Don’t Go Soft — Play Hardball

After graduating college in 1992 and leaving my baseball career behind, I began playing my first and only season of softball. Perhaps if the softball league had been co-ed (smile) I may have enjoyed it a little more. For me, the “soft” game lacked the competition and challenge I was accustomed to, and I assumed that my playing days were over.

MABLThankfully, my dad saw an ad in the Marietta Daily Journal showcasing the Atlanta Men’s Adult Baseball League (MABL). Within a few days of discovering the men’s league, I went to a tryout and was drafted by the MABL Cobb Cardinals. I have played every year since, and I now look forward to every Sunday afternoon game. Being on that diamond is my sanctuary.

The Atlanta MABL and MSBL (Men’s Senior Baseball League) was founded in 1988 and has grown to 100+ teams. Managed from Smyrna by Donald Pike, the men’s league is divided up into skill and age divisions, and all games are played on OTP High School fields throughout the area. Men compete from 18 to 65 years old in their respective divisions. The Atlanta league is affiliated with the MSBL National headquartered in New York.

MSBLThe MSBL National is managed by founder Steve Sigler (father of Sopranos star Jamie-Lynn Sigler). The MSBL National has 325 local affiliates, 3,200 teams and 45,000 members who compete in their local leagues. 30 regional tournaments plus six national tournaments are also available to all of the affiliated teams and leagues. Both the MSBL and the MABL plan to expand by establishing local affiliates in communities where programs do not exist, and also by welcoming existing amateur hardball leagues to affiliate. The MSBL is poised to reach 50,000 members in the very near future.

The Atlanta men’s league is run extremely well and the competition is excellent. The MABL/MSBL’s season lasts the duration of the MLB season with games played on Sunday afternoons. There are also Saturday, Wednesday night, and Fall Leagues available.  All of the leagues feature a playoff and championship series.

MABLIf you are interested in joining the league, go to www.atlantamsbl.com. League fees average approximately $200 for the season; you will also have some uniform and equipment costs to consider. The MABL Fall season is approaching quickly. Rediscover your youth and expand your passion for the great game of baseball. Get out there and play ball!