Sophomore brings club baseball to campus
For sophomores John Simeone and Nick Scannella, baseball was an important part of their childhood and high school years.
After a year of separation from the game, it will return to their lives with the formation of the club baseball team.
According to Simeone, the club’s president, the team will enter “provisional” status for one year after having their proposal approved.
“We have to prove that we can sustain it before (Athletics) gives us the full go ahead,” Simeone said. “They said we’re a year provisional, but I want to knock that down to one semester.”
The Seton Hall University Club Sport Manual specifies that potential club members must submit a proposal that shows evidence of student interest, a league in which to play, a coach, officers, a constitution, bylaws, dues structure and a reason describing how the club will meet needs that the Department of Athletics and Recreational Services does not meet currently.
Simeone said this has been an idea of his since the fall of last year, but began the paperwork and means of meeting the requirements in the proposal in the spring.
The team has since met the requirements, but Scannella, who has been worked with Simeone since the idea was conceived, credits Simeone with making the idea come to fruition.
“(Simeone) wanted me to help him with starting the process, but I can’t take any credit for starting it up though,” Scannella said. “(Simeone) did everything.”
To generate interest, Simeone created a Facebook page, which began with six interested students. Now a closed Facebook group of 60-plus interested students exists.
According to Simeone, the team has entered the National Club Baseball Association Divi- sion-II and will play in the Dis- trict-II Central Division against NYU, Montclair State University, Monmouth, Hofstra and Stevens. The team has hired Jake Huff as its coach.
The team will practice and play games in South Orange at Cameron Field beginning in the spring. This will not be a full season, according to Simeone. The spring semester will be used for “practices and a few away games.”
Simeone and others have also created a budget, which will cover bases, umpires, a trainer, a med kit, the league entry fee, baseballs, bats, hats and Huff’s salary.
The budget was reviewed in front of the club during a meeting on Nov. 6.
The purpose of the meeting was to inform students of the importance of paying dues.
“I wanted to get everyone together and discuss the situation about dues so they know that this wasn’t a University sponsored thing,” Simeone said. “We’ll have to put money up for it.”
Scannella said the possibility of playing baseball competitively again drove him to join the start- up club last year. “I’ve been trying to keep playing baseball alive by playing over the summer with my friends, but the leagues I’ve been playing in haven’t been that legitimate,” Scannella said.
“With playing baseball ending, it was like making teenage years end. By bringing baseball back, it’s making me feel like a kid again.”
Simeone, who has played baseball since he was four years old, said that he started this to fill a void in his life after the first semester last year. But since he put his plan in motion, he said he realized another benefit to club baseball.
“I received a text that said ‘you’re going to make a lot of people happy,’ and that really meant a lot,” Simeone said.
T.J. Brennan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.