POPS (Past Our Prime Softball) was formed as a men’s adult league in 1998 by Dr. Keith Pastuch, who was a scholarship college baseball player and played at high levels of softball all over the South Shore of LI. As a doctor specializing in athletic injuries, he found himself treating many men in their 40’s, 50’s & 60’s who were getting hurt playing in various softball leagues. He noted that most of the injuries were caused by older players trying to keep up with players much younger. The idea was born, and the league started with a bunch of friends who recently turned 40 years old wanting to continue to play competitive softball - but not against 20-something year olds or against players the same age as their kids. What started as 6 teams playing on weeknights after work rapidly attracted more and more players and soon enough, POPS 40 & Over took off. After running smoothly for a number of years, POPS established a 50 & Over league. Both leagues continued to grow and POPS now has over 36 teams with more than 600 players.
POPS is widely recognized as one of the best run, premier men's softball leagues on Long Island.
We play games on some of the finest fields in Nassau County, including Baldwin Park, Cow Meadow Park, Eisenhower Park and Shell Creek Park, as well as on fields of some high schools including JFK HS and our "home field" at Oceanside HS. We use Clincher Gold softballs, high arc pitching of 6-10 feet, and special rules designed to prevent injuries (see POPS Rules on our website). In this league everyone hits (continuous batting) and everyone plays the field if they want to. POPS’ one application fee covers everything, including uniforms, umpires, balls, bases, permits, fields – players just show up and have a good time.
POPS Summer Ball season has 3 divisions in the 40 & Over league, and 3 divisions in the 50 & Over league. Each league has an American division (for the highest performing teams), a National division (for teams performing just below the highest level), and a Central division (for newer and all other teams). The 40 & Over league games are played Mondays through Wednesdays, while the 50 & Over league games are played on Thursdays and some Fridays. The season begins in the first week of May, with Championships held in late August. ASA umpires are provided, and at least one POPS Director is at all games to resolve any misunderstandings of rules or other issues.
Every team makes the playoffs, which utilize a double elimination format. Standings are kept throughout the season in each division to determine positions for the playoffs.
POPS Fall Ball season, which plays from September through October, has two divisions in the 40 & Over league (which plays Mondays and Tuesdays), a 60 & Over league (which plays on Wednesdays), and a Father & Son league (which plays on Thursdays).
All divisions in both the Summer and Fall seasons have their own Champion, and players on the championship teams receive awards (such as jackets or sweatshirts), and each manager receives the coveted “Pastuch Diamond” (a beautiful, engraved crystal trophy). Every year we celebrate the close of POPS’ Summer season with the “End of the year Dinner” - a great night of dinner, drinks and awards presentations at Oceanside Jewish Center, catered by Robert Ian Caterers. Over 175 people attend each year. (POPS pays for players on all division Champion teams; others pay a nominal fee.)
Our popular All-Star games are played at the end of the Summer season. Fair teams are chosen by POPS Directors from the 40 & Over and 50 & Over league All-Stars. Each All-Star player receives a shirt to commemorate the day. Introduction of players, game commentary, and a huge turnout highlight the night. In conjunction with the All-Star games is the POPS Charity game, which helps raise funds for "Families in Need." Players who sign up to play in this fun-filled game are asked to make a donation. All players and fans enjoy a concession stand, with all proceeds donated. POPS has been able to do some amazing things with the money raised. For example, POPS gave out over $4,000 to families in local communities affected by Superstorm Sandy.
We also make sure POPS is a part of the communities we play ball in. We give out scholarships to children of our players who are graduating high school seniors and to the high schools whose fields we play on.
POPS’ philosophy is simple – to provide a safe, friendly, and fun environment to play competitive softball. POPS is about more than just playing softball – it’s also about camaraderie. Countless friendships have been made among players from all teams. Whining is discouraged, and inappropriate behavior is not tolerated – it has no place in POPS. Our 15-member Board of Directors, under the leadership of Commissioner Keith Pastuch, ensures that the league stays on course.
For more information about POPS, including how to become part of the league (either as an individual or as an entire team), please contact Keith “Commish” Pastuch at firstname.lastname@example.org.