Category Archives: My Life

So What Is This Site Really About?

I am often asked… “So what exactly do you and your site DO?” 

16422585_755213941314622_9178559872949108413_o.jpg

Some people complain that there aren’t stats, game recaps and transactions on this site.  Well, that would be basically impossible (one woman show here!), boring and unnecessary.

This website was created to include independent baseball as a whole.  Just think, if I posted that type of information for every indy league (Atlantic, American, Can-Am, Frontier, United Shore, Pacific, Pecos, and the new Thoroughbred League), this site would be bogged down with information, and readers would lose the true story of independent baseball.

Stats, game recaps, and transactions can all be found on each league’s individual websites.  If you’re looking for that information, support their sites and check them out!

No. Indy Ball Island has been and will always be about the players.

This site includes tryout information for players who are looking to get into indy ball, advance to a higher independent league, or find a tryout after being released.

There are Q & A’s with front offices of various leagues to give players an insight that they normally wouldn’t be able to get in their position.

I’ve also tried my hardest to tell stories that give the players a voice and show a human side to this sport.

New this season, Indy Ball Island is featuring guest blogs from players and coaches all across independent baseball. These blogs aim to give both players and fans a real life look at what goes on behind the scenes throughout a season.

But what Indy Ball Island really does – what I do – outside of this website is so much more.

It’s giving out my personal cell phone number just to let players vent about this lifestyle and ask questions. It’s letting them know that even though it might seem like it, they aren’t alone.

It’s creating bullpen bags and care packages for teams and players just so I know they won’t go hungry until their next paycheck. It’s stockpiling coupons for free or cheap meals so the boys can eat without worrying about how much money they have left in their bank account.

It’s birthday cards and encouragement notes even when they’re a thousand miles from home just so they know that someone cares about them and their career. It’s cheering for them in the pouring down rain when there’s 50 people in the crowd on a week night because I want them to feel like they’re in the big leagues.

As a teacher (my day job), I educate, encourage, and help others follow their dreams.  I hope that I do the same through Indy ball Island.

Indy Ball Island is so much more than this website. It’s about the people I’ve met at every step of their baseball journeys. We’re all in this together.

indy ball background

 

Advertisements

Education Day with the Black Sox

Usually on this site, I provide information on various leagues and write stories about players – detailing where they’ve played and what their stats look like.

This story is going to be just a little bit different, but it’s educational all the same.

As some of my readers and followers know, I am actually a teacher when I’m not doing this baseball writing stuff!

This past week, I was substitute teaching my favorite 8th grade class.  I have gotten to know these students from my student teaching experience at the end of last year and have also filled in as a substitute for them whenever possible.  My students know how much I love baseball, and some even know about this site and what I do when I’m not in front of their classroom.

Yesterday, I got the opportunity to go with them as their teacher to the Education Day game between the Washington WildThings and the Black Sox.

I’ve known the Black Sox coach, Andrew Rosario, for a couple years, and I have also gotten to know some of the players who happened to be with the team yesterday.

For those of you who don’t know, the Black Sox have a few teams throughout the country with players who are either looking for jobs or looking to get in reps and stay in game-shape until their professional season starts. They travel across the country, paying their own way, just to play baseball.

Their hard work and dedication to the game is inspiring… which is why I got so excited that they were the visiting team for the Education Day game. I knew it would be a perfect learning experience disguised as a field trip for some of my students.

Before the game, I went down to talk to a few of the players as well as coach Rosario and let them know that I’d love to bring some of my students over to meet them and talk baseball. They were more than happy to agree.

During the game, I rounded up a group of boys who play little league, love the game, and definitely look up to the players who get to play the game for a living. As their teacher, I can only hope that they have good baseball role models to follow. I knew these guys were pretty good examples of that.

I took them down to the bullpen and later to the dugout, and the players did exactly what I hoped they would do… they asked them their names, their positions, what teams and players they liked, and then… they just talked baseball. They told the boys where they played, what they were doing, and how they got to be on a team playing in Washington, PA. They talked about the grueling schedule and how they put in the hard work to do something they love. And my students were listening to everything. It may have been only 5 or 10 minute conversations, but those boys talked about it for hours after. The guys even signed countless autographs yesterday for many of my other students as well.

It didn’t matter what the score was.  It didn’t matter what the players’ stats were. All that mattered was that they took the time to talk to some kids who were truly interested in what they were doing.

Some of the Black Sox players have been around professional baseball for years, but some are rookies out of college.  For those rookies, this was one of the first times they’ve ever had kids interested in hearing their stories and getting their autographs. It honestly was a great educational experience for both the players and the students.

Getting to see how excited both sides were when they interacted with each other was an amazing thing that I doubt I’ll forget any time soon. It makes teaching and what I do with baseball so worth it.

To the Black Sox players and the Wild Things players as well who were down by their dugout signing, thank you for making Educational Day and an end of the year field trip so special for so many kids.

20170505_110705.jpg

Special shout out to the WildThings’ mascot for coming up and interacting with my students as well!! You are one of a kind! (Future story on this is also in the works!)

If you are interested in playing with the Black Sox, you can check out more information on their official website –  Black Sox: Pro Baseball Road Warriors.