2024 MSBL Honor Roll Inductee: Jake Brentlinger, Michiana Adult Baseball League

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Jake Brentlinger’s title as part of the Michiana Adult Baseball League, located in Niles, Michigan, is Vice President and Treasurer. Though technically not the league president, his duties in this 12-team, 17-over league include managing finances, scheduling, assigning new players to teams, umpire scheduling, equipment purchasing, concessions inventory, field management, score keeping, and sponsorship deals.

Although his title may not reflect it, he does pretty much everything that keeps the league running smoothly.    

“This year I am trying to step back a little so I’m not spending 18 hours at the ball park every weekend,” explained Jake.  “With twins coming any time now, I just can’t maintain the level of commitment I had previously. I will continue the duties that don’t require me to actually be at the ball field for every game.”

Because of Jake’s commitment in ensuring that the Michiana Adult baseball League runs smoothly and professionally, MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler has inducted Jake into the 2024 class of the prestigious MSBL Honor Roll.

Following is a Q/A recently submitted by Jake for inclusion in this article. Please enjoy Jake’s story!   

Michigan adult baseball league logo.Your name: Jake Brentlinger

City or town of residence: Niles, MI

Age: 29

League name: Michiana Adult Baseball League

Town where league is based: Niles, MI

Where did you grow up? Niles, MI 

What do you do for a living? Senior Loan Officer

Family information: My wife and I met in high school and this year is our 7th anniversary. We have a beautiful daughter, Ophelia (3). We decided to have one more child in 2023 and in May 2024, we are expecting twin boys! (I’ve got my pitcher/catcher duo now). We are currently building a new home to accommodate our growing family and expect this to be complete by August 2024.

Describe your baseball resume: I have played ball ever since I could swing a bat. Baseball has been a part of my life since I was about 3 years old. When I was about 12 years old my all-star team went to Lexington, KY for Regionals. The following year on my travel team, we went to a tournament in Omaha, NE and got to watch the CWS that year.

I played all throughout high school and joined a Legion team (Post 204), where I played for 3 years. I had a brief stint of JUCO ball at Lake Michigan College, but due to education expenses, I had to decide between playing ball or working to pay for school.

What is your greatest baseball moment, either watching or playing? I think my greatest moment was when I was about 12 years old. I had broken my left hand and was in a cast for a few months during baseball season. Obviously, I didn’t want to miss any games, so my coach put me in right field and kept me in the lineup.

During my first at-bat, I had my cast arm across my chest and held my bat with my right hand. I ended up hitting a double off the wall and everybody there couldn’t believe what I did while wearing a cast on my arm. I will never forget that moment.

When did you start playing for MSBL and how did you hear about it? Previously, our league was run by a single person and had no affiliation with MSBL. There was fraud happening and the league was not going to exist anymore after that came to light.

A group of men came together to save the league. We created a Board, with David Sokolowski as president, established a relationship with MSBL, opened a non-profit association checking account, and have rebuilt relationships that were destroyed by the previous president. Our new league was established in 2022. I discovered MSBL by thinking there should be a ‘Little League’ type of organization, but for adults.

Do you still play? Yes. I’m a utility player but try to stick to 3B/SS and pitch about 4 innings before my arm is done.

What team and age bracket? Midwest Mayhem – 17+

What is the best thing about your league? The best thing about our league are the people in it. As a volunteer, I have had many times of nearly calling it quits with managing this league due to the time away from my family it takes. However, the sense of providing a place for all the former high school, college, and even minor leaguers to continue playing the game they love, keeps me coming back. We are becoming a mainstay in our community and provide the opportunity for baseball to continue even after high school and college.

Do you participate in any MSBL national tournaments? Not currently

Who is your favorite player of all time and why? My favorite player of all time would have to be Bryce Harper. He debuted in the MLB about the time that I was a junior in high school. Seeing a player debut in the MLB at such a young age and being as electric as he was, it made me a fan for life. He plays hard and has always kept his head down outside of baseball.

Are there any comments about MSBL you wish to share? I am grateful for the partnership MSBL has provided. Steve Sigler has been a fantastic resource to us, and I appreciate the support he provides. They allow us to recruit new players to our league, provide support when needed, and give us a platform to make our league more “official.”