MSBL League Snapshot: Hudson Valley & Westchester (NY) MSBL, President Rick Stockfield
Welcome to the Hudson Valley Men’s Baseball League (HVMSBL). The league was established in 1990 as the Hudson Valley Rookie League. In 1996, the HVMSBL spun off became what it is today. It is affiliated with MSBL National, a national organization with 325 local affiliates, 3,200 teams, and nearly 50,000 members who play organized amateur baseball in local leagues, regional and national tournaments. The league by far has the most player and manager-friendly rules – though we have the highest quality baseball anywhere in and around. We as a league invoke the highest levels of competition, comradery, transparency, and integrity and accept nothing less.
The HVMSBL consists of two divisions. 35+ Division (allowing three players 30 or older) which plays predominantly weeknights and our 45+ Division (allowing three players 40 or older) which plays mostly Saturday mornings. We work with an affiliate organization for those ballplayers not currently 30 or older (18+).
Geographically, we cover Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Rockland, Fairfield, and Westchester Counties.
Our league has steadily grown over the years to our current 19 teams. We’re proud to state we’re the longest-running men’s league north of New York City. One of our main goals is to offer all players of all abilities a place for players to play ball. And when we do, we help, providing new teams with full catcher’s gear, helmets, and credit for jerseys…at OUR cost!
Here are some quick answers to your initial questions:
Costs – because we are officially a not-for-profit league, we are able to offer the very best value to play baseball in the tri-state area! Your dues cover everything (other than uniforms, your glove, and your bat)…they cover baseballs, umpires, field fees, website, scorebooks, social media presence, and league-sponsored night for players and managers!!! One price, no additional out-of-pocket expenses! And we give back more than any league around in form of championship checks for all division champions, trophies, and of course our year-end blow-out party!
The guys that run the league are volunteers and don’t make anything…we have taken on the leadership roles simply to promote better baseball. We’d rather spend money on the best fields, umpires, baseballs, and marketing to ensure we bring baseball to all those that want to play! Dues will depend upon which age division you play and includes all the above plus insurance and national dues which afford you the opportunity to play in all of the MSBL tournaments, mostly on professional minor league and spring training fields. Want to play in national or regional tournaments? Our League will help you get there offering stipends for teams to go to national tournaments and slightly smaller stipends to go to regional tournaments!
Aluminum or Wood – we’re purists, wood! Leave the aluminum at home.
Level of Ball – though we do have quite the arsenal of players that played baseball in college, D1, D2, and D3, and junior college ball (and a few that have touched low levels of professional ball), many of our players have only played on their high school or local leagues, while some never have. You may have some reformed softball players. Most of the pitchers throw from 60-85 mph (some more, some less), and while we may have a few hitting the mid-80’s, oddly enough many in the league hit the straight stuff. Those that succeed, throw strikes and play fundamental ball. While some leagues tout how competitive they are, we’ve seen some shun their best teams quite simply because they’re too good, we’ve welcomed other league’s champions looking for great competition and fairness. We embrace good teams, keyword ‘team’! No one’s getting blown away…if they were, they’d not be playing here. That said, if you’re looking for phenomenal competition, you’ll not find any better than the HVMSBL.
Length of Season – number of games – the 35+ division typically plays an 18-game schedule and a double-elimination playoff. Our 45+ division plays a 16-18 game schedule plus playoffs!