A seventh team, the first in the Town of East Hampton, has joined the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League.
The Montauk Mustangs will compete against teams from the North Fork, Riverhead, Westhampton, Southampton, Sag Harbor (which play in Mashashimuet Park in the Town of Southampton) and Shelter Island for the 2014 league title beginning in early June.
The new team's nickname comes from the sports teams at the Montauk School, where the collegiate team will play their home games.
“Establishing a team in Montauk has been on the league’s radar even from the very start, and we’re so pleased that it has come to fruition,” Brett Mauser, the HCBL president, said in a statement.
By phone on Monday, Mauser said from the league's start in 2008, "We always sort of fantasized about it." Then-Montauk resident Rusty Leaver, was one of the founders of the HCBL.
Montauk resident Robert Aspenleiter, a retired New York City Police Detective who also has 30 years experience as a baseball coach, including at various high schools, has signed on as the general manager.
"I'm extremely excited about it. I believe it's going to be a nice shot in the arm for Montauk," Aspenleiter said. "After a day at the beach with the kids, go for pizza, walk around town, now if you're looking for something to do, you can go watch a college baseball game for free. These are Division I/Division II scholarship athletes from around the country."
He is interviewing people from around the country for the head coach position, but he is also looking for a local candidates for the assistant coaching positions. "We would like to offer to a local person at whatever level he or she may be at," he said, adding that it will be a good boost for the local network of coaches who are trying to prepare kids for the next level.
On Monday afternoon, Aspenleiter was going to speak with the principles at East Hampton High School to discuss community service credit for students. The team will need bat boys and bat girls to help. Each game is announced, as well.
Suffolk County Legislator and Montauk resident Jay Schneiderman has pledged his support for the team, Mauser said. They also credited Lynden Restrepo, Perry “Chip” Duryea III, Dave Rutkowski, Lee White, Bill McKee and Margaret McKeon for helping establish and develop the Mustangs. Aspenleiter and Restrepo run Out East Management together.
The Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League is a non-profit organization, one of only 12 summer leagues in the country sanctioned by Major League Baseball. Since its inception in 2008, more than 60 alumni have gone onto the professional level.
The 2014 season will consist of 140 regular-season games across the region leading up to the playoffs, and a best-of-three championship series in the first week of August.
Games are free and generally start around 5 p.m.
The Mustangs will work with area businesses to renovate the field. There are also plans to construct "The Montauk Monster," a high fence to be erected in left-center field, which the school has already approved, Mauser said. The team will start to build a network of families to host players for the two-month season.
"Housing, of course, is huge — that is the make or break for the team," Aspenleiter said.
Anyone interested in hosting a player or joining the Mustangs committee may email Aspenleiter at firstname.lastname@example.org call him at 631-903-1010.