Fun The MLB All-Star Game may be at Citi Field this summer, but there’s no reason to leave the East End to enjoy high-quality baseball. Let the countdown to the June 2 Opening Day begin, as Hamptons Collegiate Baseball will provide free, familyfriendly entertainment on the East End throughout the summer. Picnics and lawn chairs welcome. “It really is a slice of Americana,” says Bret Mauser, the president of Hamptons Collegiate Baseball. “You can just drive down the street and experience the sights and sounds of a baseball game.” Hamptons Baseball began in 2008, fielding one team in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League. They soon expanded to their own division with seven teams, pooling top college ball players nationwide to play with the Center Moriches Battlecats, North Fork Ospreys, Sag Harbor Whalers, Shelter Island Bucks, Southampton Breakers, Riverhead Tomcats and Westhampton Aviators.
ROOT, ROOT, ROOT FOR THE HAMPTONS
/ Kelly Laffey
This year, Hamptons Collegiate will be in a league of its own, newly sanctioned by Major League Baseball as one of 12 such leagues in the country. Summer league are vital, explains Mauser, as they give scouts an opportunity to see players up close and determine how they handle wood bats. And now, the MLB endorsement gives Hamptons Baseball both guidance and credence. Hamptons Baseball players become ingrained in the fabric of the community, as they live with host families and many participate in free kids’ clinics to teach them more about the game. “It’s very much a part of our mission to inspire young players,” says Mauser. “It lets them see how far they can go if they dedicate themselves to something.” Even if that “something” isn’t necessarily baseball, clarifies Mauser. The core of Hamptons Baseball is the host families, who open their doors to the student-athletes for the summer. “It’s really been great to see how enriching this experience is for host families and players,” says Mauser. More often than not, the players become big
brother figures for host siblings as well—a simple thing like playing ball in the backyard is actually more like a one-on-one professional lesson. And at the games, don’t be surprised if you see former Mets pitcher John Franco on a local mound, as his son has played for Hamptons Baseball. Though he may arguably be the most famous name to grace a Hamptons baseball field, that may not be the case in the near future. Last year, 21 Hamptons Collegiate Baseball alum played professionally, and that number is sure to grow when Major League Baseball hosts their draft in June. The Cape Cod summer league, which was formed in 1885 and has served as a model for Hamptons Baseball, now includes dozens of All Star alum, including professional New York notables Kevin Youkillis, Billy Wagner, Ron Darling, Joe Girardi and Robin Ventura. In our narrow stretch of island cluttered with celeb names, Hamptons Baseball could provide the rare chance to say “I knew him before he made it big.” SP For more information, visit hamptonsbaseball.org.
SUMMER IN THE HAMPTONS: SAT
BEACHES... BOATS... BROWNSTONE
As featured in The New York Times 25636
May 17, 2013
Dan’s papers Summer preview
Dan's Papers Hamptons Summer Preview May 17, 2013 Issue