- Amateur baseball in the United States
Amateur baseball is a form of
baseballin which the players either are not paid for playing, or (as in Town Team Baseball) receive only a modest stipend or employment arranged by the team's boosters. Amateur baseball is played in the United Statesby players of all ages, from young children to adults.
Varieties of Amateur Baseball in the United States
Leagues for various skill levels and age groups exist throughout the US. In ascending order of age participation, here are a few examples:
* Youth baseball, including Little Leagues, Cal Ripken Leagues, and
Babe Ruth Leagues, cater to school age and middle-school age children of both genders. Of these, Little League baseball is the most widespread and the Little League World Seriesin Williamsport, Pennsylvaniadraws participants from around the world and is televised in the US on ESPN.
* American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC) is an amateur baseball organization in the United States for players above junior baseball age. It provides progressive and continuous organized competition from pre-teens to adults. National tournament play is organized by leagues in a manner similar to
Major League Baseball, with successful teams advancing to higher levels of tournament play, instead of the "all-star" procedure used by Little League Baseball.
American Legion Baseballis popular with young men of high school age up to 19 years old. Legion ball also provides for playoffs at the regional, state, and national levels.
* College baseball, sanctioned by the
NCAAand NAIA is also popular. At the highest level, NCAA Division I, over the past two years the College World Serieshas grossed more than 1.2 million dollars in television ratings and merchandise sales.Fact|date=February 2007
* College baseball players, especially professional prospects, often play in summer "wood bat leagues," where their lodging and meals are provided by their host team, but no money changes hands.
* Another area of broad participation is
Town Team Baseball, a sports institution in the Upper Midwest, particularly in Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
* Adult Baseball Leagues are found in cities all over the Country. The
National Adult Baseball Association(NABA) and the Men's Sr. Baseball League (MSBL) are the two largest organizations, sponsoring leagues and tournaments for a variety of age groups (e.g. 18+, 28+, 38+, 48+, 55+, etc). Both leagues play regular season games, playoffs and host tournaments on both a regional and national level. Some of the best nationally known amateurs include Chris Bartzokis, Steve Sandman, Craig Eaton, Steve Thomas and Skip Sisselman. Iron Man Stan Lewis also was along-time pitcher who pitched well into his 70's.
Amateur baseball itself benefits from the support of all of the major baseball bat manufacturers; EASTON,
Louisville SluggerTPX, and DeMarini among them.
* [http://www.dugout.org National Adult Baseball Association]
* [http://www.ncaa.org/sports/baseball/ NCAA Baseball Official Site]
* [http://espn.go.com/ncaa/rank/baseball.html NCAA Baseball Rankings]
* [http://www.MSBLnational.com Men's Senior Baseball Leagues]
* [http://www.ScoreBook.com Statistics and League Management Tools for Amateur Baseball Leagues]
* [http://www.aabc.us American Amateur Baseball Congress Official Site]
* [http://miaabc.homestead.com/index.html Michigan Chapter American Amateur Baseball Congress Offical Site]
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