01/21/2019 1:17 PM
Coming off a lackluster 20-35 season, the North Shore Navigators felt a slightly different approach was necessary when beginning to assemble their 2019 roster.
Locals still make up over 60 percent of the roster and will always get top consideration when spots are being filled, but adding players from around the country became a focal point in assembling this year’s team.
“Keeping our roster local has always and will always be a priority for our organization, but after last year’s disappointing season we have decided to change the way we attract players from outside of New England,” said Director of Player Procurement Joe Gill. “With help from local baseball coach Derek January, we have established relationships with some of the best baseball programs in the nation. These schools want to partner with us, but we need a couple more host families to make that a reality.”
The Navigators play six days a week during the 10-week summer season so having enough pitchers is always a major concern. It’s not uncommon for the Navigators to need upwards of 20 pitchers throughout the summer as injuries take their toll. The roster, but especially the pitching staff is, indeed, a moving target.
With this focus of adding more young, aspiring ballplayers from around the country comes with the added responsibility of finding places for them to live for the 10 weeks.
“We are so lucky to have a loyal and fantastic group of current host families. They come in all shapes and sizes,” said Navigators general manager Bill Terlecky. “We have empty nesters like the Stortz’s from North Reading, who have annually housed three players, and Adele Hultgren from Lynn. We also have folks with kids like local firefighter Ryan Newhall and his son Colin, and Lynn’s Jeanne Riley. Add in Cheryl Matsubara, who besides our players, houses teens who attend St. Mary’s. There is a mix of every type of situation.”
Host family requirements are simple: a bed, laundry facilities (for personal items; the team washes uniforms), a parking spot (some players don’t have a car, some do), and some help with meals. The players are provided with food before and after games, so don’t let feeding them be a deal-breaker; the bed is needed most. The team does provide a $300 stipend per player to help cover expenses. Free tickets to all the games are also a part of the arrangement, as you will certainly want to share the summer’s experience with your “baseball son.”
“For a kid, the memories made on the ball field last a lifetime. The friendship and relationships we have built with our hosted players will last just as long,” said host son Colin Newhall of Lynn. “When you host a player you are giving them the opportunity to someday play in the big leagues. It is awesome to watch as they play for the Navigators, college ball, and even further.”
So come one and come all as the Navigators once again reach out to the community for help. Support of the Navs comes in many forms! Hosting a player is fun and rewarding as you help each young man attain his baseball goals. Most players remain friends and stay in contact with their host moms and dads long after staying with them.
If you are interested in being a host family or for more information give Terlecky a call at 607-222-4086.