Time to step up for the Island — Championship team needs help with housing

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO High fives all around from the Bucks at a game last year at Fiske Field.

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO High fives all around from the Bucks at a game last year at Fiske Field.

Heads up, Islanders, spring is here and we’re set for new season for the Shelter Island Bucks.

This year’s team — the defending Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League champions — will soon be arriving with the 2015 HCBL trophy and a bat signed by each member of last year’s team.

Fiske Field has been rolled and the grass is a brilliant green thanks to all those rainy spring days. There are new dugouts ready and waiting and the players are expected to be on the Island the first day of June. The first two games, both at home, will be played that week.

That’s the good news. Now we have to take a short look at the bad news and come together to solve a problem.

We can only root for a team if we can find accommodations for the players on the Island. Due in most cases to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, life changes and not, repeat not, to any unpleasant encounters, we’re six houses short. That number could be reduced to three if three families take two players each.

Let’s review what’s involved if you house a player. The season lasts from June 1 through the end of July and if the team is in the playoffs it will extend into the first week of August.

Each player needs a place to sleep and some space in the fridge. That’s it, basically. They provide their own transportation and are gone most days for almost the whole day and evening, with practice in the morning, a game in the afternoon, supper together with the team (provided by Island restaurants) and are not done until almost 8 p.m. In the evenings, they usually hang together until curfew, which is 11 p.m. weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends, but host families can adjust those times to fit their schedules.

These are really good, responsible college students — smart, hard working and enthusiastic. If you have children at home, they’ll love having them, and if you don’t, it’ll remind you of when you did. There are bonuses beyond the company of the young men:

If you’re without someone to climb a ladder and change a light bulb, or other simple household chores, they’ll be there for you.
Some families have made connections, bonds that they know will last for a long time.

In case you’ve already made plans for a vacation, to attend a wedding, a birthday party, to be off-Island for several days or even a week, we have families who will back you up, take your Buck for the time you’ll be away, so you can travel without worry.

You’ll never be alone throughout the process. General Manager Frank Emmett and the Bucks executive committee will be available for backup whenever and for whatever you need. You can reach us at home or on the field, we won’t be hard to find.

Whatever you might be worried about, we’ll be there for you.

And if there’s some special circumstance — if you’d really like to do this but something is standing in your way — get in touch and maybe we can solve the problem together.

Big houses, little houses, any kind of houses, this is what we need. Please come through for us, for the young players and the Island.

That Star Spangled Banner will be playing any minute now, followed by,  “Play ball!”

Please call me at 749-0802, Frank Emmett at 749-4251 or Dave Gurney at 749-0097 to participate or with any questions.

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