Another season of Badger Amateur Baseball Association baseball is right around the corner.
Although play in the South-Central, West, East and North divisions will not begin until Sunday, May 4, the Waupaca Lakemen will open their 2014 season with a 1:30 p.m. game Sunday, April 27, against Hatley at Lakemen Field.
The BABA consists of amateur players who reside within a 10-mile radius of their home ball park. Teams traditionally play Sunday afternoons, but a few have rescheduled a couple of games to a Friday night.
The South-Central is again made up of eight teams: the Lakemen, Scandinavia Vikings, Weymont White Bass, Lanark Lions, Manawa Spurs, New London Merchants, Plover Pterodactyls and Rosholt Renegades.
The West Division includes the Little Falls Loggers, Bowler Red Sox, Caroline Cougars, Leopolis Bulldogs, Tigerton Tigers and Tilleda White Sox; the East Division consists of the Clintonville A’s, Marion Meisters, Gresham Gophers, Menominee North Stars, Neopit Chiefs and Shawano Lakers; and the North Division includes the Aniwa Orioles, Birnamwood Kings, Eland Engineers, Elderon Whiskey Jacks, Hatley Braves, Wittenberg Pilots and Polar Loons.
A schedule of all division games can be found in the Thursday, May 1, edition of the County Post West.
After a 14-game regular season which ends the first weekend in August, the top four teams head into the playoffs that wrap up with the Grand Championship played during Labor Day weekend.
Clintonville won last year’s championship over Elderon.
“Lakemen fans seem to really enjoy the action at the ballpark,” longtime Lakemen manager Dave Peterson said. “It could be a weeknight nonconference game or the seven league regular season divisional home matchups. There are frequent tailgate parties which add to the festivities. Last year, there was the Lakemen version of the sausage races at a select number of league games. It is also planned to continue the six-pack raffle at home games.
“There is always the attraction of arguably the best concessions in the league when one considers the combined efforts of the Lakemen concessionaires and the grilled wonders of brats, hot dogs and hamburgers put out by the Good Samaritans,” he added. “There is always the excitement of good baseball played with the best efforts of each team. None of the players are professional or ever were. A few may have played college ball, particularly on the nonconference teams that the Lakemen bring in, like the Appleton, Menasha and Marshfield teams.”
The BABA sets single-game prices at $2 per adult (children are admitted free). The Lakemen make it possible to attend at an even lower cost by purchasing a season ticket good for all Lakemen home games, except playoffs. Season tickets are $10 or two for $15 and are available from any Lakemen player or at the concession stand on game days.
“There are currently 16 home dates on the Lakemen schedule,” Peterson said. “This Sunday is one of eight Sundays, as the others are all divisional conference games. In June and July, the Lakemen play at least another eight home games against nonleague foes. Those games are traditionally on Wednesday or Friday nights, as the Lakemen share the field use with Legion and Babe Ruth teams.”
Lakemen schedules should be available at the concession stand in time for the May 4 game. Waupaca has home division games in May against New London, Scandinavia and Manawa.
“Make plans to stop by and check out the 2014 team and get involved with the rest of the crowd and become regulars at your favorite viewing spot, be it down the first base line to all the way around behind the home plate area to far down the left field line and even beyond,” Peterson said. “Hope to see you at the ballpark.”