MOREAU — A low-cost travel baseball league is seeking sponsorships to help more youths join the league.
The Moreau-based Northeast Hurricanes Travel Baseball Club, for youths ages 10 and up, has now become an official nonprofit organization to seek sponsors.
“We’re a legitimate 501©(3) charitable,” said Hurricane baseball organizer Jack Hills, referring to the section of tax code covering charitable organizations. “We did that so we could solicit sponsors. We will start a fund for kids who need it, because we have come across a few kids who want to play but can’t.”
He’s hoping the charitable status will draw sponsors. They will be able to deduct their donations on their taxes.
“With the charitable status, we’re in a position now to give back” to players who can’t afford the travel team, he said.
The league had 14 teams this year. They play on the town’s American Legion field and donate $1,000 to $1,500 a year to help maintain that field.
There’s no shortage of team members who can play.
“I turned away seven teams this year,” Hills said.
But he feels strongly about offering the travel team experience to every kid who has the interest and ability.
“That’s why our kids pay such a small fee for a travel team,” he said.
He started the league 15 years ago, with a season of June and July. The teams play 20 to 25 games each, half of them at home.
Hills came to last week’s Moreau Town Board meeting to ask about using another town field.
It’s difficult because the fields are also used by South Glens Falls Girls Softball and South Glens Falls Youth Baseball. They have tournaments in June and July.
But Hills said there’s a lot of interest from older players. Many students on his teams are about to graduate from high school.
“My dream one day is to have a second field at Rec,” he said, referring to the Harry J. Betar Jr. Recreational Park. “There is a demand for baseball, finally.”
Some of the teenagers even play baseball in the fall as well. He runs a fall ball league for eight Sundays.
“That’s 15 and younger. But there’s only a few teams — a lot of the boys are interested in football and soccer,” he said. “But there are some who will play ball every day they have the chance.”
The league is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/265401953645510/about/.