Tag Archives: baseball

The Field of Spring in Summer

Greetings readers,

Springfield, Ohio will have a baseball team starting this June. Playing in the Independent Baseball League, the franchise will take on three other teams in league (two from Northern Ohio.) The plan is to have teams in Marion and Tiffin, Ohio, as well as one in Oakland County in Michigan. The Tiffin team was actually relocated from Bowling Green.

The last team in Springfield, according to Baseball-Reference, was in 1951 when the Springfield Giants played in the Ohio-Indiana League (yes, when Richmond had a team in the Tigers, who were affiliated with the Detroit Tigers.) Before then, Springfield was a land of Cardinals, Indians, Ponies, Chicks, Reapers, and Governors.

Currently there are the Springfield Angels, who are part of the Southwest Ohio Roy Hobbs Baseball league. The Angels play with four teams from Dayton and one team from Enon (who are called the Reds, by the way) and all six are for adults 28 or older who just love the sport of baseball. The Springfield Angels called Springfield/Clark Shawnee home in 2012 and won the SWOHRH Championship by going 5-1 in tourney play.

Currently, this Springfield franchise does not have a name. However, if you go on the IBL Facebook page, there is a poster asking if the name will be the “Clark County Clovers”. The name is reference to the birth of 4-H in 1902 and the name of the county Springfield lies in.

Currently, there is no information I could find about where this Springfield team will play. It could be Wittenberg’s baseball field, shown in the top picture. There’s also Springfield High School, Shawnee High School, Northwestern High School (just a couple minutes away from the Upper Valley Mall), and a couple of schools nearby the city.

As for the league, there isn’t a lot of information right now. There’s a list of the four planned teams and a news article about how Bowling Green’s team was moved to Tiffin.

As the info rolls along until spring, one thing is clear: It will be nice for Springfield to have a baseball team this June.

Picture from the Wittenberg Tigers athletic site. Sources of information from Our Sports Central, Baseball-Reference, 4-H, the SWOHRH, and the Independent Baseball League.

Until next time,

-Lee

The Press Stops Here

Greetings readers,

The website known as daytonprosports.com will soon be no more. The author Jeff Kuntz is moving to the sunny side of Florida for his business.

If you never been to the site, it was a cornucopia of things about pro sports in Dayton. From basketball, to hockey, baseball, and all sports in between, it was mentioned on the website. The Air Strikers, the Gems, the Dutch Lions, the Dragons, and the Silverbacks were the stars of the webpage. Even the Gem City Hall O’ Famers were on the site despite nobody knowing a thing on the team (turns out they played a couple of games in Lima and then folded.)

I first talked to Jeff back before the 2012 Air Strikers season began on Twitter, and right away I liked the site. Nobody else gave complete coverage of the teams that called the Dayton area home. Sure, Channel 7 might have had one or two clips of the first Air Strikers game, but not much else. The Dayton Daily News had a few articles, but coverage dropped as the season went by. Who kept the coverage going? Yep, daytonprosports.com.

It was around the time the Air Strikers moved out of Trent Arena and looking for a new home when I was first put into an article. I received word that the game would be played at the Dayton Boys Prep Academy. Although the plan was to not play the whole season there and just go back to Trent Arena, that didn’t happen and we played half of the games at The Prep.

The second time Jeff mentioned me was about the February 22nd game, where I believe the Air Strikers were supposed to play that day, then I tweeted about how that wasn’t going to be the case. He backed up the tweet saying that I was associated with the organization. Jeff then wrote an article later that day, stating that I said that game was now off (he then went on and put in a good word and asked people to follow me on Twitter.)

Then on March 8th, I send a slightly-edited copy of the press release to Jeff, and he publishes it on the website. That was the first game in Moraine (and my first game as the PA Announcer for the Air Strikers, as well.) Another press release was published, as well as a paragraph update in the General section for March 13th.

The last article was published June 1st, mentioning that the Dayton Gems have folded, as well as the Dayton Air Strikers (which I honestly didn’t know happened.) He also mentions the Silverbacks making the CIFL Championship game (which Dayton lost to Saginaw, by the way.) He also mentions the new hockey team arriving in Dayton, as well.

