The Washington Rutgers alumni softball team

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The Washington, D.C.-based Rutgers alumni softball team, which was founded six years ago, will take on alumni teams from Penn State, the University of Maryland, and Duke, among other rivals, this summer.

It was a scorcher during the summer of 2008, and alumni from universities nationwide packed the softball fields of Washington, D.C., for some red-hot action, taking part in the Capital Alumni Softball League.

The University of Georgia’s alumni team, one of the league’s top competitors, was squaring off against a fledgling Rutgers alumni squad. Everyone expected Georgia to trounce Rutgers, but then something unexpected happened: Rutgers pulled into the lead and went on to win.

Word quickly spread that afternoon that the Scarlet Knights alumni were beating one of the league’s top-seeded teams. Players from other alumni squads began to fill the sidelines, cheering as they watched Rutgers defeat Georgia.

Jay Patel has coached the D.C.-based Rutgers alumni softball team since he founded it six years ago, and he still vividly remembers that Georgia matchup from his squad’s first year in the league. This season, the Rutgers team takes on alumni groups from Penn State, the University of Maryland, and Duke, among others. The Capital Alumni Network, the league sponsor, comprises 250 chapters and represents more than one million university alumni living in the metro area.

Teams, made up of seven men and three women, play 14 regular season games from April to July, followed by one of the region’s largest tournaments in August. Patel RC’98 says it’s a friendly competition and a great way to meet new people. “I’m a software engineer,” he says. “I wouldn’t normally engage with people who work on the Hill or as lawyers or lobbyists.”

Patel loves seeing Rutgers alumni coming out to join the team, whether it’s for a single game, the entire season, or anything in between. “My biggest priority,” he says, “is just to make sure everyone has a great time.”

For further information about the team, email patelj27b@gmail.com or visit dcalum.org.