For a time, there weren’t any baseball all-star games for Wyoming Valley Conference seniors.
Today will be the second one since the 2014 season ended.
After a one-year hiatus, WVC coaches got together and brought back the WVC Senior Game, which will be held at 5 p.m. at Mountain Post Legion field, where Crestwood plays its home games.
Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children. Players are asked to report at 3 p.m. with game pants and their team hats. Shirts will be provided.
The senior game joins the Field of Dreams Game, which was held for the second straight year. That contest, played at PNC Field in Moosic, pitted WVC seniors against their counterparts from the Lackawanna League.
While it was a welcome experience for local baseball players, there were a limited number of roster spots. So WVC coaches decided to bring back a game featuring only WVC players after not holding the event last year.
“We just felt that, obviously, that game can’t showcase all of our seniors,” said Hanover Area coach Mike Zapotoski, who has helped organize the event in recent years. “So instead of only getting a select few, we have 40-some deserving seniors and we can have our own game.”
Originally, 46 WVC players were selected for the game, split between East and West squads. Though a handful won’t be able to make it today, roughly 40 are still expected to play.
Zapotoski said the local baseball community helped put things together with Futuristic Innovative Graphics in Wilkes-Barre donating shirts for the players to wear during the game, umpires donating their time to call it and Legion Post 781 for hosting.
Two WVC coaches and their staffs are are also putting time in to coach the game, with Hazleton Area’s Gino Cara leading the East and Wyoming Valley West’s John Milius with the West.
Players from Coughlin, Crestwood, Pittston Area, Hanover Area, Hazleton Area, Holy Redeemer, MMI Prep and Nanticoke will comprise the East squad. The West will feature seniors from Berwick, Dallas, GAR, Lake-Lehman, Northwest, Tunkhannock, Valley West and Wyoming Area.
The likely plan is to play a nine-inning game in order to get every player onto the field at some point.
Coaches are hoping to keep the senior game going and see that it stays an annual happening.
“The kids seem to like it. It’s been good for the kids,” Zapotoski said. “For a lot of them, it’s their last time playing together, so it should be a fun event.”