By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
As we kick off our 2024 Player Profiles, there is a gentleman who has been referred to us by Mike Caputo, League President of the Glory Days Baseball League, located in Ocean County, New Jersey.
Vinny Gibson is the guy to whom Mike is referring.
“Vinny has been our treasurer for quite a few years,” stated Caputo. “On top of that he serves on the board and is paramount in helping our operation be successful. Lastly, he is the current manager of our “most fun” team, who is also the team everyone strives to beat, the GDBL Blue Jays.”
It is worth noting that Mike is also a teammate of Vinny on the Blue Jays, a team in which Vinny is also the manager.
“We have been playing together maybe six years or so and love it,” Vinny explained. “We used to draft new teams every year, dating back about eleven years when the league was formed. But then we switched to our current format a half-dozen years ago so that friends are assured of playing with friends.”
As Mike eluded, 43-year-old Vinny is also the guy who collects and helps distribute the league fees, probably the toughest job on the menu.
“I became treasurer maybe seven years ago when the league was experiencing some positive growing pains. They started a board that included a vice president, treasurer, and board members. It was becoming too much for one guy to handle effectively.
My wife was the treasurer of a youth league so I had some experience with the nuts and bolts. I pretty much knew what needed to be done. However, knowing what to do is one thing but actually collecting all of the fees is another story. This year at our recent league meeting I told the managers that they needed to collect the money from their players and each team pay me in full. I can’t be chasing individuals for money. The managers need to take responsibility and understood.”
2024 represents Glory Days’ 14th season. They started with just two teams who played each other every week and had fun doing so. They are a 21-over league with occasional waivers that are based on a case-by-case basis. Glory Days hosted six teams last year and hopes to reach seven this year, possibly eight if everything falls into place.
“I have been playing in the league since it started and our league theme that extends into any recruiting is ‘Come back to the game you love!’ I try to convey that message every day and I think it is taking hold.”
Vinny runs a new home construction company and is a realtor in his day job and is primarily a first baseman on the Blue Jays and also the manager, with an occasional stint on the mound. As Mike mentioned previously, they are the ‘most fun’ team in the league, while still being in the thick of the battle and one of the top teams.
“Our guys come into the games not looking for championships at all costs but to have a good time with friends and enjoy the fact we are all still playing this great game. Yes, we are primarily a rec league and everyone has fun as a whole. The Blue Jays have been simply called a ‘good group of dudes’ by the other players. We want to play anywhere, have fun, and we don’t try to win at all costs.”
Glory Days usually begins play the last week of June or the first part of July, because of field availability, and runs until mid-September. However, before they hit the field, Vinny has to go find his league treasurer’s hat.
“I still need all league money in by Memorial Day because I need to pay insurance, half the umpires, and field rentals. We still have deadlines to meet even though we haven’t taken the field.”
Switching gears from money to baseball, what about your greatest baseball moment, on or off the field?
“That one is easy. The big moment was two or three years ago when we were in the playoffs, and in a play-in game for championship against a team we have battled for a few years. The other team was very good. We were down one run in the bottom of the last inning and I hit a single with one out which was the tying run.
Our next guy hit the hardest ball of his life to left. He started running as the ball disappeared over the fence for the only home run he ever hit in his life to give us the walk-off victory. Just talking about it still gives me goosebumps!”
Since Vinny has been in the league from day one, he seemed the perfect candidate to summarize the most positive aspect of the Glory Days Baseball League.
“I don’t have a long, thought-out answer. It is simply that we are a very open and welcoming league, embracing any skill level. We aren’t an elite league. We enjoy ourselves. Sure, we all want to do well and win but that isn’t the end-all attitude. Guys who haven’t played for years are welcome. We are proud of our league philosophy.”