By Carmine Vetrano
Summer baseball to the college ball player means everything. It means more workouts, more repetitions at the plate or in the field; essentially, it’s the path to the higher leagues. Summer college baseball allows the college ball player to give up their summer in hopes that playing a 2 and a half-month schedule would leave a lasting impression in front of dozens of MLB scouts a night.
However, to the baseball who that, well, loves everything about baseball, he or she may know about the pretty historic summer league in itself with the Northeast Collegiate Baseball League NECBL.
One man who hopes to guide the future of professional baseball is CCSU’s own Pat Hall. Hall is the assistant head coach for the baseball team and has accepted to head coaching job with the expansion Bristol Nine of the NECBL.
“Dan Kennedy is a friend and we done some business before,” Hall explained. “He is the general manager and he asked me to take the manager job and it’s a great opportunity to manage college kids.”
Hall, who is in his second year with the Blue Devils, works mostly with the pitching staff after spending time with Fairfield University and their program.
The Bristol native feels that the NECBL is one of the tops compared to other summer leagues and feels that it will serve as a great addition to the community.
“The NECBL has come a long way since 1995 when I played,” Hall said. “The NECBL gets players from all over the county, some of the best.”
To date, the NECBL (which has been around since 1993) produced big time major leaguers such as Andre Either, Chris Iannetta, Andrew Bailey, and last years first overall pick in the MLB Draft Stephen Strasburg.
Hall adds, “I believe the league was just rated second behind the Cape [Cod League]. It’s continuing to grow from good ownership, good places to live in the summer and I think from that stand point the league has grown.”
Even though summer ball may be thought as more for the individual play instead of playing for the team, Hall thinks that hard work will prevail regardless.
“I am hoping that when the players come from their colleges that their head coaches already have laid done the ground work,” Hall said. “All I am asking is for them to play hard and if I can tweak them then so be it, but they all want to get to the next level and my job is to keep them confident and on course.”
Central is known to throw some of its own players on a summer league as Tommy Meade, Pat Epps, Richie Tri and Kyle Zarotney all traveled from home to play summer ball in hopes to continue their playing career.
“Most of it is done by the college coach,” Hall said. “What me and coach Hickey done is being able to put them in the league in which they can benefit from. Younger guys may benefit from summer leagues to get more at bats and pitches to continue to develop.”
In all coach Hall is excited to take the summer job and help even more players get from one level to another after taking the NECBL gig.
“Connecticut is a great state,” Hall proclaimed. “I’m glad that Bristol stepped up and allowed us to come in there and play at Muzzy field. I think it going to be great for the community to come in ad watch us play.”
Summer baseball may just be a recreational time for some, but for those who dedicated their life to the sport (especially coaching) summer baseball is a pinnacle time of year to develop.
“It comes with hard work and luck,” Hall said. “But I’m competitive and want to win but in the sense it important as a coach to develop these players over the summer and to remain healthy.”
Congratulations coach, you’ll be fine.