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Sarasota Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2022 2 months ago

Sarasota Athlete of the Week: Dan Martin

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The Sarasota Senior Softball Association member brought his A-game Sept. 7, reaching base four times in game one of a doubleheader.
by: Ryan Kohn Sports Editor

Dan Martin, 73, is a member of the Sarasota Senior Softball Association. He reached base four times in his team's 13-12 win Sept. 7 at 17th Street Park.

When did you start playing baseball/softball?

I started when I was 5 years old and played through high school in western Massachusetts. I'm a Boston Red Sox fan. I have always loved the game. In college, I decided my studies were more important than playing ball. I picked it back up when I turned 60. I found this league (the SSSA). Now I'm playing with all the young guys and trying to stay in shape. 

What is the appeal?

It's just enjoyable to play. I used to play golf a lot more when I first started back up, but golf turned out to be more frustrating. Softball isn't; it is more fun. 

What is your best skill?

Well, even though I somehow managed to get on base four times today, my value is in my defense. My team, we're in first place, and I believe that is because we play the best defense. It's the same on my Monday league team. Defense is so important in this league because some people can't play it (well). 

What is your preferred position?

I used to play the outfield all the time. But about three years ago I started having trouble seeing the ball. I needed cataract surgery. They moved me to the infield in the meantime and I adapted pretty well to that. Now that I have had the surgery, I feel like I can play anywhere. My vision is much better. 

What is your favorite softball memory?

Playing tournament ball was always a blast. I traveled the state on the weekends playing in what is called Half Century Softball. I played a lot of good teams and met a lot of people. The quality of the games is good, with teams from Miami and Orlando and Tampa. I miss it some, but the quality of play in this league is good, too. 

What are your hobbies?

I golf some, like I said. I watch the Red Sox. I even wake up in the morning and look at the box scores of Boston's affiliate teams to see how they did the night before. I keep track of the stats of their top prospects. I also play a lot of cards, things like poker or Buraco, which is a South American game. 

What is the best advice you could give to a prospective player?

Come in and have fun. That, and stretch. I spend a lot of time before games at home stretching. If you ever watched Ichiro (Suzuki) when he played, he was always stretching in the outfield, and he rarely got injured. I don't think that's a coincidence. 

Finish this sentence: Dan Martin is …

Competitive. 

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I’m the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. I was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. My biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. My strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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