Don Bustle is 79 years young, and he's driven a bus for 58 of them come July. For the last eight years he's ferried the Tennessee softball team to and from each of their games, including the 2012 Women's College World Series at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
He missed a few games this season after a knee replacement surgery, but he wasn't going to miss their trip to the WCWS, especially when the Lady Vols asked for him by name. The last year Bustle bussed the team during the WCWS was 2010, when it finished third. He's hoping for a bit better performance this season.
Why are you so attached to this team?
It's a good group to drive for. The girls, they're awesome. They're pleasant to be around. They keep the bus clean. They're just good people to haul and that I like to drive for. And I love girls' softball.
Why do you like women's softball?
I just got interested in it about nine years ago. The athleticism that they have and the dedication that they put into it. They just seem to go about their jobs, playing softball a lot more enthusiastically than men playing baseball to me.
You like the culture of the team?
Yeah, the girls are just really nice and pleasant to talk to. I don't ever hear any bickering amongst them or anything like that. They all get along good, kind of like a big family. Our coaches are so pleasant, and they're good to me. I just enjoy driving for them.
Do you know why this team keeps asking for you to drive it to and from games?
I don't know. Maybe it's because I like softball and I get along with the girls. I love those girls just like they're my granddaughters. Most of them, I think, figure me as a grandpa figure.