MSBL League Profile: Syracuse MSBL, Matt Galletta, League President

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

The Syracuse MSBL experienced a change in leadership in October of 2023. Longtime league president Rob Allen handed the ball off to Matt Galletta, who served previously as league treasurer and vice president.  We caught up with Matt and asked him some questions regarding what life is like at the top as he tackles his first year as president of this successful 30-year MSBL staple.

League name: Syracuse MSBL

Your name: Matt Galletta

Syracuse Mens Senior Baseball League logoWhat is the history of the league and how did it start? The league was created in 1988 to provide men 30 years old and older an opportunity to play organized baseball.

What age divisions of play are now offered? The league is currently 25 and older, with each team allowed to have 2 players 22-24 on their roster but they cannot pitch.

How many teams are anticipated this year? We currently have 8 teams in our league.

When does the league begin play and when will it finish, including any playoffs? The league will start with all teams scrimmaging on Sunday, April 21. Opening Day will be the following week on Sunday, April 28. The final games of the regular season will be Sunday, August 11. Playoffs will start the following week on Sunday, August 18, and run through Sunday, September 15.

When did you personally start playing in the league? I started playing in the league in 2015 with the Reds, who are now currently the Mets.

What is your personal baseball playing history? I have always been a catcher. I played at Oswego High School and then for 2 years at SUNY Oswego. After that, I joined the Club Baseball program at SUNY Oswego and became the treasurer, president, and head coach. I coached for a few years until I got the itch to get back into playing and joined Syracuse MSBL. From there, I became the manager of my own team, then League Treasurer, League Vice-President, and manager of our League Travel Tournament team.

When did you become president? I have just recently been elected as our league president in October 2023. This will be my first season as president.

Who were your predecessors and are they still involved in any capacity? My most recent predecessor is Rob Allen. He was the president for 7 years, and I worked very closely with him throughout those years as league treasurer and later league Vice-President. He is our current league vice president, assisting in my transition into my new role. He is also the manager of the current reigning champions of our league: the Brewers.

What is your most memorable MSBL moment as a president or a player? My most memorable moment as a player was probably when I roped a double in our league’s all-star game back in 2019 at the Syracuse Mets’ stadium with my whole family there cheering me on. My sister recorded a video of it that I still watch back every now and then.

What challenges did you face when you started the league or when you took over? I quickly learned that being the president most importantly means working together with the other managers in the league to better serve them and the league. I like to work on things alone, so this was a necessary adjustment for me.

What are your biggest challenges today? So far, the biggest challenges I’ve faced are balancing my duties as president, treasurer, and manager of my own team (along with preparing for the season as a player as well).

What gives you the greatest satisfaction? Seeing things run smoothly and effectively after putting in the work behind the scenes, and helping to solve problems gives me the greatest satisfaction.

What do you see for the league in the future? I see consistency for the league in the future, along with small adjustments that can help make it better and grow.

What is the reason for the continued success of the league? The reason for the continued success of the league is the leadership of our managers and their ability to keep their players wanting to come back year after year. It’s all about our managers and players. Without them, there is no league. 

What part of running the league do you enjoy most? I enjoy the responsibility and the duty to our managers, players, and the game of baseball. It is the best game in the world and the more I can do to be involved with it and to help others enjoy it, the better.

Do you still play in the league? Yes, I still play in the league. I am the manager and catcher for the Mets. At 37 years old, it is getting harder to catch, but I want to keep doing it until I can’t anymore.

What is the history of your league team’s participation in any MSBL national tournaments? I am not certain about the history of our league in any MSBL national tournaments, but we did tie for first place last year in the NABA Hall of Fame Tournament in Cooperstown. We finished in a tie for first place due to a rainout of the championship game. Our current tournament team is still new, so we are keeping the travel somewhat local but are looking to expand to more MSBL national tournaments in the future.

What would you say are the most important accomplishments in your league? The most important accomplishment of our league is being able to allow guys to keep playing the game of baseball as long as they are physically able to. My stance is, if you can play baseball, do it for as long as you can.

How valuable is your relationship with MSBL? My relationship with MSBL is everything. Baseball is my passion, and MSBL is giving me the opportunity to continue to pursue my passion.

What advice would you give to new league presidents? Be a doer. Get things done. Do not procrastinate. Take care of business. The players depend on you. Give them a reason to have confidence in you as their leader.

How important is family support? Family support is huge. My younger brother plays on my team with me, and it has been a great bonding experience for us. I love when our family is able to come watch us play and root us on. Baseball has always brought our family together, which is another reason why I love it.