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Russell: Edenton Steamers in search of host families

Tyler Russell

Tyler Russell

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By Tyler Russell
Columnist

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Each season, the Steamers search for host families to house our players and coaches for a twelve-week period from late May until mid-August.

It is a crucial element to the success of summer collegiate baseball and the Coastal Plain League.

The league features top college players from all over the nation, who may be freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors playing on their respective college or university’s baseball team.

The young men that play in Edenton each summer provide fans with exciting, high-level competitive baseball, while gaining additional experience toward their aspirations to play professionally.

The Coastal Plain League is one of their best opportunities to showcase their talents for Major League scouts.

In order to protect the players’ status as amateurs, those coming from programs and homes outside the immediate vicinity must be housed for the summer.

Living expenses or a summer stipend are not permitted by the NCAA, who sanctions the Coastal Plain League, creating the need for host families to act as the players’ support system away from the team.

Being a host family is typically very rewarding. In fact, it is not uncommon for a player to remain in touch with his summer collegiate baseball host family for years afterward, even when he has lost touch with the team itself.

The 2002 season saw the first two summer collegiate Coastal Plain League alumni in Major League Baseball (Mike Crudale and Ty Wigginton) in only its 6th season of existence. More recently, former Coastal Plain League players Ryan Zimmerman, Justin Verlander, World Series champion and Gold Glover Kevin Youkilis, Super Bowl Champion Russell Wilson, and our own Joe Smith and Greg Holland have highlighted this list.

With so many alums currently in Major and Minor League Baseball, and more on the way, how fun would it be to become close with one or more of these young men during their collegiate years?

Of course, host families assume an important responsibility.

It is important to remember that host families are being entrusted by both the organization, as well as the players’ parents, with the essential comfort of the player(s). In the very least, a clean, comfortable (linens, air conditioning, etc.), and private space (for example, bedroom with a door) for the player is required in order to be eligible as a Steamers host family. It is expected that pleasant interaction will take place between the player and family members also.

At the same time, these players are young adults and deserve a place in the house where they can go to rest, relax, be alone, or have a private phone conversation, etc. Beyond this rudimentary requirement, it is hoped that families would extend welcome courtesies to their player(s) much like a visiting guest, such as some meals (when not with the team), use of TV, internet, etc. Naturally, each player-family relationship will have its own dynamic but the goal is for a mutually positive experience on both ends with the Edenton Steamers always available for support and/or guidance.

For more information on becoming an Edenton Steamers host family, please contact the Steamers office at (252) 482-4080.

There are opportunities to house a player temporarily as well as for the whole season. There is also the opportunity to house a coach or front office intern.

Even if you are not interested in becoming a host family, the Steamers hope that you are excited about the upcoming season. Season tickets are now on sale at the Steamers office, located at 111 E. Freemason St. You can also purchase official 2019 Edenton Steamers merchandise at Sound Feet Shoes of Edenton.

The season will begin on Thursday May 30th when the Morehead City Marlins visit Historic Hicks Field. Be sure to follow the Teal and Black on social media to stay up to date with all things Steamers. You can find the team on Facebook @EdentonSteamers, Twitter @EdentonCPL, Instagram @edentonsteamers, and Snapchat @edentonsteamers. For more information visit edentonsteamers.com or call (252) 482-4080 .

Tyler Russell is the general manager of the Edenton Steamers.

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