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Age-defying softball player Artie Wachter's reason for staying in shape

Posted at 6:42 PM, May 28, 2024

ELOY, Arizona — At almost 92 years old, Artie Wachter isn't just the oldest player at Robson Ranch slow pitch softball, he's the most popular. And, his status seems legendary.

"Artie is the sweetest, kindest guy I know," said teammate and fried Brad Payne.

Artie Wachter's playing days began in the 1930s on the streets of Brooklyn, New York. He first made an impact in sports while stationed in the Air Force. Wachter smoothed relations in post World War II Germany by playing soccer with Bavarian locals.

"When we went there to play, the headline in the newspaper was, 'Dirty GI comes to Mach Schwaben.' I did score twice in that game," said Wachter.

When Wachter returned to the United States, Wachter played and coached soccer in Colorado before there were professional leagues. He met his wife, Dixie, who is 22 years younger.

"You ask me why I stay in shape, that will tell you right away," joked Wachter.

"He was the least chauvinistic person I ever met," said Dixe Wachter.

This day happense to be their 44th wedding anniversary.

Artie Wachter was also a longtime referee for FIFA. For his efforts in the sport, he was inducted into the United States Adult Soccer Association Hall of Fame.

"That was the ultimate," said Wachter.

Artie has written a book. It's called, "My remarkable life in sports." It's his journey through nine decades as sports, and mainly soccer, have evolved."

Late in this softball game, Artie gets a base hit to right field. It's tough to tell what's more impressive; his accomplishments in soccer, proving age is just a number, or the adulation of others.

"We all look up to him and just revere him," said Payne.

With more hits left in his bat, Artie will be back for next weekend's game.

"I plan to keep playing until they say, 'Adios Amigo,'" Wachter joked.