While the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs were unable to take the field in 2020, Regency Furniture Stadium remained busy during the summer and will remain that way through October.
On the final day of September, the Blue Crabs hosted the first game of their Youth Fall League with teams competing in several age brackets three nights each week. Throughout the summer the Blue Crabs also hosted a bevy of week-long camps and clinics for youngsters that were overseen by former major leaguers Daryl Thompson and L.J. Hoes.
Speaking of the majors, the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball recently announced that it was continuing its partnership with Major League Baseball on numerous experimental changes to the game. In fact, Major League Baseball announced that it had designated the Atlantic League as its first “Partner League” and the existing agreement has been extended through the 2023 season.
“We are excited to extend our relationship with the Atlantic League, which provides us a unique means to push the sport forward,” said Morgan Sword, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball economics and operations. “The Atlantic League have been great partners to us as we jointly test ways to make our game even more interesting and engaging to fans.”
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs manager Stan Cliburn, a former major league catcher with the California Angels, was pleased to hear that Major League Baseball had extended the agreement with the Atlantic League in regards to various experimental rule changes that could eventually make their way to the big league level.
“Anytime your league is aligned with Major League Baseball at any level, it shows you how much respect the MPB has for the Atlantic League,” Cliburn said. “It certainly helps put your league is a good light. I thought a lot of the experimental changes in 2019 went really well. I would expect most of them to make it to the majors at some point.”
“The Atlantic League is inspired by the evolution of its relationship with Major League Baseball and thrilled to be named their first Partner League,” said ALPB President Rick White. “We value MLB’s confidence in ALPB and look forward to advancing our sport together.”
The Blue Crabs Fall Youth League will resume on Tuesday with three games beginning at 4:45 p.m. The first game will pit the 13U Calvert Tide against the 14U Hughesville Hustle, followed by the 15U SOMD Aces versus the 14U SOMD Senators then the 15U API Eagles will clash with the16U Five Star Mid-Atlantic in the nightcap.
Wednesday will offer three more games also beginning at 4:45. In the opener the 13U Hughesville Hustle will face the 14U BCCC Warriors, followed by the 13U SOMD Senators against the 14U Gambrills Athletics followed by the 16U API Academy versus the 16U DC Ground Breakers. On Friday, the 14U SOMD Aces will face the 14U Next 90 Bulldogs at 4:30 in the lone contest that day.
One week later the Blue Crabs will host three games each on Tuesday, October 20th, three more on Wednesday, October 21 then one game on Friday, October 23. The Fall League postseason will take place the following week with the Championship game and consolation games beginning on Oct. 26.
Broadcaster wins award
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs broadcaster Andrew Bandstra was recently named the SOMD ARC Volunteer of the Year for 2020. In addition to his work with ARC of Southern Maryland, Bandstra was recently added as a board member for the Southern Maryland Red Cross.
“Being named The ARC of Southern Maryland Chapter’s Volunteer of the Year is extremely humbling,” Bandstra said. “My goal every year is to help the Southern Maryland community in some way, shape or form through my role with the Blue Crabs.”