Lakemen to host Hatley in season opener
First pitch at Lakemen Field is set for 1:30 p.m.
The Braves compete in the Badger Amateur Baseball Association's North Division, while the Lakemen are in the South-Central. A full slate of South-Central Division games get under way Sunday, May 6 (see complete BABA scheduled in this week's County Post West).
The South-Central is again made up of the same eight teams that have been in the division the past several years (Waupaca, Scandinavia, Weymont, Lanark, Manawa, New London, Rosholt and Plover). The South-Central is a wood bat only division, which the BABA will switch to for the 2013 season. Division teams play each other twice during the season. Most games are played Sundays, but a few teams move a game or two to Friday night.
Final regular season games are scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 5. The top four teams in each division - South-Central, North, East and West - then continue in the playoffs.
Game admission prices will remain at $2 per adult, as it has been for many years. There will be printed posters as well as pocket-sized schedules of all South-Central games available from each team by opening day. Fans can check with any player or at local teams' concession stand for those free schedules.
The Lakemen, as well as a couple of other teams, offer fans a season ticket. A Lakemen season ticket gets a person into any Lakemen home game - league or nonleague - throughout the season, but are not valid for playoff games. The Lakemen will host seven league games as well as 10 or 11 nonconference home games. Lakemen players and the concession stand have season tickets available. They sell for $10 each or two for $15. If a fan chose to attend all Lakemen home games and purchased a season pass, that would work out to just more than 50 cents per game.
Each BABA team is required to have a roster with up to 24 players. Each player must live within a 10-mile radius of that team's home plate. However, once that player has played with a team but later moves to another town for whatever reason, he can still play with his original team. All players are amateur. Any pro player who may be cut from his team and move into the area cannot play that season unless he was released before June 1.
Each team has its own method of fundraising, with admission fees and concession stands the most common.
The Lakemen have a couple of promotional nights that also help raise funds: Fan Appreciation Night and Jackpot Raffle Night. The team also plans to run its popular Six Pack Raffle at home games that is similar to the 50/50 raffles that other teams run.
The Lakemen also have several businesses and individuals who provide sponsorships in various amounts to help with costs. This year and for many previous years the Lakemen have received generous donations from the law office of Hansen & Shambeau, Holly Funeral Home, First National Bank and Farmers State Bank. Also, Russ Meyer and Pete Jungers have made individual donations.
Lakemen fans can also help by turning their Piggly Wiggly receipts in to the team so they can be transferred into a donation from that store. A special part of the concessions at Lakemen Field is the Good Samaritan grill. That group sells hot dogs, brats and hamburgers to fans during games and shares the profits with the team.
The Lakemen are a nonprofit organization and none of the players or organization volunteers are paid, with the exception of the umpires who receive about the same pay as a high school umpire.
The Lakemen have two officers who head the group. Lee Thompson has held the post of general manager/treasurer for years and one could say that he has BABA baseball in his blood, as he has been involved as a player, manager and general manager since the late 1940s. The other Lakemen office is that of president, which the late Bob Austin held for several years. The team recently elected Lee Solberg to be president. Dave Peterson has been the team's manager since the late 1970s with assistance from Boob Weller and others.
Each team relies on volunteers to help things run smoothly. Some choose to help in the concession stand, others "pass the hat" or take tickets, some umpire and others work on field preparation.
There are also those who help with scorekeeping and/or announcing. Maybe some teams have a statistics person or publicity person who writes weekly articles. Anyone interested in helping their local team is asked to contact a team member to get involved. The Lakemen would appreciate someone interested in announcing. Last year, one of the players, usually Dean Nelson, did the job and did it well, but it would be nice for him to be in the dugout and help there as well.
The Lakemen will again offer team logo apparel to fans. Team hats can be purchased at the concession stand, but other items such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts and so on are also available. The team does not make a profit from this, so fans get the items directly from the company.
Items are available online this year. To see what is available and at what cost, fans are urged to go to www.lidsteamsports.com, click on the "team gear" logo and enter the code "LAKEMENBB."
All orders must be placed by Monday, May 7, and the clothing will arrive three to four weeks after the May 7 deadline. Fans will have their items before the season is half over. Rocky Mondello will have some information available at the concession stand. The Lakemen have home games this week scheduled for April 29 and May 6, so fans can still ask questions and get things ordered before the deadline.
Local fans have three outlets to get South-Central game scores and information. WDUX reports all of Sundays results during the Monday sports slots and updates scores from Lakemen nonconference games as they are available.
Another option is the County Post West, which has weekly columns that emphasize Lakemen games, but also includes brief sketches of all BABA games as they are reported.
South-Central secretary Nate Krake also handles a web site, www.babasc.org. The site has weekly updates as well as also season-long team and individual statistics.
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