Still in his prime

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Athletes of the Month

August 9, 2019 - 4:45 PM

David Heard poses outside the Iola Register Tuesday afternoon. Depite advancing years, Heard still has a passion for playing ball, and makes a trip once a week to Kansas City for senior slow-pitch softball games. REGISTER/ERICK MITCHELL

For Major League Baseball stars, playing into their 40s is a luxury. Compare that to Iola native David Heard, who at age 76 is still a competitive force.

Heard competes for the Midwest Driving School in a 75-and-older senior slow-pitch softball league. He travels once a week to Kansas City for a doubleheader along with tournaments elsewhere. This isn?t a hobby Heard picked up in his later years, but a love for a game that started long ago.

Heard?s passion on the ballfield began as a youth. He played Pony League ball at Bassett Park, now the site of Gates Manufacturing. At that time in Iola, high school baseball didn?t exist with the only option to continue the sport with the American Legion. Although Heard loved  baseball, he needed a summer job.

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