Jeff got my name out in a lot of Dayton Air Strikers articles, as well as Twitter too. He told me I got a shout-out on WONE when I wasn’t able to listen (I think I had work that day, I don’t remember at this point.) He also wished me luck finding a broadcasting job and told me to never give up in his previous tweets.

Since the website will be shut off in a couple of weeks, I’d like to post a snippet of the last article, with the people that Jeff thanks.

Last article (5/31/2012): …I’d like to thank Mister Askew, Anthony Byrd, Clint Davis, David DiCenzo, Brij Desai, Rob Garfield, Brian Gratz, Joe Greene, Sev Hrywnak, Michael Lause, Duane Lewis, Mike Mossel, Lee W. Mowen, Paul Nitz, Kathy Rupp, James Scott, April Shellenberger, JT Szabo, Ivar van Dinteren, Cor van Hoeven and various anonymous sources for all they’ve done for me and/or this website…

Good luck in everything you do Jeff, thanks for the coverage of Dayton sports and thank you for publishing my press releases when I was with the Strikers!

Folks, take a visit to daytonprosports.com before it’s too late.

Source of information from Dayton Pro Sports and writer Jeff Kuntz.

Until next time,

-Lee

Breaking the Cross County Trip

Greetings readers,

I’ve read this article written by Bob Huelsman about the future of the Cross County Conference, and I wanted to add my take to a possible fall of a local conference. As someone who occasionally watches Twin Valley South sports, this will be very important for not only the West Alexandria Panthers, but for all the high schools in the CCC.

From the article, some of the old Southwestern Rivers Conference (I think they were gone by 2001, not sure honestly) schools want to form a new conference. That includes Covington, Miami East, and Bethel, which are the eastern schools in the CCC, and a bit of a drive if you hail from Preble County (especially National Trail, considering they’re next door to Indiana.) It also includes Bradford, which is the northern most CCC school, and possibly Arcanum, near the heart of it all.

The CCC has been around since the 1978-1979 school year. Arcanum, Ansonia, and Bethel were original members, while Covington joined in 1990 and Miami East in 2006.

Something that has triggered these talks (other than the economy reasons) has been the football conference play. The CCC schools that do field a team (Franklin-Monroe, Tri-Village, and Newton in Miami County do not field these teams) play nine conference games, leaving one game for non-conference play. For TVS, that game has usually been against nearby New Lebanon Dixie. Usually, you will have around three-five non-conference games (depends on which conference.)

The writer in the article mentions some possibilities for the other schools should the conference break apart. Huelsman sees the Southwestern Buckeye League picking up Twin Valley South, Tri-County North, and National Trail.

Let’s say that does happen. That puts three more schools into the SWBL from Preble County, joining Eaton and Preble Shawnee (It also puts all five Preble County schools in a conference, too.) This would give the SWBL 17 members, giving either division of the conference one more than the other (unless the SWBL wanted to add another school for 18, and split the division up into three divisions.)

The 1998 Twin Valley South Panthers, who won the Cross County Conference that season.

For Twin Valley South, it sets up good, close rivalries with Valley View, Brookville, Dixie, Preble Shawnee, and Eaton in the conference (not necessarily in the same division of the SWBL.) It would also keep the State Route 503 rivalry with Tri-County North.

However, what about the other schools? The farthest school to the east is Waynesville, the last school district to the east before hitting Clinton County, followed by Bellbrook in western Greene County. To the south would be Monroe, and to the north would be Milton-Union in southwest Miami County. The western most school would be National Trail in the New Paris area, near Richmond, Indiana. So you now have a huge conference stretching from nearby Richmond to Wilmington. That’s a span of six counties.

How would those schools do in the SWBL? According to this list by the OHSAA, Twin Valley South has 253 students (136/117 boys/girls); Tri-County North 257 (119/138); and National Trail with 263 (139/124). Compared to current SWBL schools, Valley View has 469 students (220/249); Eaton 524 (290/234); Dixie 291 (158/133); Brookville 374 (211/163); and Preble Shawnee with 352 (176/176.) So if this was to happen, Twin Valley South and Tri-County North would be the smallest schools in the SWBL. If the conference spread their divisions for smallest, medium, and largest schools, there could be a good mix for the conference and schools.

