Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

No manager, no team


HELP WANTED: Youth baseball manager in Madison Heights needed. Someone 21 years old or older. Experience is preferred.That’s a classified advertisement from Earl Stone, president of Madison Heights Little Baseball.
It is also a 911 call.
If a volunteer manager does not step forward soon, the nearly dozen 13-and 14-year-old players who have already signed up to play for the Rangers in the Maverick Division will not have a team.
“This has never happened,” said Stone. “We’ve always been able to find managers. If we do not find one, we are going to have to cut the kids.”
Madison Heights Little Baseball is celebrating its 50th season.  The outstanding organization is home to 27 teams in five divisions for players ranging in age from seven to 16. Those divisions are Midget, Pee Wee, Farm, Mustang and Pony.
There is also a Varsity Division.
An individual who was slated to manage the Rangers works in the defense industry and had a job change requiring much more travel.
“We picked up four new teams for this season. We have had a real good turnout,” said Stone.
Among those who could be left standing on the wrong side of the chain link fence if a manager is not found is Jake Lutz, 13, a student at Page Middle School in Madison Heights.
This would be Jake’s fifth year playing Madison Heights Little Baseball. He spent two years with the Tigers in the Pee Wee Division and two more with the Rockies in the Farm Division.
A left-handed catcher, he cherishes his summers playing baseball.
“I love it,” said Jake. “I like the fact that you get to go to practice, do some drills which are fun, and play games.
“I like to win, but honestly I have not been on a lot of winning teams. I’m a catcher; I bought all my own catcher’s gear.
“If I can’t play, I’d be upset. I like baseball and I really like playing it. I really want to be on a team.”
The time commitment for a manager is minimal.
Mustang Division teams are limited in the amount of time they can practice due to Michigan High School Athletic Association rules.
The Madison Heights Little Baseball season kicks off the first week of June and concludes by the third week of July. Games are played twice a week.
“I usually make the All-Star team,” said Jake. “The game is always played on the Fourth of July, so I skip stuff like picnics and things to play. It’s always fun.”
Let’s hope he has that same opportunity this season.

If you’re interested in managing the Rangers, visit www.madisonheightsbaseball.org

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February 29, 2012 at 10:51 PM 

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