The Munson Disciples aka Collegians are kicking off the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League today.
The ACBL is the largest college summer baseball league in the country. It is also affiliated with Major League Baseball.
I am proud to be a manager in this league because as a kid I always wondered if I would be good enough to play in it.
I remember all the great players from the tri-state area playing there and then moving on to the pro ball.
When top team officials Tom Hopke and Ike Goldstein asked me to manage this team I was really excited and proud. It was such an acknowledgment of them respecting my true love and knowledge of the game.
I told Ike that the only way I would do it was if we could get permission from Diana Munson to call the team the Munson Disciples. I explained that Thurman was the player that I had the most respect for during 49 years in the game because of his intensity and a great winning attitude. Like some of the others on the Yanks, he thought me to be strong because he was a man’s man! It didn’t take much convincing with Ike because I found out that he was every bit as much of a Munson fan as I am.
When I told Diana about my idea she gave me a complete thumbs up. She said that she loved it because a whole new generation of kids was going to learn about Thurman Munson.
This made me so happy because she was as excited as I was.
Today we play our first game at Eisenhower Park in Nassau County at 5 pm.
Dom Scala the legendary baseball coach at Adelphi University but more importantly the Bullpen catcher and coach for the World Champion Yanks during the Munson era will throw out the first pitch.
I am very happy that our club has kids from different parts of the city and the country playing together. Kids of different ethnicities are something that is very important to me because through baseball I learned to love ALL of thy fellow men.
If you really knew Thurman Munson then you would understand that baseball did the same thing for him.
I loved and love Thurman Munson and I would like you to love him too.