Editorial: 10 Years and Going Strong
Before the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League even existed, the Hamptons Whalers brought high-quality baseball to Sag Harbor. That was 2008 and games at Mashashimuet Park were free then, and they are free now, even as the league gets set to kick off its 10th season on Friday, now with seven teams as opposed to one, and a roster of past, and likely future, Major League Baseball players.
But it’s not all fun and games for organizers of the league, many of who spend much of the year searching the country for players, and then scouring our communities for housing. Imagine for a minute how hard it is for seasonal workers to find affordable housing for the months of June and July. Now multiply that effort by approximately 30 players and two or three coaches per team (that’s upwards of 230 people) with no available funds to pay rent, and you can imagine the incredible uphill climb involved, season after season, for the last decade.
Here in Sag Harbor we have co-general managers Sandi Kruel and Tom Gleeson to thank for their efforts, and, of course, the host families who over the years have opened their homes and hearts to these young ballplayers.
And speaking of young ballplayers, should you or anyone you know have a Little Leaguer at home who loves the game of baseball, then bring them down to Mashashimuet Park on Sunday at 5 p.m. for the home opener of the Sag Harbor Whalers. Their smiles as they press their bodies against the metal fences to watch big time baseball talent will tell you everything you need to know about what all the effort has been about.