The 9th installment in our #SummerOfBaseball series is the New England Collegiate Baseball League.
The NECBL is a 12 team summer league which began play in 1994 and is a showcase league for top college level talent and plays a 42-game schedule. The league started out as the brainchild of TV producer Joseph Consentino and began under the guidance of its first commissioner, former Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets outfielder George Foster. Over the years, the league has expanded and now includes franchises in all six New England states. The current commissioner, Sean McGrath, also happens to be a Big Mets Fan.
The league is split into two divisions:
Keene Swamp Bats (Keene, NH – founded 1997)
Laconia Muskrats (Laconia, NH – founded 2000)
North Adams SteepleCats (North Adams, MA – founded 2002)
Sanford Mainers (Sanford, ME – founded 2002)
Valley Blue Sox (Holyoke, MA – founded 2001)
Vermont Mountaineers (Montpelier, VT – founded 2003)
Danbury Westerners (Danbury, CT – founded 1995)
Mystic Schooners (Groton, CT – founded 1994)
New Bedford Bay Sox (New Bedford, MA – founded 1997)
Newport Gulls (Newport, RI – founded 1999)
Ocean State Waves (South Kingston, RI – founded 2013)
Plymouth Pilgrims (Plymouth, MA – formed 2013)
The League Motto is “Keep Your Eye on the Dream” and as the more than 75 alumni who have made it to the majors have shown, it’s certainly a league that attracts top collegiate talent and a league that has the attention of MLB scouts.
Prominent alumni of the NECBL:
Joe Nathan – 15 year MLB veteran, 6x All-Star, 377 career saves, 9 seasons of 30 or more saves
Craig Breslow – 10 year MLB veteran with over 500 games pitched and 7 seasons of 60+ appearances.
Andre Ethier – 10 year MLB veteran, 2x All-Star, over 1300 career hits and over 1350 games played.
Brian Wilson – 9 year MLB veteran, 3x All-Star, 4 seasons of 36+ saves
Joe Smith – 9 year MLB veteran, over 550 games pitched and 5 seasons of 70+ appearances
Jason Motte – 7 year MLB veteran, led National League with 42 saves in 2012
Stephen Strasburg – 1st overall pick in 2009 draft, 6 year MLB veteran, 1x All-Star
Thank you NECBL for sending in two balls – an official league ball and a souvenir logo ball. Check out the league website necbl.com and give them a follow on twitter @TheNECBL
On Deck – the South Bend Cubs