Summertime Wooden Bat Leagues Across the Country
By Lynn & Cele Seldon
Every summer, baseball fans across the country are drawn to a phenomenon generally referred to as “wooden bat leagues.” With more than 40 leagues, the teams generally consist of college players (including many Major League prospects) who use wooden bats like they do in the pros, rather than aluminum bats used in college baseball.
“The popularity of many college baseball summer leagues is through the roof,” says Lou Pavlovich, Editor at Collegiate Baseball. “College baseball summer bat leagues are the heartbeat of America.”
Here’s our lineup of nine geographically diverse wooden bat leagues, with many other pinch hitter possibilities awaiting baseball fans in search of the crack of the bat come summer.
1. Alaska Baseball League
“One of my favorite summer wooden bat leagues is the Alaska [Baseball] League,” says Pavlovich of our leadoff league. “There have been tales about players who have been chased by bears.”
2. California Collegiate League
Canvassing California from Orange County to the Napa Valley.
3. Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League
League players aspire to be the next “Iron Man” of baseball.
4. Cape Cod League
Founded back in 1885, Pavlovich says nothing beats this league for elite baseball competition, with numerous high-profile college players who are expected to be top future MLB drafts.
5. Coastal Plain League
Pavlovich reports the historic league’s Savannah Bananas have to be seen to be believed, including legendary player walk-up introductions, player and umpire dance routines, and much more.
6. Florida Collegiate Summer League
Situated in Central Florida with six teams, the Sunshine State features great baseball beyond spring training and two Major League teams.
7. Northwoods League
Pavlovich says this league, with 20 teams in the upper Midwest, attracts the largest crowds annually, with attendance at nearly one million fans last year.
8. Prospect League
From Pennsylvania to Illinois, this league features lots of Major League prospects, as promised.
9. Texas Collegiate League
Featuring premier summer baseball, Lone Star State-style, this league is known for great players.
Frequent TrailBlazer contributor Lynn Seldon was the head groundskeeper for Virginia’s Winchester Royals in the historic wooden bat Valley League for three seasons, when the Royals won the championship all three years. He and fellow TrailBlazer contributor Cele have attended more than 500 baseball games in the last 30 years.
IF YOU GO
For a great summer wooden bat leagues resource, head to Collegiate Baseball’s www.baseballnews.com/summer-collegiate-leagues