Tri-County Offers Great Competition

by Marc Narducci; photo Marc Narducci | Jul 15, 2015
Tri-County Offers Great Competition Tri-County Baseball Offers Great Competition

The Tri-County men’s baseball league has a deep history and is still going strong. It began in 1953, and consists mainly of college players looking to stay sharp along with many ex-college standouts who simply don’t want to give up the game. The Tri-County Baseball League states that 90 percent of its players are either current or former college players.

This year, there are 12 teams in the league and, as usual, the competition is strong.

“This is a very competitive league,” said Mike Gallagher, who manages the Hardenbergh/Pete’s team that plays its games at Haddon Township. Entering the week, Hardenbergh/Pete’s was the league leader with a 13-3 record.

This team has a combination of former college players and current college participants. For instance, one of the key pitchers is lefthander Mike Capisano (pictured), who will be a senior at Immaculata University and is a Paul VI graduate.

One of Hardenbergh/Pete’s big rivals is the Roughriders, who play at Haddonfield’s Russ Spicer Field, home of the Haddonfield High School team. There is a team named Golden Nugget, which plays its games at Winslow Township High.

Defending champion Garton’s, is a team that plays out of Vineland. Garton’s beat Washington Township in last year’s best of three championship series.

The other teams are from Bellmawr, Camden, Cherry Hill, Deptford, Maple Shade, Woodbury and Washington Township.

There is one team, called Excel One, that doesn’t have a home field and is playing all its games on the road this year. As for history, Washington Township enjoyed the most sustained dominance by winning five straight Tri-County titles from 1997 through 2001. The team at the time was called Dr. Conner.

More recently, Bellmawr, won three straight titles from 2008 through 2010.

The regular season will end the weekend of July 26 and the playoffs begin the next day. All playoff series are best of three.

The champion earns the Harry Carter Memorial Cup. This is named for the late Harry Carter, who managed the Wenonah franchise to league championships in 1974, 1975 and 1983.

In a rule that has been implemented since 1999 and is applauded by many who are looking out for the safety of the players, only wooden bats are allowed to be used. That makes is a little safer than using aluminum bats, which can hit balls with more force, which isn’t a comforting feeling for any pitcher.

As if winning isn’t enough of an incentive, the league provides monetary awards for the playoff champion and runner-up along with the top four regular teams.

So there is plenty incentive and no shortage of hungry players who will enjoy competing for the monetary prizes, but simply enjoy competing.

Photo (Marc Narducci): Pitcher Mike Campisano, a Paul VI graduate, pitches for Hardenbergh/Pete's of the Tri-County Baseball League

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Author: Marc Narducci; photo by Marc Narducci


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