David Lightbody and the Alibrandis Baseball Club have competed in the Intercity Baseball League (ICL) since 2018. (PHOTO COURTESY:
By Matt Noonan
There’s hope for the Intercity Baseball League (ICL) to play some games this summer.
The ICL Board of Directors announced Wednesday, May 27 that it’s possible an abbreviated season could begin no earlier than Monday, July 6, pending both the first and second phases of the Massachusetts reopening plan goes “as currently proposed.”
Gov. Charlie Baker unveiled the state’s reopening plan earlier this month which consisted of four phases. A new phase can begin every three weeks, but Baker and his staff have stressed that data will be the key with the reopening, so it is possible the first and second phases could be extended longer.
The ICL, which has provided its eight-team league with updates for the past few weeks, continued to stress safety as its main concern.
Pending a season does begin on Monday, July 6, the league’s regular-season schedule would feature fewer games, along with a double-elimination tournament instead of its usual postseason format, which consists of six teams.
The ICL Board of Directors will reconvene via Zoom for its next meeting on Tuesday, June 9 with hopes of more news for its teams, as well as its fans and spectators.
While Wednesday’s news should provide hope and optimism for those seeking some baseball to watch, a few other leagues are hoping to make a triumphant return to the diamond in the coming weeks. Some leagues, including the Cape Cod Baseball League and New England Collegiate Baseball League, have canceled their respective seasons, while the Futures Collegiate Baseball League delayed the start of its season.
There’s hope for summer baseball in Massachusetts. But will games be played remains the biggest question?
The Intercity Baseball League (ICL) has yet to cancel its 2020 season but did share an update on Thursday that “safety of players, coaches, umpires, team officials, and fans” remains its biggest concern. It is possible a season could begin in July with a double-elimination tournament that would be followed by the playoffs, according to the board of directors’ recent post on the ICL website.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker unveiled a plan for the state’s reopening earlier this week, which did include outdoor activities and recreation, so it is possible the ICL could return in the third phase. But for the ICL to be able to play, they would need to obtain permits from the various cities and towns their teams compete in.
The ICL is an eight-team league and has been playing baseball games since 1950.
The Yawkey Baseball League (YBL) has yet to cancel its 2020 season, according to a recent update that was shared on Twitter. Dave McKay, who is the league’s president, expressed optimism for games to be played this summer but did say the YBL is “awaiting news on when permits will be issued.”
An update on the YBL’s 2020 season will be announced in two weeks.
In a Facebook post from last month, the Boston Park League announced they plan to provide its teams with a 21-game schedule, beginning Monday, July 6. The post also noted their 2020 season is “subject to guidelines from (Gov. Baker) and the City of Boston. No news from the BPL has been shared since last month.
The Cranberry League has not changed its plans to begin its season, as reported earlier this month. The league plans to play its season-opener on Sunday, June 21st, but most likely the start date would be pushed back due to the state’s phase reopening plan, which is in three-week increments.
Teddy Dziuba and the Albrandis Baseball Club have played two seasons in the Intercity Baseball League (ICL). (PHOTO COURTESY: Craig Henry)
By Matt Noonan
For the moment, Teddy Dziuba and the Alibrandis Baseball Club of the Intercity Baseball League (ICL) remain on the sidelines. The upcoming season – the team’s third in the ICL – has yet to be canceled.
The ICL announced earlier this month that they hope to provide their eight-team league with a short, abbreviated season, pending it is safe to do so. But more information on the league’s 2020 season should become available tomorrow, Wednesday, May 20 when the ICL board of directors reconvene on Zoom.
“If we get the green light that baseball is going to happen this summer, the Alibrandis have two dozen eager baseball players waiting to take the field,” said Dziuba, who is the team’s catcher.
If the 2020 season is to occur, Dziuba and his teammates would certainly be a team to watch. The Alibrandis joined the ICL in 2018 and advanced to the postseason, both last year and the year before. And despite falling short of winning their first title, the team is optimistic about challenging the Lexington Blue Sox, which have won 15 league titles.
“The Alibrandis Baseball Club has enjoyed the last two seasons in the ICL immensely,” said Dziuba. “(The league features some) incredible talent from top to bottom, and it has certainly made us step up our games in terms of how we approach every night.
“(And while) we may be one of the older teams in the league, our veterans haven’t lost a step and will be gunning to take home our first championship as soon as they let us onto the field.”
Winning a championship, especially in the ICL would certainly be an accomplishment for this group, which has come up short the past two years against the Blue Sox. Lexington outlasted the Alibrandis in the 2018 semifinals before edging them one year later in the championship round.
