New Hampshire Hardball

Summer baseball still possible

Here are two baseball-related stories that recently appeared in the Union Leader. The first is about local coaches forming leagues for summer baseball at the high school level this year, and the second states that it’s unlikely the New Hampshire Fisher Cats will play ball this year.

The New England Independent Baseball League, which has been around since 2013, has 20 teams committed to playing should Gov. Chris Sununu give the approval for summer sports, and a group of Legion coaches is working on forming a league for their teams.

The NEIBL, which formed in southern New Hampshire as Senior Babe Ruth faded in the area, has six to 12 teams in a typical season, league president Tom Walker said.

“We’re ready, willing and able to play ball. The question is, will the cities and towns and governor allow it?,” Walker, who is the varsity baseball coach at Souhegan High School in Amherst, said. “There’s overwhelming interest in summer baseball.”

The NEIBL has in the past played three days a week, to allow players to attend to summer jobs. Walker said. This year, the schedule might be expanded to accommodate more teams. He said there has also been discussion of offering varsity and junior varsity levels so that more kids can play.

“We will morph our league to whatever we can get accomplished,” Walker said. “The limitation like everything is going to be our field space.”

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The New Hampshire Fisher Cats probably won’t play this year, the minor league baseball team’s owner told the New Hampshire Union Leader on Friday.

“We, of course, feel terrible that it’s not likely that we’ll play this summer,” Arthur Solomon said in a phone interview.

Through Saturday, 36 games will have been postponed — including 16 at home. The season was scheduled to start April 9 on the road and April 16 at home at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

A canceled season could mean a “bottom line” loss of more than $1 million for the Fisher Cats this year, said Solomon, who has owned the team for 15 years.

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