It appears the national pastime is still alive and well in Cottage Grove this summer at historic Kelly Field… even for adults. A 25-and-over hardball team named the A’s is playing Sunday doubleheaders against other teams in the Eugene Men’s Senior Baseball League. If you’d like to attend a game you can find out when the A’s will be playing at the EMSBL website: playyon.com/emsbl.
The green and yellow clad A’s are coached by Cottage Grove High School grad,
Larry Thompson, who starred at bat and on the mound for the CGHS varsity team from 1967-1969.
At age 70 Thompson is still playing hardball, and competing against men almost 50 years his younger.
He has been playing in the EMSBL league since the mid-1990s.
The EMSBL was formed in 1994 and has been competing ever since. EMSBL is an affiliation of the Men’s Senior Baseball League (MSBL), which is the governing body nationwide of baseball for men 25 years of age and up. However in the EMSBL there is an age exception. A team can have two players under 25, but those younger players are never allowed to pitch. Also, unlike most baseball, free substitution in the field is allowed, and every player gets to hit.
The number of teams has varied over the years, but this season there are six teams: the A’s, Brewers, Cardinals, Giants, Heavyweights, and Red Sox.
The Sunday doubleheaders begin at 11 a.m. and usually are over by about 3:30. Games are played each Sunday with four different sites used depending on the schedule: Cottage Grove’s Kelly Field (home turf for the A’s) as well as the Pleasant Hill, Churchill, and Glide High School diamonds.
The A’s played for the first time this season after getting rained out on June 19. On Sunday, June 26, the A’s swept a doubleheader, beating the Cardinals11-1 in the first game with Cottage Grove’s own Mikki Rice earning the win on the mound. In the second game, the A’s came back from a 6-3 deficit to score again in double digits for the win. Brett Bucheit went all 7 innings on the mound for the win, overcoming a 6-run inning where all the runs by the Cardinals were unearned.
Note: All the teams in the league will be off on July 3, but again, check the schedule to see when your hometown A’s will be at Kelly Field.