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Bucks opening at home Friday against Riverhead

COURTESY PHOTO Team mascot, Billy Buck, with the 2015 Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League trophy, inviting one and all to the Bucks opening day on Friday.

COURTESY PHOTO Team mascot, Billy Buck, with the 2015 Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League trophy, inviting one and all to the Bucks opening day on Friday.

The Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League champion Shelter Island Bucks open their season on Friday at Fiske Field versus the Riverhead Tomcats.

The players arrived on the Island on Wednesday, which left enough time for exactly one practice.

Assistant General Manager Dave Gurney has been juggling the roster weekly as players become unavailable due to injury or other reasons and new players take their places.

The team is still looking for two to three additional beds and perhaps as importantly, for families that can pitch in for five day stretches during the season if a host family is going away or for any reason is unable to be around for short periods. Contact Dave Gurney at 433-1502 if you would like to participate.

Host families will collect their players from the train station in Greenport, the ferry docks or, in the case of General Manager Frank Emmett and his wife, Colleen Smith, from Islip Airport.

“I have this habit of getting Californians,” Mr. Emmett said. “When we first did it, there was a series of [injuries]. They broke their thumbs or they got injured or something else to the point we had the priest come and bless the house, but I don’t think you need to go to that extent.”

One theme for the team this year is to be more involved in the community. On June 8, during fourth and fifth periods, the players will host an assembly at the Shelter Island School where they will show the short film “Opening Day,” which was made by ex-Buck Jimmy Jack of Loyola Marymount University.

A week later, the message to the team for the Shelter Island 10K scheduled for June 18 is “you’re either running, helping with the pasta dinner, helping set up the flags for the Joey Theinert mile or working a water station in uniform or whatever Race Director ME Adipietro wants you to do,” Mr. Emmett said. “Our presence in the 10K should be bigger this time than ever before.”

Fiske Field looks better than ever this year thanks to volunteers too numerous to mention, Mr. Emmett said. From the new dugouts to the scoreboard, to the protective netting and tree clearing to the beautiful infield, it is an idyllic setting for summer baseball.

There are still opportunities for local businesses to support the team through advertising. They can hang a sign on the outfield wall, or take advantage of several other publicity options. To find out more, contact Dave Gurney.

Bring some folding chairs or sit behind home plate and enjoy your 2016 Shelter Island Bucks on their opening day, June 3 at five p.m.

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