MSBL League President Spotlight: Charles McCroskey, Central Ohio MABL

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Charles McCroskey has spent the past 28 years at the helm of the successful Central Ohio MABL and became a member of the MSBL Hall of Fame in 2008 and is also a member of the prestigious MSBL Honor Roll.

MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler started the MSBL 37 years ago with the introduction of the Long Island MSBL.  As the concept expanded across the country, some leagues were quick to come aboard and remain part of the foundation to this day. 

In 2023 Steve wanted 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 hard work through their many years of leadership!

What inspired you to become involved in MSBL at the beginning? I simply wanted to play the game of baseball again.  While serving in the United States Marine Corps and stationed at Camp Pendleton, California, I started playing again in the MSBL/MABL league run by Dan Piro (North County in 1992, I believe).  I started as a player and then managed a few teams.

What drove you to want to become League President? After my discharge from the USMC, I moved back to Columbus, Ohio in August of 1995.  As a certified umpire in California, I initially wanted to umpire in the Columbus MSBL (30+) until I was “old” enough to play.  The Umpire-In-Chief at the time said I was not certified in Ohio so he could not use me as an umpire.  Since the Columbus MSBL was 30+ and did not have an 18+ division, I decided to start the Central Ohio Men’s Adult Baseball League (18+) in order to play.

What are some of the most valuable lessons you have learned through your years as League President? I think the most valuable lesson, you can’t please every team or player.  Use league/policies and be consistent in decision-making towards the teams and players.

What advice can you offer first-year League Presidents? Allow 24 hours to elapse before reacting to a dispute.  Gather as much information as possible.  Listen to players through team managers. 

Do you have any special experiences, remarks, or fond memories? Over 27 prior seasons as a player, manager, and League President, there have been too many to list.  My oldest son was one year old at the time of the first opening day in 1996.  Not knowing how the league would do or last, one of my initial goals was to survive long enough to share the field with my son.  That occurred in year 17 of the Central Ohio MABL.  Another son meant continuing for a few more years.  In 2016, my two sons and I appeared in the same game together.  I want to say that all three of us had a great day at the plate or on the mound, but that was not the case.  To be able to share the field and the love of the game with two sons was like going 4-4 at the plate.  My third son never liked baseball, so the next memory could be sharing the field with my grandson (who just turned six) although due to injuries stacking up over the last five years, my playing days may be in the rearview mirror. 

How valuable to you and your league has MSBL National affiliation been? Over the years other organizations have contacted me about changing affiliation, but MSBL/MABL National has been there and supportive of the Central Ohio MABL since 1996.  I have never questioned if MSBL/MABL National would continue to be there; year after year.  In society today, loyalty is a complex trait to find. 

What inspires you, today, to continue in your leadership role? For me, 2021 was a mental grind due to the ongoing issues that arose throughout that season (more so than I can recall in past seasons).  After a conversation with the National MSBL/MABL President and giving much thought about the past season, along with the prior 25 seasons, I concluded that the Central Ohio MABL not only provides a vehicle to play baseball, but it provides players the ability to meet new people.   The friendships/relationships created while participating in the Central Ohio MABL are just as important as the game itself.  Without the Central Ohio MABL, I would have never met the people I have over the last 27 years nor formed the friendships that I have and it is likely this is the case with teams and their players.