Trail’s three American Legion baseball teams are all affiliated now with one team announcing it’s making a major move this year – that is, if there is a team.
All eligible players between the ages of 13 and 19 from Greater Trail, Castlegar, Nelson and Grand Forks are encouraged to come out for the Phillies A, Diamondbacks AA, and Jays AAA teams’ spring practice.
The workout and mandatory parent’s meeting goes at Butler on Saturday at 1 p.m. and is solely intended to gauge interest for the upcoming season.
“We’re a little concerned about the number of kids that might be coming out, and not knowing if we are going to be able to run three teams,” said Jays’ advisor Ed Ferraro. “Because of the area we’re in, a lot of these kids move on.”
Whether its joining the work force, or concentrating on other sports or studies, recruiting players for the Jays may be a challenge this season, added Ferraro.
However, Ferraro also announced a positive move for the team. The triple-A Jays are saying goodbye to North Idaho American Legion (NIAL) and joining the Spokane American Legion Baseball (SALB).
“Now we’re playing out of the Spokane League the same as the other two teams (Phillies and Dbacks). That offers us a real benefit where we can actually work it as a farm system where we can call kids up from the lower teams and they can come and play higher up,” says Ferraro.
Travel costs were also taken into account with the proximity of Spokane being closer than the remaining NIAL teams, and the reticence of NIAL competitors to travel north of the border to play in Trail.
“We decided we should cut our losses before they kick us out, and Spokane was more than happy to accomodate us.”
The Jays will join six other teams in the AAA division, most of which are familiar tournament foes: the Northeast 49ers, Spokane Bandits, Pullman Patriots, Spokane Blue Devils, Cannons, and North Stars.
Tryouts for the Legion teams goes Apr. 26-28.