MSBL League President Spotlight: Brett Mandel, Greater Philadelphia MABL
By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
In 2023 MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler wants to recognize some of the original league presidents who have been a part of this remarkable journey. We have compiled a few questions for this select group and will share them with you throughout the year in a question-and-answer format. We want to thank them for their dedication and leadership!
Brett Mandel has been the league president of the Greater Philadelphia MABL for 23 years and is also an active participant at the MSBL World Series for many years and has the rings to prove it! We are happy to share Brett’s thoughts with you and give you a chance to get to know the man heading things up in the birthplace of the United States, where our Founding Fathers met, discussed, debated and formed a new country. Enjoy your visit with Brett!
What inspired you to become involved in MSBL at the beginning? Honestly, it was less “inspiration” and more “frustration” that got me to form a league. Other adult baseball options were unsatisfying.
What drove you to want to become League President? I thought that I could do it right — or, more important, I thought that if I kept on playing in leagues where forfeited matchups and games on sub-standard fields were the norm, I would need to walk away from the game because that was definitely no fun.
What are some of the most valuable lessons you have learned through your years as League President? I learned that one doesn’t need to compromise one’s standards to make a league work. There are others who want to play real baseball on quality fields. I also learned that it does not matter whether the game on the field is being played at a Major League level to be enjoyable. We are not trying to take on the New York Yankees or Philadelphia Phillies. What matters is that the experience is a good one so people are willing to take time from life and family to spend it on a baseball field.
What advice can you offer first-year League Presidents? Set your standards and don’t compromise and you will find other ballplayers who want what you want. Once you compromise — on fields, schedules, umpires, payment schedules, etc. — it becomes very hard to have a league of high quality.
Do you have any special experiences, remarks, or fond memories? The MSBL World Series in Phoenix has always been a great trip. Playing at Doubleday Field and Veterans Stadium and Citizens Bank Park was a lot of fun.
How valuable to you and your league has MSBL National affiliation been? MSBL has been incredibly supportive and helpful to the GPMABL as we have grown.
What inspires you, today, to continue in your leadership role? I like that the players appreciate the work that goes into something very simple like playing ball — folks recognize that making sure the fields are ready and umpires are paid and balls are ordered takes effort, all so guys can show up, stretch, and play.