By FRANK DESORBO
Baseball is the American Pastime, sure you’ve heard this phrase. Many have experienced baseball through their early introduction to sports, through their dreams, through their memories. Your fathers and grandfathers have lived Baseball’s American Pastime and now its time to pay it forward. Locally the Albany Twilight League is the oldest continuous amateur baseball league in the country, starting in 1931. It is the Albany’s Baseball Pastime and the current time for our young high school and collegiate players. Some players move on to MLB (Major League Baseball) or minor leagues and may return to continue their youthful pastime.
There is controversy in MLB as the 2020 baseball season begins. It was over 20 years ago MLB had the steroid controversy and now enters cheating by electronic stealing the pitchers signs through the catcher. My 25 year life as an umpire is being replaced by robots and none of this reminds me of my youth of Gil Hodges, Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese. As life long Brooklyn Dodger fan born and raised here in Yankee country, my beloved Dodgers may assume their old nickname of “Bums’ if they do not win the 2020 World Series. We live in baseball’s sacred area of Cooperstown, a rural region that spurs lore and tradition. Now I take a stand. Why is Pete Rose not in the Hall of Fame listed as a player only? He did bet on his team winning; no different than our current culture of betting in Schenectady on base ball games. Let’s keep our Albany Twilight League in our hearts and minds and appreciate our youth trying. As a great coach name Vince Lombardo said “Winning is not everything, the desire to win is, it is the only thing.” This is a very noble concept to cherish so our youth will strive and compete – honestly.
Recently I was introduced to a veteran of the Albany Twilight League and a veteran of WW II through the Schenectady Ole Timers Baseball Club (exists over 25 years). The player will be 100 years old in June and the name of Jerry Terry will bring us back to the Twilight glory days. The Albany Twilight League is honoring its 90th Season with a commemorative book. A scrap book (over 1 inch thick) prepared by Richard Barrett and the late Ed Delehanty covered the first 75 years through 2005. We will not match that endeavor but our efforts are to continue Albany’s community pastime so that the league is not a passed time. You may see a future MLB player or a former MLB player’s baseball card in our booklet.
Advertising space in our commemorative book is $150 a full 8 x 10 inch page, $100 and $50 for a half and quarter page. Send advertising or a story to Bill Miles, 8 Criswood Drive, Albany, NY 12205 or to me at 17 Glendale Ave, Delmar, NY 12054 or [email protected]. Also for you social media types, see albanytwilightleague.com and Facebook.
Remember, “you only become 90 once.” Share the season at ball games at Bleecker Stadium, St. Rose’s Plumeri Sports Complex or Kelts Field in Waterford. The league has expanded to 8 teams and the brand of ball is exciting as I witnessed in the playoffs last August.
Thank You and umpiringly yours, Frank.