Cancer survivor joins softball team

Published 10:24 am Monday, October 28, 2013

Bainbridge resident Maston Griffin has been paying baseball since he was 18-years-old. Growing up in metro Atlanta gave him plenty of opportunity to find teams and play in leagues. Since moving to Bainbridge two years ago, he hasn’t found a men’s league that suits him.

But after joining a softball team started by Augusta attorney Terry Leiden, Griffin has not only gotten the chance to play with men his age, but he traveled to Utah to do it.

They’re also all cancer survivors.

Email newsletter signup

“We were from five states: Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia,” Griffin said about his team. “Terry Leiden got the idea for starting a cancer survivor’s team because there is an association in California that has a league for that.”

After being diagnosed with cancer 17 years ago, Leiden wrote a book about a group of five cancer survivors playing softball. His book became popular among Can-Sirs, a California organization that recruits cancer survivors to play softball.

After putting together his own team of cancer survivors, Leiden and company entered in the Huntsman senior games in St. George, Utah.

“I just had a type of skin cancer,” Griffin said. “I’m one of the lucky ones. Some of those guys had it rough.”

When Griffin talks to most folks about a senior softball league, they’ve never heard of one before. After he explains, they might be interested, but Griffin laments that there aren’t enough people in Bainbridge to put such a league together.

“You would have to have at least four teams to have a league out here at the complex,” Griffin said. “So that’s 60 men. I’m just not sure the Bainbridge area can support that.”

Despite the lack of a senior league, Griffin is looking for other local ways to enjoy the sport he loves.

“I’m trying to have an umpire clinic this year,” he said.