Said Dziuba, “We look forward to continuing our healthy rivalry with the Lexington Blue Sox as soon as we are allowed on the field.”
The Alibrandis-Blue Sox rivalry will continue, as well as other hard-fought contests, too. But for now, Dziuba and his teammates seem upbeat – they’re even exchanging positive text messages these days to keep everyone’s spirits up.
Local summer baseball leagues in Massachusetts are holding out hope for a potential season, while others, including the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL) have canceled its 2020 season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)
By Matt Noonan
There seems to be some hope for a few local adult baseball leagues in Massachusetts to play some games this summer. But when will these games be played remains an unknown.
One of the local leagues – the Intercity Baseball League (ICL) – seems hopeful that they can provide their players with a shortened season beginning in July.
The ICL Board of Directors, who met yesterday through Zoom, announced on their website that they will “make every effort to play an abbreviated version of our usual schedule” as long as its safe for their players, team officials, and umpires. Safety while adhering to “regulations and guidelines in place” by the state will be the keys for starting up a league that last saw the Lexington Blue Sox win its fifth-straight championship last August.
The Yawkey Baseball League (YBL) announced last month that their “regular season has been delayed” while the Boston Men’s Baseball League (BMBL) is hopeful to start its season either later this summer or possibly this fall.
According to the Cranberry Baseball League‘s website, the CBL is planning to start its season on Sunday, June 21, but no schedule has been posted. The Men’s Night BaseballLeague, which plays games at Ferullo Field in Woburn, also plans to begin its season next month, according to the MNBL website.
Of course, there are other leagues that remain hopeful and optimistic for games to be played this summer, but as of now, it remains an unknown if and when these contests will occur.
Both the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL) and New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) canceled its respective seasons.
Joey Rogers started 23 games for the UMass Boston baseball team from 2017 to 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: UMass Boston Athletics)
Joey Rogers cherished every moment with the UMass Boston baseball team.
From his initial season with the Beacons in 2017 to just a handful of games earlier this year, the Dighton, Massachusetts native says he will look back fondly on his time with the Blue and White, which averaged 37 wins from 2017 to 2019.
“I will cherish all of the time and hard work we put in as a team during the offseason,” said Rogers, who appeared in 31 games with the Beacons.
“We pushed each other every single day in the weight room and on the field to get better, and ultimately achieve another championship.”
Rogers and the Beacons won quite a few championships these past few years. In fact, they won a trio of Little East Conference (LEC) Tournament titles while making a pair of appearances in the D-III College World Series (2017 and 2019).
The left-handed pitcher won ten games for the Beacons while recording 111 strikeouts. He concluded his career with a 3.90 earned run average and made 55 plate appearances where he recorded eight runs nine hits, one home run, and six RBI.
We recently spoke with Rogers to discuss his career and time spent with the UMass Boston baseball team, as well as where he is headed after graduation later this spring.
Was there a game (or two) that you will remember most from either your senior season or the past three years? If so, which games are they?
Winning the NCAA D-III Super Regional Championship during my junior year. The atmosphere during the three-game series was unreal. We had so much support from friends and family, and it was very special to win a championship in front of them while sharing a very cool moment with my teammates.
Also, I will always remember winning the New England D-III Regional Championship my first season with the Beacons. Again, it was another memorable moment for my teammates and me. We competed for the title on Cape Cod against some of the best teams in New England.
Both wins sent us to the College World Series, which were played at different locations. But being able to compete on the national stage was unbelievable.
What have you enjoyed most about competing for the UMass Boston baseball program these past four years? What will you miss most after graduation?
I am grateful for the opportunity that Coach (Brendan) Eygabroat has given me. I’ll cherish the time spent with this program for the rest of my life. I’ll also look back fondly on time spent with teammates, both on and off the field.
The relationships that I built, along with the team chemistry we established was a big part of our success. I will miss running out on that field after graduation, but I am so happy I got to play a game I absolutely love for the past four years.
Do you hope to stay involved with your sport in the future? Any interest in being a coach?
I am planning to pursue a career in the United States Army as an officer after graduation, but I could see myself coaching this game I love in the future.
Tell me about your major. How did you choose it and what do you plan to do with it after graduation?
I majored in exercise and health science because I have always been interested in athletics and sports from a young age. I also like helping others achieve their fitness goals, which is something that interested me in studying this particular topic.
I have been fortunate to gain a slew of real-life experience these past four years through internships with Geoff Ebbs, who is our athletic department’s strength and conditioning coach. The internship taught me so much in regard to exercise science to programming as well as coaching and teaching athletes proper techniques.
Following graduation, I will be joining the United States Army – I was accepted into the Officer Candidate School.