Twilight League begins 83rd season Wednesday
ALBANY The Albany Twilight League will opens its 83rd season Wednesday, with the defending Stan Musial national champion Albany Athletics facing Waterford Nolan Propane at 7:30 p.m. at Edsall Walker Field in Bleecker Stadium.
The opening game of the season is a rematch of last year’s league championship series, when the Athletics defeated Nolan Propane to earn their fourth consecutive title and sixth since 2006. It was the first “four-peat” since the league was established in 1931.
The A’s began the 2012 campaign with an 18-game winning streak, and dating back to 2011, set a league record with 23 straight wins.
In August, the Athletics captured the American Amateur Baseball Congress World Series in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on a walk-off home run, becoming the first Twilight League team and the first Upper New York Stan Musial team to win a national championship.
Leading the Athletics will be two-time league MVP Jason Martin, along with 2012 Pitcher of the Year JJ Pearsall. Pearsall heads a staff that includes two other Pitchers of the Year — Chris Smith (2011) and Jim Shook (2010).
All eight franchises return for the 2013 season, but two have different sponsorship. Battling for the championship will be the Athletics, Blue Slate Bluehawks, Capital City Diamond Kings (formerly Chemenergy), Troy Haymakers, Lids Team Sports (formerly Dreyer Boyajian), Albany Senators and
Nolan Propane. Four returning franchises have more than a decade of experience in the league, with the Haymakers being the longest-tenured team with 32 seasons.
“The league has had eight strong franchises for three years now, and continues to attract new talent,” said league president Bill Miles. “At this point, there are several high-quality college players entering the league this year, with many of the seniors of this group being draft-caliber. With a few players also returning from professional baseball, it makes for a very high level of baseball summer long.”
Highlighting season-long activities celebrating the 83rd anniversary of the league will be an All-Star Game on Aug. 6 at Bleecker Stadium.
Included in the pregame ceremonies Wednesday will be the introduction of the 2012 Hall of Fame inductees Bruce Barkevich, Bryan Frisbee, Dave Serafino and Virgil Chevalier, as well as the President’s Award recipient.