By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
The Redwood Empire Baseball League is one of the most experienced leagues in the MSBL family of over 325 leagues from around the country. Formed in 1990 in Santa Rosa, California this powerhouse league is under the guidance of Rick Cantor, who has held the position of president the past 16 years. “We had a president who was removed after two years and nobody volunteered to take over so I jumped in to ensure that the league would continue. 2018 will be our 29th year and we’re very proud of that,” explained Cantor.
Because of Rick’s dedication, league growth and member participation in the various MSBL national tournaments, MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler has designated the Redwood Empire Baseball League as the ‘League of the Month’ for April.
The REBL offers play in 25+, 35+, 45+, 55+ and 65+ divisions and anticipate 39 teams suiting up for the 2018 season. “Our season starts in early April and runs through late September,” said Cantor. “Then it’s time to start getting ready for fall tournaments, including the MSBL World Series in Arizona in October.”
Rick is especially proud of the league’s stability, growth and the contributions of the board of directors. “Mike Zaccagna is the original founder of the REBL in 1990 and still plays in the league and currently is a member of our Board of Directors. It’s comforting having Mike around to chip in.”
Redwood Empire proudly hosts the annual ‘Day at the Coliseum’ that takes place at the Oakland Coliseum, home of the Oakland A’s. Started in 2005, the day pits league players against one other in an exhibition in a major league ballpark just for the love of the game. Just like the old days of ‘flip the bat’, players pay a fee for the park rental, they choose sides and they play ball. You can click on the picture above to see some highlights from the 2017 edition, thanks to Jeff Lowery and APN Video.
Cantor further explained his relationship with MSBL. “As a league president and a lifelong baseball addict, the MSBL plays a large part in my life. It has had a profound effect on me and my family, and as such, my relationship with the organization is very valuable. Steve Sigler has created an organization that has brought immeasurable happiness to countless individuals, and we are all extremely fortunate to be a part of it.”
Do you have any advice for potential league presidents? “First, realize that’s it’s a beautiful thing you’re doing in volunteering your time to run a league that is so important to so many people. You’re providing a very large service to your local community and you should be proud of that.
Second, make sure to create a dependable support system around you, as it’s nearly impossible to do this alone and retain your sanity. Utilizing the MSBL’s resources is crucial in running your local league, so be sure to be open to the help and direction from the national office. And most importantly, make sure that your significant other and your family has an idea of the time and effort that it takes to manage your local league. Surprises are usually not a good thing.”