Good Tuesday morning to everyone in the Rhode Island Baseball Community. I hope everyone had a pleasant and safe Labor Day Weekend. The rain, which was seemingly stored somewhere in Mother Nature’s pantry since June, was released all at once yesterday around 11am. Most of Rhode Island collegiate students as well as elementary, middle, and high school students are or have been returning to schools. In fact, a North Kingstown School Bus is pulling up to my street as I write this to pickup first year NKHS students. I have an NKHS student that drives to school and is entering his senior year. Here is the first step he took in his academic career some 12 years ago. Good luck this year Harrison:
I took a few days off work as well as writing over the weekend to recharge and reconnect with some old friends. And to discover a new adventure here in Rhode Island that had a very familiar hook – “Field of Dreams.” Along the way, I spotted a few really cool posts and some exciting news over the last few days on social media about the Rhode Island Baseball Community. So, grab your glove and let me catch you up on the events, the players, the coach of the year, and the incredible field I visited this weekend.
Middletown, RI and Bishop Hendricken High School’s Alex Clemmey was selected as one 20 players to represent the USA on the 18U National Team. Clemmey, along with his 19 teammates, will play in the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup down in Bradenton Florida this and next week. For a complete list of players, team information, and where you can watch the upcoming games, perhaps catch a glimpse of Rhode Island’s Alex Clemmey, head over to 18U USA Baseball National Team.
On Friday, I had posted a good luck to the Pawtucket Slaterettes Girls and Womens Baseball League who where traveling in New York for the annual Maria Pepe Tournament. I snagged this photo on their Facebook page:
And read this post this morning regarding their weekend experience in NY: “What a weekend!! Three Slaterettes Travel teams went to Long Island to play in the Maria Pepe Tournament. Although our scores fell short, the fun, enthusiasm and spirit couldn’t be beat! Our 12U, 14U and 23U players shared the fields with some incredible teams and we can’t wait for next month to see them again as well as some other friends we have been missing!” Awesome job representing Rhode Island baseball and wow, what an amazing experience for these players and their families!!!
I was psyched to read and see that Westerly High School Head Baseball Coach Ronnie Sposato, Jr. was named the RIIL (Rhode Island Interscholastic League) 2022 Baseball Coach of the Year. Coach Sposato is a frequent contributor to the RIBBE and we have connected over the years on his amazing Westerly Bulldogs Baseball club. I know it was a long summer but if you recall Westerly High School was crowned the RIIL Division 2 State Champion in 2022. Congrats to Coach Sposato and Westerly High School on this incredible award, well deserved!!!
I received an email from Autumn Baseball League Commissioner Herman Bomback who informed me that schedules are actively being posted on the ABL website. I took a peek and saw schedules for the 11U, 14U, 16U, 18U, and 18+ divisions. I will have more updates and photos as the season progresses. Looks like Opening Day(s) are this upcoming weekend – September 10th. Good luck to all the players, coaches, and families participating in the Autumn Baseball League. For more information, head over to autumnbaseballleague.com.
When I heard the words “Field of Dreams” in a proposed weekend activity by my wife Rachel, I naturally jumped at the chance. Yep, Field of Dreams right there in Portsmouth, RI she proclaimed and we hopped in the car on Saturday afternoon and took the scenic route through Jamestown, Newport, Middletown, and landed on Middle Road in Portsmouth (escaping the traffic jam for Newport Polo). There it is, Rachel pointed on the left, and we turned into Escobar Farms and the Corn Maze Field of Dreams. There was a corn field and there was a lightning rod hook – Field of Dreams. However, no baseball field, no Chicago White Sox coming out of it, no James Earl Jones narration playing over the field’s sound system. There was however an incredible maze of images cut out of about 8 acres of corn, craftfully designed in the shapes of “Health” and “Faith” and “Success” and “Happy” and “Love.” Maze participants are giving a map to follow a maze of paths to get to sections and as the map states “we have been told our maze field is lucky, so be sure to make a wish – or a few.” Proceeds from the Corn Maze Field of Dreams help support Escobar Farms, more specifically the Dairy Farm operations. For more information on the Corn Maze Field of Dreams, including an aerial view of the maze I participated in, visit www.escobarfarm.com.
I mentioned the get together earlier with some old friends from high school. Friends I played high school baseball, had classes with, mutual friendships with at North Kingstown High School back in the late 1980s. It was great connecting with them and telling stories about not only high school baseball and the current state of sports but also about where we are at now that many of us are entering a new phase in life as parents of aging teenagers and young adults. Some of whom have left home to go to college or start a new chapter in their lives. The emotions of dropping your son or daughter of at school or packing your kids things up and the gigantic weirdness of all of that comes with it was not lost on the group. It was awesome to sit and chat and open up and listen and commiserate with my long time friends, all of whom paid me the same floor time as I did to them. Huge thanks to the host Jeff and to the friends I call brothers – Larson and Jason – for helping me reset in more ways than one!
Well, great to catch up with you on some of the things I have read and experienced recently. And just a reminder, make sure you cast your vote for the Best High School Baseball Team since 1972 Tournament this week!!! Voting ends Saturday, September 10th when I post the results for Round 1. Have a great day everyone and remember this. If you are having a difficult day or week or year, seek out a trusted friend who will listen unconditionally. It may be the best call/text/email/message you ever do and you will thank yourself for making the effort to get better!!!