continued West Albany experimented with playing on the larger field when it established a travel league program in 2010 and started competing against other area Cal Ripken League teams. It then instituted those rules for its in-house recreational league, and Manion said the players enjoyed it. That led to West Albany’s decision to end its Little League charter and align with Cal Ripken Baseball.
“The overall purpose for this … wasn’t so much for us to grab kids from all over the [South Colonie school] district. Obviously we can expand to the whole district, but our purpose was to give our kids a better brand of baseball,” said Manion.
Prevratil said that he hasn’t heard many complaints from Colonie Little League parents or players about the brand of baseball his league offers.
“I’d say most of the people who play in our league enjoy it,” said Prevratil. “They love putting on the hat with a ‘C’ on it.”
South Colonie Youth Baseball is currently participating in a fall travel league with fellow Cal Ripken programs in North Colonie, Niskayuna and Clifton Park. The first full Cal Ripken season in West Albany begins next spring, and Manion said he is expecting approximately a 10 percent increase in the number of players from this past year in Little League, when West Albany had nearly 300 players.
“We have adequate field space now [to handle the increase],” said Manion. “If our program was to grow by, let’s say, 20 percent, our fields can handle that. We do have expansion room, if it is needed.”
For information on South Colonie Youth Baseball, visit www.eteamz.com/scbaseball. For information on Colonie Little League, visit www.coloniell.org.