Claremont, Maiden hit the field

Claremont and Maiden officials yelled “batter up” on Tuesday to kick off an inaugural event aimed at increasing fellowship between the municipalities.

More than 40 staff members and elected officials played in the first annual Claremont v. Maiden softball game that night in an event officials say is less about competition and more about fun.

The game stemmed from a small idea between the municipal managers, but it grew to something bigger, said Maiden Town Manager Todd Herms.

“Back in the summer, (Claremont City Manager Doug Barrick) and I were talking about budgets and how we wish we could do more for our employees,” Herms said. “Somehow during that conversation we came up with the idea of having an employee softball game and family night after the game.”

Word spread quickly about the game, and staff members from each municipality’s town hall, public works department, police department and fire department started signing up. Herms and Barrick said elected officials also put their names on their teams' rosters.

By game time on Tuesday, each team had about 20 people signed up to play.

“It was all in good fun. Our employees had a blast,” Barrick said. “For us, it was just a chance for our employees to fellowship with each other and be a team. A lot of them work with each other and don’t get a chance to talk and intermingle, and that was great for us.”

Herms agreed.

“Everyone was excited about playing,” Herms said. “We had groups of people meeting after work to hit around and play catch; they are even talking about continuing getting together maybe once a week to ‘practice’ because they had such a good time.”

When all was said and done, Maiden won the game. But Herms said that fact is null compared to the relationships and bonding that occurred.

“It really was not about who won and who lost. It was more about our employees having a good time and getting away from work for a while for a little fun,” Herms said. “This year, Maiden edged it out over Claremont, so I expect next time Claremont will be looking to get the ‘W.’”

After the game, employees and their families went to a picnic shelter to eat dinner, Herms said.

Barrick said Claremont’s players had a great time and said they are looking forward to the future.

“We are going to do it on an annual basis around the first week of October,” Barrick said. “There is even talk about having another game in the spring.”