Albany Dutchmen promise All-American fun

The way Paul Samulski sees it, if people are looking for something to do this summer, they can't go wrong with an Albany Dutchmen baseball game.

Samulski, the team's president, points to the passion of the Dutchmen's players, as well as the Dutchmen's array of entertainment options and their low admission prices (the priciest tickets are $5).

You've got nothing to do this evening? Samulski said. "You drop $10 and you're in. Our prices are very reasonable."

Now in their second season, the Dutchmen play their home games at Albany's Bleecker Stadium. Members of the New York Collegiate Baseball League, the Dutchmen feature college players who spend the summer with host families in the area. The team plays nearly every day in June and July, with the season kicking off at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 4, against the Cooperstown Hawkeyes.

Jason Brinkman, the Dutchmen's general manager, said opening night will be exciting, with a live radio broadcast, free admission for youth softball and baseball players, a visit from the Albany AquaDucks mascot and amphibious vehicle, and more.

"We're going to make that a huge event for us," Brinkman said.

The team hopes people will come out that first night and be eager to return for more.

Like Samulski, Brinkman said the Dutchmen have plenty to offer.

"Even if you don't like baseball, there's going to be something you can enjoy," Brinkman said, specifically mentioning the team's food and drink selections as well as giveaways that are planned throughout the summer.

"There's really a lot going on," he said.

Brinkman knows a thing or two about trying to find entertainment options in the area, having grown up in the Capital District. A 2000 graduate of Guilderland High School, Brinkman studied sports management at the University at Michigan, which helped him land a job with the Dutchmen last year. Impressed with his work as assistant general manager, the Dutchmen offered him the general manager post before this season started.

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