Jump in the wayback machine with me for a minute. Slide back about 6 years. I was living in Philadelphia and working out in West Chester, PA. I had been out of working in sports for a red hot second, and was itching to get back into sportsball somehow. I had also recently lost a friend to a car accident (miss you, Nelson). He had been in the middle of releasing his own tabletop game (which was sinisterly fun to play). Losing my friend Nelson put me in a “seize the fucking day” moment and I set to task in doing a thing I had long dreamed of. Launching a semi-pro football club. I was basically on my own to put it together. But pretty rapidly I had found myself a coaching staff (shout out to Coach Ezra, king of the no-kick offense), a home field & stadium partner with Cheyney University, a potential radio broadcast partner, a game day food vendor, a partnership with an equipment company that specializes in minimizing head impact damage, and a WFL/USFL Alumni Night with Vince Papale. We did a lightly attended press event, and there are a few interviews in local West Chester press regarding the team.
Our first tryout netted enough players that we were able to begin practices. But my strategy of promoting the team as a “minor league” football team, I think intimidated most of our potential player base from actually coming out to play. Shortly after that, I lost my job, and without that constant income in order to supplement the MANY budget shortfalls, I had to shut it down before we played our first game.
Now, six years later, I no longer live in Philly or work in West Chester. But I still have the dream of owning and running a sports team (and winning championships). I now live on the South Coast in Massachusetts and one of the beautiful things about New England, besides the overwhelming number of bodies of water, the seafood and the weather, is the abundance of baseball teams. Most people think of the Boston Red Sox. But there is so much more for a baseball person up here. Obviously the (now) Wooster Red Sox, and the Hartford YardGoats. But less obvious are the Summer College showcase leagues. Three of them based in Massachusetts. The long storied Cape Cod League, the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, and the league founded because a team couldn’t get into the Futures; the New England College Baseball League (though I may have that story the wrong way around).
What a lot of people aren’t aware of is the adult amateur baseball scene here in the Bay State. The premier adult amateur baseball league in Massachusetts is the Cranberry League. Established in 1960, for the last twenty years the league, and New England men’s league baseball, has been dominated by the Braintree White Sox. As soon as I learned about the Cranberry League, and the White Sox, I knew that I wanted to win championships in the league. I want to dethrone the White Sox.
Fortunately for me, this time around I have help. I’ve enlisted two good friends of mine, one a former high school baseball player and the other a former intern with the Lowell Spinners. And I have put much more time, thought and energy into building for us an amateur baseball club.
We have just about a year to get the team ready to put on the field, and we have a good roadmap to opening day. We have the financing in place that we believe will enough to put the team online, operational and competitive. We have a field we want to use for our home games, and a couple back-ups, we have a league targeted, we even have some non-league tournaments we’re eyeballing. And most importantly, we have a plan to become a part of the community we’re playing in.