Welcome Back + Division I Coaching Carousel

Welcome back! Appreciate all of you returning in the midst of football season. Incredibly enough, we’re less than a month from first pitch (kudos to Bentley for scheduling some January games in Florida), so I figured I should start getting some offseason roundup/season preview pieces up on here. No promises on the amount of posts I’ll do, but I’ll keep them coming until teams start playing outside up north— we’ll need plenty of reading material when the mild weather inevitably turns into a Day After Tomorrow scene as soon as we try to go outdoors. Anyways, enjoy, and let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see me spotlight in the run-up to the season.

In Division I, at least, only a handful of programs head into 2016 with new faces on the coaching staff. ­None of our 18 D1 programs made a head coaching change. (By comparison, four coaches were starting their first full season last year.) Eight teams returned full staffs, and three more added only a new volunteer. College baseball isn’t known for the same volatility as football or basketball in this department, but even then, it was a pretty quiet offseason.

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Growing Northern College Baseball

I spent last week discussing the proposed April to August season in Division I, focusing on the drawbacks of something I think would be a net negative for the game. Today, I’ll take a slightly different approach, asking: how can we grow college baseball in the North, specifically in New England? A summer season is one idea, but I’ll offer some others as well. As always, feel free to respond below in the comments, on twitter (@NECollegeBsbl), or via email (necollegebsbl@aol.com), and let me know what you think.

The scene is Yale Field in New Haven. A throng of 14,000 fans crowds around the baseball diamond for the biggest game of the year, Harvard vs. Yale. The spectacle attracts so much attention that a presidential candidate is in attendance to garner headlines for his campaign. The Nashua Telegraph’s correspondent gushes about the atmosphere, anticipating “the greatest game of baseball ever played in New Haven.”  “The grand stands,” he reports, “cannot begin to hold the purchasers of tickets.” Nearly every student at the university, along with thousands of alumni and fans, pack the stands, heckling the rival Crimson. Yale, reeling from a 5-1 loss in Cambridge the week before, pulls out an upset 3-0 victory behind a shutout from ace Charles Van Vleck, a top recruit from New Jersey. Settling a winner of the season series is so important that the two teams play a rubber match in New York City, which Harvard wins 9-5. Everyone agrees the games were the high point of the season in college baseball.

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