Being a baseball player is simple. You show up to the field and play. Yet, the true ingredients of a spring baseball game are mixed together in the dead of winter. In early January, the Yawkey Baseball League of Boston held their initial winter meetings, and I got a sneak peek inside.
I didn’t want to do it again. I could have given you a hundred reasons why. It’s hard to raise money from a charity baseball game. The novelty of playing a marathon game wears off. It’s tiring to play two straight days of baseball. But people kept pushing to play. And so we did it. Again.
Many amateur ballplayers have absolutely no idea what national affiliation means, and many others don’t even know if their league has it. Yet, about one-third of the 69 amateur adult baseball leagues in New England are affiliated nationally – 25 of them, to be exact.
It’s just quite possible that Little League is more for the parents than for the kids. The tryout and draft are the real deal, and coaches are there to get a competitive advantage to win during the upcoming season – even they’re only doing it for the kids.
Amateur baseball players keep the game alive while serving as Army specialist in Middle East. Kevin Bell (center) recruited fellow New Englanders and members of his 530th Engineer Detachment, including (from left) Joey Blais, Rusty Chesanek, Chris Elliott and Mike Bellizzi, to play ball.