I’m not saying this happens, as it’s more of a what-if. The Cross County Conference might survive and this idea of a new conference might flop. I liked the article and thought it was interesting to think about the future in West Alex and in Ohio. If the rest of the members can’t see eye to eye, we might see an old conference fall and a new one pop up.

Sources of information from the Press Pros Magazine and the Ohio High School Athletic Association. The 1998 TVS picture is from CCCBasketball.com.

Until next time,

-Lee

Great Lakes Summers

Greetings readers,

The last post was about the Richmond RiverRats, a team that plays baseball with wooden bats and collegiate players in the Prospect League. But, what if you don’t live Richmond and gas prices are still high by the time you can make the trip to Indiana? There’s other options to see baseball.

Enter the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, a combination of eleven teams as north as Michigan, all the way down south to Lexington, Kentucky. Those two teams are the only ones outside the state of Ohio. You have teams in Cincinnati, near the Celina area, in Hamilton, in Lima, and two in the Dayton region.

The newest team is the Dayton Docs, which is a terrific name considering where they play at and what one of their stronger schools are (I’m talking about Wright State and their Medical programs.) The other Dayton area team is the Xenia Scouts who play at the Athletics in Action Complex.

For the Cincinnati region, you have the Cincinnati Steam and the Hamilton Joes, named after Joe Nuxhall. Out east, you have Southern Ohio, located in Athens. You also have a Stark County team that’ll play at Canton. Licking County also has a team, which is nearby Columbus. Grand Lake has their team in Celina, appropriately named the Mariners.

One of the big names from the GLSCL is Nick Swisher, who apparently played with the Columbus team when he was in the league. The league was founded in 1989 and receives monetary help from the MLB.

Both the Prospect League and the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate Leagues use wooden bats and both require players to be college students. While the Prospect League is more spread out from Central Ohio to Missouri, the GLSCL has the majority of the teams in western Ohio. Five out of the eleven teams are in the Cincinnati/Miami Valley area.

So if you’re in the area looking for some good summer baseball, give these teams a try!

Sources of information from the GLSCL website and the Hamilton Joes webpage. Picture from the Grand Lake website.

Until next time,

-Lee

Batting Down the River

Greetings readers,

The summer season is almost upon us. As you might know, that mostly means baseball will be back. The smell of fresh cut grass, beer being served along with a hot dog, and the cracking of the bats: that’s a bit about the environment of baseball.

In the Miami Valley, you have your Cincinnati Reds down south. You have the Cleveland Indians up North by Northeast. You have the Dragons downtown. You could go east to Columbus for Clippers or west to Indianapolis for Indians (not affiliated with Cleveland, but I think they were a long time ago.) You also have some other options.

Folks, in this post I want to take you folks to Richmond, Indiana.

Enter the Richmond RiverRats, a team that plays at Cate Field at McBride Stadium in Eastern Indiana. Since 2009, the RiverRats have been giving young college kids chances to play baseball with wooden bats. Richmond plays in the Eastern Division of the Prospect League, which plays from late May until early August.

Other teams that play in the Prospect League with the ‘Rats include Lorain County (few miles west of Cleveland), Chillicothe, West Virginia, Butler and Slippery Rock (around the Pittsburgh, PA area.) There is also a Western Division that includes another Indiana team, the Terre Haute Rex.

This isn’t Richmond’s first crack with a baseball team, as the city near Ohio has plenty of baseball history to tell many tales. Once the home of Roses, Robins, Roosters, and Tigers, Richmond has seen a lot of baseball. The former Municipal Stadium has seen these teams and still lives to tell another tale of baseball.

If you remember the Chillicothe Paints, that franchise has been apart of the Frontier League, they’ve been apart of the Prospect League for a few seasons now. That actually gives Richmond a nice rival with another team of U.S. 35.

While the Prospect League is fairly new (2009), the original organization has been kicking since 1963 and has sent about 175 folks to the Pros. The Cowboy Brantley is one of them for you Reds fans, Joe Girardi of Yankees manager fame, Adam Rosales, Jon Papelbon, and many others.

Richmond offers a great baseball product for a very affordable price. You get to see kids still in college work on their game in hopes to make it to the professional levels one day. You never know who’s going to be on your favorite team.

Sources of information from the Prospect League, the Richmond RiverRats, and the Chillicothe Paints websites.

Until next time,

-Lee