Five years ago Matt Leedom returned to Sioux Falls from Sarasota, FL with the vision of starting a recreational baseball league in his hometown, much like the Manatee League he played in there. Now his league, known as, the Sioux Amateur Baseball League has grown from twenty players to five complete teams.
The league began three years ago in Valley Springs with just enough guys to form two teams. Now three years later, thanks to word of mouth, this recreational baseball league meets every Sunday night at the beautiful Ronken Field. Guys like, 47 year old, Kevin Symens love the fun competition without the commitment of joining an amateur traveling team.
"It's perfect for a guy my age and a lot of guys, even younger, and a lot older. You can come out, practice isn't required, and some guys still play in leagues in between. I have three kids, I coach, my kids are active in sports, my wife is active in a lot of things, and I still find time to come play. We have a great group of guys and a lot of solid competitive baseball," Sioux Amateur Baseball Player Kevin Symens said.
Leedom truly took the phrase, "If you build it they will come," to heart. That is why anyone 18 and older is welcome to join as long as they promise to have fun and show their love for the game.
"We're out here because we love the game of baseball. Much like anyone who plays a sport, we're out here because we love it. This league is an opportunity to not only play baseball, but we look at it as our own baseball fraternity or a baseball family. We want as many guys to be able to play the game of baseball at the recreational level as possible in Sioux Falls. We believe that every adult should have the opportunity to play a recreational sport of their choice," Leedom said.
Although the league is still in its grassroots stage, it is growing every year. They play twelve regular season games before crowning a champion after the playoffs. As of now they already have enough guys, like Symens, registered to have at least seven teams in 2015.
"I think I'm one of the older guys in the league, so I'm shooting for 60," Symens said with a chuckle. "If I can make it that long or maybe more I'll do it. Whether it's this league or another one, but certainly we are open for all ages to come out and play," he added.
Each player does pay $200 to play in the league with the money going to pay for the field and their uniforms that they get to keep. If you're interested in signing up for next year click this link to their homepage. Sioux Amateur Baseball League