By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
The West Metro Atlanta Men’s Senior Baseball League was founded in 2005 by Don Etheridge as a midweek alternative to the Atlanta Sunday League. Several players also wanted to work out on Saturday mornings and by 2008 there was enough interest that they added their current Saturday morning division to the league. Right now they offer a Midweek 45-over division and 35+, 45+ and 55+ divisions on Saturday.
“Our Midweek league has seven teams and Saturday totals 10,” said Etheridge. “Our season will start in early April, with playoffs concluding the week before Labor Day.
I started playing in the Greater Atlanta MSBL in 1996 and served as President in 2000-2001. I founded the WMAMSBL in 2005 and the league is currently being headed up by 2015 MSBL Honor Roll member Ron Huck.”
“In the fall of 2005 my friend invited me to play in the fall short season,” said Huck. “I was a little concerned not playing for 25 years, but after watching a game I figured everyone was a little older. I had a blast, including pulling both hamstrings in one game. But that is just part of rookie MSBL baseball.”
“I am thankful to Bruce Hollmuller for introducing me to MSBL and to Don Etheridge for starting and founding the WMAMSBL and doing such a great job establishing a great league that guys enjoy,” continued the league president.
Etheridge followed up, “One of the most satisfying aspects of our league is having started it from scratch and watching it grow and of course seeing new players coming into the league and watching seniors continuing to play the game they love. We also send many players and teams to the MSBL national tournaments, which is equally satisfying. I still play in the league and enjoy every minute.”
Like so many of the MSBL leagues in the country, one of the toughest parts of being involved in the day to day operation of the league is finding quality fields at reasonable rental fees. But with persistence Ron and Don continue to put a quality product out there in the baseball hotbed of Atlanta. Along with the trials of managing a quality league there must be many rewarding aspects that keep the fires burning.
“We are proud to offer a midweek alternative and some early games on Saturday when it is a little cooler,” expanded Don. “We want to expand our 55+ division further and have no doubt we will. Seeing the camaraderie among the players makes it all worthwhile. We try to be consistent in our approach and lead fairly while creating a family atmosphere. I’m happy with our finished product.”
Added Ron, “It is very satisfying to see our friends bringing in their friends to play. There are also new friends being made by our league members. Everyone gets the exercise they need. We have guys playing into their 70’s. It is great to see.”