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Commissioners Notes

Commissioners Corner

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12/17/2013, 2:30pm EST
By Gary Shears

The NJIBL has a home

Over the last five seasons the NJIBL has become the home of South Jersey's premiere men’s weekend baseball league. It originally was meant solely for men’s recreational baseball but in that time the league has sponsored teams in the college summer leagues (RVL & ACBL) as well as youth baseball in the form of the NJ Patriots. This offseason the league extended its support to softball by supporting the NJ Lady Patriots as well as forming the New Jersey Independent Softball League. Essentially the NJIBL has a lot of ventures under one figurative roof so to say. Being able to do so has been one of my dreams when it came to baseball. One of my other dreams was to make baseball my full time job. Suffice it to say that a 41 (soon to be 42) year old guy at 5'9 who's waistline has expanded at the same rate as this league isn't going to supplant Chase Utley at second base for the Philadelphia Phillies. Outside of my excellent hair, I've got nothing on him so there goes that. I could probably do as bad of a job as Ruben Amaro Jr. in the personnel department for The Phightins' but I think his Stanford degree and familial pedigree in major league baseball trumps my Rowan education and my father’s penchant for blowing things up in Southeast Asia circa 1966. I don't think that will push my resume to the top of the pile ahead of his at 1 Citizens Bank Way in the near future.

My career in baseball will have to take the form of part owner of the New Jersey Diamond Academy and Sports Training Center in Hainesport NJ located in Burlington County. In the capacity of being part of the ownership, I can bring the NJIBL into this facility and have it serve as the headquarters for the league where meetings, workouts and baseball distributions can take place. With 14 cages, 4 pitching tunnels as well as a 10,000 sq. foot area for strength and conditioning programs designed specifically for baseball by a licensed professional, the NJ Diamond Academy will serve the members of the league well.  As the official headquarters for the NJIBL, banners of each championship team from the spring and summer seasons dating back from 2009 to the present will hang from the rafters. An added benefit to member teams of the NJIBL will be discounts for rentals and facility usage as well as events which will include midweek hitting leagues plus multiple cash prize tournaments throughout the year.

The Diamond Academy will open in early January and will be located at 7 Mary Way right off of the Marne Highway between Mt. Laurel and Mt. Holly. The website is still under construction but you can visit us at www.njdiamondacademy.com  for updates. Hours will be Sunday from 9:00 - 9:00, Monday – Friday from 3:00 - 10:00 and Saturday from 8:00 am - 10:00 pm.  Announcements for blocked out rental times for men’s leagues will appear on the website and Facebook page.   

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