Todd Garretson is no stranger to hard work and dedication. He’s been competing in Greeley Recreation sports for over 30 years. He’s pretty much done it all – basketball (quit at age 55 when his knees couldn’t take it any more), hockey, volleyball, fast pitch softball and slow pitch, which he still plays today.
The City of Greeley’s adult softball league is one of the largest in the state. Garretson’s team plays roughly 150 games a year, in all three seasons: spring, summer and fall. Although they haven’t played much spring as of late, “it can be too cold” said Garretson. “We’ve played many tournaments in the snow during February and March.” They typically finish in the top of their league, often winning first or second place in tournaments.
Garretson moved to Greeley in 1983, when his folks opened a local sporting goods store, Garretson’s. They’ve supported the community with fundraising, as well as individual and team sponsorships throughout the years.
His softball team still has a few guys that have been playing together on the team as long as he has. Many actually umpire for the league. “It sure helps when there’s a controversial call. We have extensive knowledge of the rules. There’s a fine line with playing with other teams” stated Garretson. “You learn how to handle people’s attitudes when there’s a close call, and cut them some slack. The recreation leagues can be pretty competitive.”
He attributes his success to his ability to get along with people. He’s serious about the game, and has a competitive nature, but doesn’t let his ego get in the way with being a worthy teammate. His team is good about keeping each other in check, their confident in their abilities and try to keep a good attitude, so they don’t bring the team down. His guys stay in condition all year, lifting weights year round. “We start to practice 1-2 months before the season starts. It’s all about the hitting. We utilize local parks when the weather’s good; hit, practice throwing and shag balls.” Garretson mentioned “there’s a fine line between having fun and being athletic vs. being competitive and serious. You have to approach things different, know your roles and limitations, bringing your best attitude to the game.”
Personally, he’s glad he can still compete, he’ll never outgrow that need to find an outlet to be competitive. He’s grateful he can still contribute to the sport. He feels this has been an asset for his store too; it helps him relate to his customers and being an athlete, he knows what tools are needed. They don’t advertise much, but rather spend their money spreading good will and supporting the community. They always try to have certain items in stock and on hand for their customers.
Garretson’s team is looking forward to getting back to playing this year. Do to COVID-19 restrictions, they were only able to play the fall season last year. His team took 2nd place in the end of season tournament. They’re gearing up to play this year, and hopefully beat their record. “It’s all about having fun and enjoying the game,” said Garretson.