Old school hardball: Adult amateur baseball league wraps up spring season

Utah Adult Amateur Baseball League all-star game at Elks Field, St. George, Utah, July 6, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Who says an athlete has to let go of his favorite sport, just because he’s not a youngster anymore?

Utah-AABL-Adult-Amateur-Baseball-LeagueThe 35 or so baseball players in the St. George division of the Utah Adult Amateur Baseball League wouldn’t listen anyway. They’re too busy getting their game on.

Monday night, the league wrapped up play for the spring season with an all-star game of sorts at Elks Field. Players from the three southern Utah teams, the Rebels, the Jaxx and the Hardballerz, ended the year with a thrilling 12-11 game amid scattered showers in St. George.

Pinch runner Nolan Tanner scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth by stealing home with two outs. He was on board running for Aj Martinez, who had doubled with one out.

Craig Zimmerman applies the tag on a pickoff play at first base Monday night, Utah Adult Amateur Baseball League all-star game at Elks Field, St. George, Utah, July 6, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Craig Zimmerman applies the tag on a pickoff play at first base Monday night, Utah Adult Amateur Baseball League all-star game at Elks Field, St. George, Utah, July 6, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“The game was awesome,” said Martinez, the Hardballerz catcher. “It was a great turn out tonight. The atmosphere was great and the game did not disappoint. We had a 7-0 lead at one point, but they came back hard.”

The Utah AABL, with the mission statement to “provide an opportunity for men 18 and over to play hard competitive baseball,” has been in existence since 1989, some 26 years of post-high school baseball for the league. In 2014, the mostly-Salt Lake City populated league added a handful of teams in St. George.

Aside from age eligibility, there are no rules preventing a player from joining a team in any of the four age divisions. It all depends on the player’s skill and comfort level on the field. The age divisions are 18+, 25+, 35+ and 45+. The Utah AABL website describes its players as “all wannabes, has beens, never was, but for those three hours we aren’t married, we have no kids, we don’t have bills, and we don’t have jobs. We are at bat, or on the mound, in the bottom of the 9th with two outs and the bases loaded.”

A.J. Martinez fields a ground ball, Utah Adult Amateur Baseball League all-star game at Elks Field, St. George, Utah, July 6, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
A.J. Martinez fields a ground ball, Utah Adult Amateur Baseball League all-star game at Elks Field, St. George, Utah, July 6, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

The game Monday night, which was started with the Pledge of Allegiance, was managed by coaches Dave Maycock (Rebels), Nate Buys (Jaxx) and Craig Zimmerman (Hardballerz). Gary Bowman is the president of the Utah AABL, with Jerry Bogucki heading up the southern Utah division.

The league resumes play this fall, starting in August. Due to the demolition of Elks Field, the AABL will play at the Hurricane High baseball complex this fall.

Anyone interested in playing in the AABL can check out the league website at this link, or visit the AABL Facebook page.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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