The Shelter Island Bucks team is looking for new leadership.
The Bucks have been a big part of summer life on the Island the past three years, but now one of the men who brought baseball to Fiske Field, Dave Gurney, is stepping down from the day-to-day running of the team.
The idea of bringing a of Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League team here in 2012 began when Mr. Gurney heard the HCBL was looking to expand. After speaking to a couple of people, Mr. Gurney contacted the league. It’s no understatement to say that the HCBL was thrilled about a Shelter Island franchise, looking at it as a bridge team between the North and South forks.
While the team has attracted large crowds, there still remained struggles away from the field for those involved, especially with the time factor needed to run the team.
Cori Cass was the original general manager of the Bucks, but with an expanding family he no longer had the time to dedicate to the Bucks this past year. This past season Mr. Gurney served as general manager, but for similar reasons he has to opt out of full-time duties. Mr. Gurney and wife his wife, Laura, recently had a baby, Kenny, joining Johnny, 3, and sister Lauren, 12.
Mr. Gurney said a few people have expressed interest of possibly being a general manager for next season.
But he noted that unless an individual is fully retired and can devote all of his/her time to the team, several people will be needed in management roles. Both he and Mr. Cass discovered that having full time jobs, a growing family and also running the team was just too much.
Management is in charge of finding housing, sponsors, announcers, food donations and setting up the field for every home game. Mr. Gurney mentioned that he’d been lucky with volunteers helping him with some responsibilities, but the job required more than volunteers lending a helping hand.
The community has responded well to the team and Mr. Gurney wants to see that spirit continuing. He invited anyone interested in having a more involved role in the team to reach out to him. “I’ll do everything to help them,” he said.
At the moment the HCBL consists of seven teams, and the league has expressed interest in adding another. This past season the Montauk Mustangs were added as the seventh team after the Center Moriches Battlecats bowed out.
This past year was a banner one for the Bucks, making the HCBL finals and having their first alumni drafted in the Major League Baseball Draft.