New team to play season with purpose
The Milford Athletics, an adult baseball team, is set to begin play this April in the CT National MSBL.
The league, which plays its games on Sunday mornings, announced in December that it had agreed to add the Milford A’s to the schedule.
Milford natives and childhood friends Russ Neely and Brent Smith grew up together playing baseball through high school at Jonathan Law.
As adults, they continued playing baseball while working side by side at the 7 Seas Restaurant & Pub in downtown Milford.
They had been playing in the CT NMSBL for a Stamford-based team for a few years, and after the 2012 season they decided it was finally time to bring a new team to town.
“As Brent and I talked to former teammates and friends in Milford about starting up a new team they were enthusiastic about the idea of taking the field together again” Neely said.
Tragically, Smith unexpectedly passed away in November. Understandably, at first, baseball was the last thing on anyone’s mind as Neely and all those who knew and loved Brent were devastated by his loss.
Eventually though, it became clear that forging ahead with the team while dedicating it to Brent’s life would be a fine way to honor him, given his lifelong passion for baseball.
The CT National MSBL has teams in Stamford, New Canaan, Westport, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Trumbull, Monroe and now Milford.
It is open to players age 28 & up (with limited exceptions for those 25 & up) and is affiliated with the MSBL (Men’s Senior Baseball League), a national organization with 325 local affiliates, 3,200 teams and 45,000 members who play organized amateur baseball in local leagues, providing an opportunity to play real baseball at a competitive level.
Over the past few seasons, several of the Milford A’s new players competed against each other for various teams in the league.
Now together they will be out to prove that they are more than just an expansion team.
Steve Ortega, a Milford resident for eight years and a veteran of 20 seasons in the CT National MSBL, is one of the key members helping to get the team off the ground.
“We are excited for the 2013 season and we’re building a strong team for years to come,” he said.
“The depth and stability of the CT National MSBL gives more players the opportunity to continue playing the game they love.
“Former players from other area leagues, like Bridgeport Senior City and West Haven Twilight would certainly feel right at home in our league.”
The league plays an 18 game regular season which runs from April to August. Playoffs usually take place in September.
Anyone interested in more information about playing for the Milford A’s can contact Neely 203-314-7520 or at email@example.com.