By STEVE KRAH
Plymouth (Ind.) American Legion Post 27 baseball is back.
After a six-season hiatus, the Diamond Spyders are getting ready for the 2023 summer season.
Post 27 last fielded a senior (19U) team in 2016. Plymouth comes back this year its first junior (17U) team with the goal of having a senior squad in 2024.
Ryan Jessen is the Diamond Spyders general manager.
Jessen says the season is 2023 important for re-establishing Post 27 in the Legion baseball community.
There’s a few other reasons.
“It provides a cost-efficient, family-friendly option to play baseball locally,” says Jessen. “Lastly, it gives our players an opportunity to develop their skills in a ‘practice-first’ model, encouraging daily skill-building over participating in weekend tournaments.”
Why did Jessen decide to revive Post 27?
“My son had a great summer last year playing on a 15U team in Indianapolis,” says Jessen. “He had a good coaching staff who played him at multiple positions. He met a lot of really nice people.
“Our only issue was logistically speaking, we were spending more time on the road than we were at the field.”
A tournament schedule at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind.. typically starts with one game on Thursday and Friday morning, then finished over the weekend.
“We had four hours of drive time, four days a week,” says Jessen. “In this time, my son got roughly 10 at-bats and maybe 40 bullpen reps. That’s just not enough. I reached out to the Legion because I want to offer a local program focused on daily skill-building.
“My hope is each kid can get 100-plus reps a day. Our season will not be determined by a win-and-loss record. We want each kid to focus on nutrition, strength-building and skill development. If we do that, then our goal of a cost-efficient, family-friendly, skill-based program will be more than successful.”
A roster currently of 16 consisting of players who attend three high schools — Plymouth, Culver Community and Culver Military — is slated to open the season June 6. Home games will be played at Bill Nixon Field in Plymouth’s Centennial Park. The state tournament is in late July.
Two high school varsity head coaches — Ryan Wolfe (Plymouth) and Kurt Christiansen (Culver Military) — are on the coaching staff along with Clayton Adamson and Michael Delp. Blake Mackey serves as marketing intern/communications analyst.