Since the summer of 1947, thousands of players of varying ages and skill levels have competed in the annual Charles & St. Mary’s County Baseball League, and this Saturday morning and afternoon at Rainbow Construction Field in La Plata, the CHASM league will celebrate its 75th season by hosting an all-star game and an alumni game honoring present and past players, some of them posthumously.
Nearing the midway point of the current season of CHASM play, the league will host its all-star game at 11 a.m. on July 17, followed by a ceremony at 1:30 that is designed to recognize all of the coaches and players who have played in the league and bridged the gap for generations of families and friends. An alumni game for past players will then take place at 3 p.m., an outing that is destined to generate ample applause for participants regardless of their current ages and skill levels.
“This is definitely going to be the biggest event that we have ever had,” said CHASM President Dave Cross, whose twin daughters, Kassidy and Kaylee Cross, played softball at Northern High School and later in college. “We have even secured the lot next to the field for overflow parking anticipating the crowd. It’s going to be a special day for anyone ever associated with CHASM baseball.”
Cross, 58, played in the league for 25 years and was initially the president from 2004 to 2008 before stepping down to focus on watching his twin daughters play softball and volleyball at Northern. Although his playing days are behind him, Cross can still recall the countless players and coaches he played with and against over the years, and the memories that correspond. Many of them will be honored in the ceremony between games on Saturday.
“That’s the main thing about the ceremony that we’re going to have between games on Saturday, to honor all the players and coaches who have ever been a part of CHASM baseball,” Cross said. “There have been so many players who have sons play in the league. It’s always been a great family atmosphere. Throughout most of the summer it’s pretty relaxed, but there’s nothing like playoff baseball in September. I was fortunate to be part of nine championships, but I always remember the finality of it all.”
With the 75th season celebration taking place this weekend, the CHASM regular season slate is on hold until July 24 when three-time reigning league champion Western Charles (4-4) clashes with Pomfret (8-0) in a rematch of last summer’s title series. Pomfret went 17-1 en route to capturing the league title last summer, but the Pirates were upended by the Natty Bohs in the championship series.
Indian Head (4-2), formerly known as Bumpy Oak during CHASM play, will once again be among the teams looking to contend for the regular season and tournament titles. Current player/coach Darren Sanders has enjoyed his initial playing days in the league and is looking forward to this weekend’s all-star and alumni games, as well as the ceremonies in between.
“This league has always been competitive and a lot of fun,” Sanders said. “It’s great for the guys who compete and their families always enjoy watching them compete. It’s amazing to think this league has been around for 75 years. Even last year we played during the pandemic.”
In addition to the special games this Saturday at Rainbow Construction Field, the CHASM league will also be hosting a golf tournament at Wicomico Shores on Friday, Aug. 20, and later will present a special 75th season celebration banquet sometime this fall at the Waldorf Jaycees Center.