Jul 30, 2020

College summer league a hit with players, parents


Author: Brian Kollars
Date: July 30, 2020

PERKINS TWP. -- A quick stroll through the parking lot at Sports Force Parks on Wednesday illustrated the reach of the first Sandusky Bay Summer Collegiate League.

A small strip of the lot included vehicles from Oklahoma, Florida, Virginia, Michigan, Iowa, Texas and New York.

John Teeling and his wife, Karen, flew in from Billings, Montana, to watch their son Michael, who attends Oklahoma Wesleyan.

“He’s having a phenomenal time. He’s seeing pitches,” Teeling said. “No matter how I pitch to him in a cage, it’s not the same as live pitching.”

The summer baseball league wrapped up Wednesday with two games and a home run derby. It debuted in late June and welcomed more than 60 players who were placed on four teams. One of the league organizers, Ray Neill, said feedback from participants was positive, and not even a recent stretch of 90-degree days was a deterrent.

“One of the kids from Oklahoma said, compared to his state, these are nice, pleasant evenings,” Neill said.

Teeling, who retired last year after 30-plus years with the FBI, marveled at Sports Force Parks.

“I thank the community from the bottom of my heart for investing in this facility,” he said. “The more we can get these kids involved helps everyone. This is part of the answer that makes this country phenomenal.”

The younger Teeling roomed with two other players during his stay in Sandusky.

“I just got to play baseball,” he said. “With all that’s going on, it kind of took us away from that stuff.”

The coronavirus pandemic shut down many summer collegiate leagues and the Sandusky league was organized late in the game. It ended up providing a place for many college players to get some offseason reps.

“We were able to bring 65 college baseball players in,” Neill said. “They got to do what every little boy dreams of and got to play some summer baseball in a world where there’s not much college baseball going on.”

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