Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mavericks Baseball

After digging out from all the recent snowfall we've received and bundling up to brave the frigid temperatures outdoors these days, I am looking forward to spring training, baseball and warmer weather much more so than usual.

While I love the Fightin' Phils as much as anybody, I'm especially fond of local baseball.  While we all know about our local Babe Ruth league teams at ARA (Audubon Recreation Association), and its girls' softball and boys' baseball leagues for the under-12 set, I bet you didn't know that Lower Providence has its own namesake Connie Mack team...the Lower Providence Mavericks.  

Designed as an alternative league to Junior Legion and Legion for those maxing out of ARA (ie, turning 13), up to a maximum age of 16, it's a competitive, exciting and less restrictive option than the rigors of those leagues, yet allows players time to do homework and have some time with their families.

First put together about ten years ago by a former township resident, the Mavericks teams were carried forward by Lower Providence resident Tom Culligan of Audubon when his son Tom (who also plays football as a defensive tackle for Methacton) grew too old for ARA.  Tom's brother-in-law, John Wolfe of West Norriton, joined him when his son John also outgrew ARA several years later; both coached at ARA. What started out as a one-team experiment has, in just a few short seasons grown to four, and possibly five this year, teams.  Some of the players' fathers have provided much needed assistance in coaching, field maintenance, scorekeeping, and running practices.

With home fields at both Gaugler Field in Lower Providence and Heebner Park in Worcester, the teams regularly play other Connie Mack opponents in the area, including Souderton, Lansdale, Warrington, Doylestown, Perkasie and others in both Montgomery and Bucks Counties. There's also an annual All Star game and a playoff series. In 2009, the team my son plays on won its championship.

The majority of the players come from Lower Providence, although there are a fair number from Worcester and a handful from other local townships. Many of the boys also play for Methacton's baseball team. One of the strengths of this league is that the coaches have been successful in keeping core groups of players from ARA together post-Babe Ruth. Since these young men have been literally playing together on teams since they were swiping whiffle balls off of tees at age 5 or 6, they have a tight bond and commitment to each other that comes from knowing each other's talents and personalities well, and truly enjoying each other's company.

The parents, too, have formed an alternate family of sorts, socializing together on and off the field, helping carpool to practices and games, and coaching. It's a tightly knit, family oriented league.

The coaches hope to continue to grow the league as time goes on and are always looking for sponsors; they made a major investment in new equipment and uniforms last year. I can personally attest to the number of hours these gentlemen contribute and the level of skill they've imparted to the players.  The boys are always exceptionally well prepared and most of the games are very exciting to watch - some, a little too exciting -, but the Mavericks are resilient and have waged some electrifying come-from-behind victories.

Registration for 2011 Mavericks baseball is now open; the sign-up fee is $250. Any registrations taking place after February 28 will incur the full fee of $300.00. Also, a uniform deposit will be collected (undated & separate check) as well, and will be returned at the end of the season when each player's uniform is returned.

Registration checks can be made payable to Montco Youth Athetic League and mailed to:

John Wolfe
2475 Stinson Lane
Trooper PA 19403

Depending on the ages and number of players who register, there could be 3 levels of Connie Mack teams: “A”,“B1", and “B”. Competition is open to all players, ages 12 through 16, providing that players 16 years of age do not reach their 17th birthday prior to May 1st of the current baseball season.

Roster spots are assigned based on tryouts and is limited, and it is possible that a player may not make a team. Any registered player who does not make a team will be issued a full refund. However, anyone who is selected for a team and decides after the selection that they do not wish to play, will not be refunded their registration fee.

Come on out and catch a game this spring/summer, or register your son to try out for one of the teams. To learn more or to register, visit

News link from 2010:

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