In 1993, an Emmy Award winning television producer/director by the name of Joseph Consentino conceived the idea of a summer collegiate baseball league to bridge the gap between the Atlantic Collegiate League and the Cape Cod Baseball League. Play began in the New England Collegiate Baseball League in 1994 after former major leaguer George Foster became the league’s first Commissioner and ESPN Senior Vice President Loren Matthews agreed to be the first President. The league quickly became a great stepping stone for future MLB players, as future All-Star Joe Nathan played in the league’s inaugural season.
Today, the league features 13 teams from all six New England states, as well as four from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Teams in New Bedford, Plymouth, Holyoke and North Adams provides baseball fans in Massachusetts with top-notch action across the state. The league is fully sanctioned by the NCAA and receives funding from the MLB. The league has seen many of it’s player go on to play in the MLB, including 37 during the 2016 MLB season, with notables in Rajai Davis and Stephen Strasburg.
Teams in the NECBL are divided into two divisions, the North and South with seven and six teams per division, respectively. The teams plays a 42-game regular season that runs from the beginning of June until the beginning of August. A three-round playoff format will follow consisting of the top three teams from each division. The top teams from each division will get a bye, while the #3 and #2 seeds from each division will play a one-game playoff in the Wild Card Round. The winners of those games will advance to the Divisional Round where they will face off against the #1 seed from their division in a best-of-3 series. The winners of the Divisional Round will advance to the Championship Series, which is determined in a best-of-3 series as well. The league will also host an All-Star Game next season in late July every season. As well as the game, festivities on the day will include a Home Run Derby and an MLB Talent Showcase.
If you cannot make it to the ballpark for any game, the NECBL gives you multiple ways to access games at all times. The NECBL Broadcast Network allows fans to watch every game throughout the entire regular season and playoffs. Video on Demand gives fans the ability to re-watch any game in full after the game has been played. The league issues regular newsletters that allows fans to stay up to date on all news from across the league. The Pointstreaks App is a way to follow any team, or the league as whole, straight from your mobile phone including live scores and statistics. The NECBL also has a YouTube page that is constantly updated with highlights, interviews and analysis from all-across the league.
Every season, the NECBL gives out many different awards to various players in a variety of categories. Some yearly awards that they give out include the Rick Ligi League MVP and All-Star Game MVP. Each of the previous year’s award winners are listed on their website and easily accessible for all fans. Every week during the season they will anoint one position player and one pitcher as the Player of the Week. The NECBL Record Book lists every season’s champion as well as many team and individual game and season records. All scores and stats from the current NECBL season are available at all times, as well as stats from every season to have ever taken place.
While the NECBL contains 13 teams, Massachusetts leads the way with the four teams that reside in the Commonwealth. Every season, at least 84 NECBL games take place in Massachusetts, giving fans ample opportunities to see one of the top collegiate baseball leagues in the nation take place. Below are the four Massachusetts team with information about each ball-club:
Stadium (Capacity): Paul Walsh Field (3,500)
Location: 230 Hathaway Boulevard, New Bedford
Stadium (Capacity): Joe Wolfe Field (1,800)
Location: 310 State Street, North Adams
Stadium (Capacity): Forges Field (500)
Location: 83 Jordan Road, Plymouth
Stadium (Capacity): MacKenzie Stadium (4,100)
Location: 500 Beach Street, Holyoke