By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
Josh Guptel wears many hats. The manager of the newly formed Mariners of the Seacoast MSBL, a wonderful league tucked away in New Hampshire, Josh’s roots take him back to the owner of Curlies Comedy Club, a videographer and CEO for his companies Granite Marketing and Media and Olive Tree Films, and most recently guarding first base for his Mariners. He is also the idea man behind ‘The Tenth Inning’ podcast which can be viewed weekly on the Seacoast Facebook Page or YouTube.
“I was a standup comedian for a while but the kids were growing up and I was always gone,” said Guptel. “You have to go where the work is so I was gone every weekend. I have always been a good communicator so staying in the media business seemed like a good fit.”
League President Paul Brooks contacted Josh and asked him to manage a team last year. This was Josh’s fourth year playing in the league.
“We have a player who has made great contributions to our league,” league president Brooks recently told MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler. “His name is Joshua Guptel and in addition to managing the Mariners, an expansion team from last year, he has helped us with fundraisers and also has a weekly podcast promoting our league. He is a great guy and very valuable to the league.”
“We didn’t have an overly talented team last year but we had great personalities that I knew would mesh well,” continued Guptel. “The meshing went fine but we were 0-14 in 2021. But this year we have started 1-2 so we’re on a roll! I separated my shoulder last year and couldn’t play but I’m back out there at first base this year and having a blast.
I am 49 years old and am a sort of mentor to these guys, who range from 18 to my age. I try to show them that we can have fun and do things the right way. We have 15 wonderful personalities on the Mariners.”
Josh is a huge asset to the league and gets involved in fundraising and promoting the league, which led him to produce the weekly ‘Tenth Inning’ podcast
The Podcast isn’t sanctioned by the league but Josh interviews players and managers in the league and they discuss what is happening and share some great stories.
“This is the first year we have done this. As a league, we are always trying to raise money for field prep, etc. and we want to get the word out in the community and increase our presence. The podcast helps get the word out. I love talking baseball and talking about the league and not just discussing the Yankees or something. There are unlimited people to talk to and we have gotten over 500 views in our first three weeks and hope to appeal to new players, too. The rising tide floats all ships.”
Here is a link to a sample of ‘The Tenth Inning’ podcast on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uD7QNmRvvPo
What are Josh’s baseball roots?
“I was not into baseball early on but was into track. I did play ball in the eighth grade and ninth grade and loved it but it was played at the same time as track so I had to make a decision. I have always enjoyed the history of the game and coached my son from little league through high school. I have always been around the game but not as a player until a few years ago.
I went to a few tryout camps but it never worked out. Yes, softball was my only outlet until a guy in the league came into the club for lunch and told me all about the Seacoast league. I was immediately interested.”
The Seacoast MSBL is comprised of eight teams and Paul Brooks has been at the helm since their MSBL induction in 1992.
“The league was formed by Paul based on a newspaper article looking for players for a pickup league,” explained Josh. “That was in 1991 and in 1992 they became affiliated with MSBL. Paul has always been a player and still manages and plays for the Diamondbacks. If you call him and he doesn’t know the answer, he will always tell you he will check on it and call you back. He always does. He is a great asset to MSBL.”
The league is set up with a 14-game schedule and then playoffs. Josh has his philosophy in gear as he approaches his sophomore season with the Mariners.
“The first seven games I see what we have and then the next seven is to fine-tune things and then gear up. I don’t know everybody that well so it takes the first half to tighten things up. But our team attitude is what attracts people to us. I see good things ahead, win or lose. I just put my head down and manage.”