Amateur baseball set to return Pike County

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 21, 2003

For the 11th consecutive year, the Troy Amateur Baseball League will play this summer.

The season is expected to begin play June 29, but interested players have until Friday to sign up to play in the league.

"This is for the Boys of Summer," said James Henderson, who has been with the league since its inception in 1992.

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The league has grown since that first year. For the first five years of play, the TABL was an unassociated league. In 1997, though, the Troy Parks and Recreation Department started helping out with the league.

"We were fully independent until the city of Troy started helping out," Henderson said.

This year, however, participation is down a little. The league has had as many as six teams, but unless a fair number of people turn out before Friday, only three teams will suit up this year.

"There is a possibility of adding a fourth team, but the way things are right now, I can only say there are three teams," Henderson said.

Two teams are expected to be formed from Troy, and the third team will come from Luverne. The league is essentially an adult recreation league, but talented players still participate.

Henderson said junior college players looking for college scholarships and college graduates looking for extra games will be playing.

Sometimes, the success players have with the TABL turns into better opportunities.

"Last year, we had several players playing in the Southeastern League," Henderson said. "We've had some move up to Single A baseball before too."

Henderson also views the league as a ministry of sorts. He said the league keeps people out of trouble and gives the "Boys of Summer" something to do to occupy their time during the summer.

"There are a lot of Christians in the league," Henderson said.

"They don't have time to get into trouble because they are involved in baseball."