Post 7 Strikers debut Tuesday, host MillbrookPublished 8:00am Sunday, May 26, 2013
The Wetumpka Indians baseball team is going to temporarily set aside their tribal mantle to become the Strikers, as they venture into the uncharted waters of American Legion baseball this summer.
“Legion ball has a higher caliber of competition than Babe Ruth,” said William Perkins, coach of the newly dubbed Strikers. “You’re playing teams from all over the state.”
The Strikers, ranging from freshmen to juniors, begin their summer journey in their own back yard Tuesday afternoon. Wetumpka, sposored by Post 7, will host Millbrook’s Post 133 in a doubledip beginning at 4.
For Wetumpka, the turnaround from practice-to-gameday is quick, as Perkins won’t be allowed to take the field with them until this weekend. He has been working on their swings at Sports Wearhouse, one of the perks of having a skipper who runs batting cages for a living.
“I coached a Legion team when my son was 15-18, so about 10 years ago,” said Perkins.
“But the competition is great and it’s going to make the high school team better.”
After Tuesday’s season-opening affair, Wetumpka will travel to Clanton for a tournament and then (the following weekend) will travel to Athens for a 12-team tournament.
Overall, the squad will play 30 dates during June and July.
“I thought 30 games was a lot, but we were at the scheduling meeting and there are some teams playing 50,” said Perkins.
The hometown fans will have a chance to see their boys play several times throughout the season as Bazemore Field will serve as the home of the Strikers.
And, the group will welcome 12 other teams June 27-30 for a three-day tournament.
“Legion ball is big time in some these cities. Tuscaloosa has seven teams.”
Right now, Wetumpka just has the one.
But, the goal is to grow the program next summer as some of the 17-year-olds will age out and move into the U19 division.