Carroll Gray senior softball team honors longtime scorekeeper, the late wife of manager John Myers

After Carroll Gray dispatched the Howard Shockers in the first game of a Baltimore Beltway Senior Softball League doubleheader on May 25, manager John Myers was a little confused as to why his players were calling a team meeting. Typically, the team used that time to relax, recharge and hydrate before the second game of the morning.

But this Wednesday was different. The Carroll Gray players gathered together and presented Myers with special jerseys for the team: Teal with black numbers and "Carroll" written in black script across the front. And on the front, near where someone's heart would be was a pink "P" with a small cross.


Almost exactly a month earlier, Myers' wife of 51 years, Peggy, died in a car accident in Westminster. She had served as Carroll Gray's scorekeeper for the past eight years while also working as the team's informal "social director," making sure that new team members and their wives joined the group seamlessly.

Every Wednesday, Carroll Gray wears the teal jerseys — Myers said he always thought his wife's favorite color was purple, but other team members thought it was blue, and with that color already taken in the league by Carroll Blue, they decided on teal — to honor Peggy. And when Myers is in the dugout at Carroll County Sports Complex fiddling with his lineup, he's not far from her, as a commemorative sign in the dugout reads, "In Memory of Peggy Myers, Beloved Scorekeeper for Carroll Gray Softball."

"These were all surprises. It's nice," Myers, 74, said Wednesday morning. "It's a nice honor that they loved her that much."

In the months after Peggy's death, the Baltimore Beltway Senior Softball League has provided a community of solace for Myers. Six different teams in the league sent flowers to her funeral, he said, and Ray Banks, a player for the Harford County team, wrote a eulogy entitled "The Definition of a Scorekeeper" for the funeral.

Banks also selected Myers to throw out one of the first pitches at the Cal Ripken World Series in Aberdeen next Thursday. Peggy will be honored while Myers and Carroll Gray are on the field, along with Myers' children, who are coming up from Virginia with their families.

"The whole league's a family," Myers said.

Myers, who grew up in Mayberry and lives in Westminster, joined the Baltimore Beltway Senior Softball League in 2006 as a 63-year-old after his neighbor, Carroll Hall of Famer Henry Lichtfuss, convinced him to come out for the team.

When the Carroll team was split into Blue and Gray a year later, Myers joined Carroll Gray where he's been ever since. A semipro baseball player in the South Penn League during his teens and early-20s, Myers found a home in the outfield with Carroll Gray and eventually became an assistant manager.

In 2010, he became the team's manager, succeeding Ray Owings, but a knee replacement and other knee injuries derailed his playing career and forced him into the dugout for good.

It's there where he takes pride in putting his players in the best position to win while savoring the time spent around his teammates and friends doing something he never thought he would be doing at this point in his life.

"I may manage for some time because it's a great bunch of people," Myers said. "I just enjoy the camaraderie."

"I don't think we figured we'd be out here playing softball or baseball or anything like that," he added. "I had no idea. You're in your 20s, do you think when you're 60 years old, you'll be playing sports? None of us thought [that]. Those days, when we were in our 20s, we didn't know any of this existed."

Myers has helped Carroll Gray turn in another successful season this summer. On Wednesday, the team swept its doubleheader against Carroll Blue with 11-9 and 17-2 victories. Entering the double-elimination postseason tournament, Carroll Gray is in third place in the "A" division with a 20-18 record. The squad trails only Howard (38-1) and Glen Burnie (22-16) in the standings.

During the playoffs, Myers knows Carroll Gray will be without one its biggest supporters and key off-field players. But he also knows that Peggy will be watching the rest of his softball career.


"She would have been proud of us today," Myers said. "She's up there cheering."