The 37th annual McQuade's Softball Tournament is back in Bismarck this weekend and one local third baseman has seen them all.
Dean Gesellchen has spent his summers on the diamond ever since he remember. Gesellchen says "They didn't have any other sport in the summer for us kids so when you were 13 you got to play softball. Once I hit the age of 13 I've been on the softball team, been playing ever since."
But the number 13 wasn't lucky for Gesellchen. The McQuade's softball tournament started in 1976 when he was 12. "They had a little rule in Goodrich that you had to be 13 before you could play, Gesellchen told KX Sports, "I was there, but I didn't get to play."
So the next year, when he was 13 and eligible to play, Gesellchen played and has been playing in the McQuade's Tournament ever since. "It kind a means a lot. I look back and I don't know how many guys can actually say that yet, that they have played in them all, so it kind of means something to me. It's something I want to keep trying to do as long as I can." Gesellchen said.
And according to the 49 year old, he has a few innings left, "I think I have a ton left yet. I can keep playing another 10, 12 years I hope. As long as I stay healthy."
But for Gesellchen, being a part of the game is more the winning and losing. "Softball isn't always about winning. It's to go out and have some fun. If you lose yeah you are a little upset, but afterwards you move on. There's stuff to do after softball. It's just great being here with all the fans, that's the fun part of it.
The tournament wraps up tomorrow afternoon.