Josh Eidem

River Falls Fighting Fish player/manager Josh Eidem said there’s a lot of great places to grow up, and one of them is the ballpark. Bob Burrows / Star-Observer photo

Name: Josh Eidem

Age: 40

How long have you been playing town ball?

Since 2000. So this would be my 22nd year.

What do you love most about town ball?

I think part of it is that competitiveness. You can compete out here a lot different than you can compete in the office. So it fills that, but as you get older, you get into some different roles on the team in terms of mentorship, which is a big deal. For us it's become a family affair. My wife likes coming to games, and the kids love playing around out here and playing catch with dad. There's lots of good places to grow up, and one of them is the ballpark. So you just get into different stages. And right now, being one of the oldest guys, there’s a lot of fun in that. It's just different than it was when I was 20.

Do you have a favorite town ball memory?

I think for me, more than favorite plays, you just remember all the friendships that you've made, not only with your teammates, but the competitive relationships that you've made over the years with different guys who have played a long time. Where you're tough as nails on the field, and then happy to share a conversation with them off the field. So I think my memories will always be just of the people. And it's different because it's local. You run into the guys at the grocery store, and your parents together on a youth team and you're coaching together. So for me, it's not specific games, it's just the great people that I've had the chance to be around.

What do you do in the real world?

I’m an assistant principal at Woodbury Middle School. So kind of a lot like here.

How much longer do you see yourself playing?

I think everybody says, ‘Oh, as long as my body will do it.’ Well my body stopped doing it 10 years ago. So it's really year to year. As long as my kids are still having fun coming here, and I'm still being helpful and I’m not holding the team back, we'll just keep going.

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