Rhode Island Baseball Straw Poll – The Rhode Island Community Baseball Tournament

The baseball journey for most starts in Tee Ball. Then, a graduation into a coach pitch type league, then the kids pitch against kids. The small field a player starts on then moves on to the big field, where Middle School, High School, Collegiate, Amateurs, and Professionals call home. Some players play through high school, others end their baseball journey on the small field. Mostly the same game, most of the same general rules apply from the first kid pitch league to the Major Leagues – hit, pitch, catch, field, etc. Does any of this sound like your baseball journey?

Did you play youth baseball, then a little in High School, then found other activities and stopped playing baseball altogether. Or did you play youth baseball but got somewhat derailed because of another sport or moving or life event and never continued past the small field? Did you play high school baseball and are now coaching in a youth baseball league – throwing BP, teaching the game to the next generation? Or, did you play high school baseball, play a bit in college, play in a summer collegiate league, and really went for it hoping you would get drafted someway, somehow (Wait that’s my baseball journey). Do you ever stop and wonder if you could still pitch in a game or hit the baseball or catch a flyball deep in right field or just simply trot out and play a friendly game of baseball? Do you still have a passion for the game of baseball despite not playing an organized game in 5 years, 10 years, maybe longer?

Before I get to the straw poll, I want to mention that those of you who still have the physical ability, the passion for the game, and the strong desire to play through your 20s, into your 30s, 40s, and 50s have league options here in Rhode Island. Here are the amateur baseball leagues (I know of) that have players in their 20s, 30s, and yes older than 50, along with their league websites for more information:

Here is my pitch to you living in Johnston, Westerly, North Kingstown, Newport, Woonsocket, Cumberland, Cranston, Providence, Block Island and every single town/city/village here in Rhode Island. Can you get 15 to 20 players that live in your town/city (address verified of course) to play in a 3 to 4 week statewide friendship tournament to determine who is the Rhode Island Community Baseball Tournament Champion? A friendship tournament where players play in a fun, sandlot style baseball game with a team made up of your kid’s math teacher, the police captain, the Mom who typically runs the concession stand, the local hardware store owner who played for the PawSox back in the 70s (that you didn’t know about), maybe a local celebrity or two that you can recruit. Wooden bat, 7 innings, continuous batting order, guaranteed playing time, guaranteed community spirit, guaranteed charitable donations at each gate for each game. Each town/city can choose a charity of choice for fans to give to at their home games or set up something online. A 3 to 4 week round robin style tournament to determine seeding for a week of games, then a semifinals and finals weekend. A 3 to 4 week tournament to promote community spirit, the joy of baseball, to provide a positive baseball experience to so many. So…

To date, I have met with about 10 local baseball coaches, league administrators, parents, and former players who I have pitched this idea to, with positive feedback and results. This straw poll can help me generate some additional data that I can then present to local Rhode Island tournament directors, municipalities that govern over the baseball fields of Rhode Island, and to local sponsors who may want to join in on the fun of the community spirit. At this point, I am targeting a late summer tournament schedule, perhaps August into September of this year. Thank you for all who vote and give their opinions. If you would like to learn more about my Rhode Island Community Baseball League tournament proposal or have a comment or concern or advice or would like to help, email me at ribaseballexperience@gmail.com. Or send me a message through this contact form:

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