• Coach-pitch boys’ baseball, 7-8
• Coach-pitch girls’ softball, 7-8
• Kid-pitch boys’ baseball, 9-10
• Kid-pitch girls’ softball, 9-10
• Kid-pitch boys’ baseball, 11-13
• Kid-pitch girls’ softball, 11-13
The T-ball and softball teams were honored Tuesday; the 5-6 age group and older baseball teams were honored Wednesday. All told, Green said approximately 560 kids played baseball or softball.
“From last year, we’re up about 160 kids,” Green said.
“What we tried to do was split them up evenly.”
The leagues were popular enough, Green said, that independent youth teams in the area wanted to join and had to be turned away.
The ceremony debuted the King’s House slime machine, a rectangular-shaped homemade contraption capable of squirting slime out of nozzles along its sides and through showerheads installed at the top. After each team’s players received their trophies, they were brought to a platform next to the machine and then doused in the bright green mixture.