League baseball numbers are up
Even with fewer teams, Marion’s rec league baseball and softball numbers are up by 42 from last year.
A total of 257 kids ages 3 to 18 are participating in the summer leagues.
Rec director Margo Yates said there is one fewer softball team for 13 to 16 year olds and no Senior Babe Ruth team.
“This is typical with older kids,” Yates said. “Each year is different. As they get older they get jobs, and it varies how many play ball.”
Even though numbers dropped by 10 in older age groups, interest is up in younger age groups.
The biggest jump is in Blast Ball, the youngest group of players. This year there are 45 players, an increase of 22.
Though there are two less girls playing this year among 5 and 6 year olds, two more boys are keeping the total at 43.
“It sure seems like there are more kids,” parent Jordan Metro said. “The parking lots are full if you get to the ballpark after 6:30 p.m.”
Metro said his own parents were shocked at how many young players there were when they came from out-of-town to watch their granddaughter, Kaelynn, play t-ball.
There are three more players in coach-pitch (ages 7-8) and an additional 13 players can be accounted for in 9-10.
There are also two more players in 11-12.
Next summer, coach-pitch batters will swing at balls thrown by a new pitching machine rec plans to purchase.
“The league is going to have one next year for sure,” Yates said. “It’s becoming the standard in most towns.”
Yates said the machine costs about $150 and will paid for out of a $500 budget rec sets for equipment every year.