By Steve Svetovich
Marywood University graduate Joey Amerosa has a dream.
And he fully expects his dream to become a reality in the summer of 2017.
Amerosa, 26, wants to start a summer wood bat baseball league featuring the best young talent of adults in the Scranton-Wilkes Barre and Pocono Valley region.
Amerosa, a graduate of Pleasant Valley High School who played baseball at Marywood, said everything is in place to start the Pocono Valley League (PVL) in mid to late May of 2017.
Most of the players will be from 18 to 35. Many will be current or ex college players as well as former Independent Ball players and highly talented upperclassmen high school players. Wooden bats will be used. The PVL will be highly competitive with four teams in place to start the 2017 season.
Those four teams are the Pocono Revolution, managed by Amerosa; the Mount Pocono Tribe managed by Mike Sabo and Tyler Burns; the Lackawanna County Bootleggers managed by local product Sal Martarano; and the Electric City Coachmen with the manager to be announced soon.
The Revolution and Tribe will be Pocono based teams with home fields at Mountain View Park and Pocono Mountain West High School. The Coachmen and Bootleggers will be Scranton based teams with home fields possibly at Penn State Worthington and Battaglia in West Scranton. The Scranton home based fields were not officially secured at press time.
Amerosa, who earned a B.S. In criminal justice at Marywood and is in the process of becoming a police officer, said each team in the PVL will play 20-30 games. Three of the top four teams will make the playoffs with the first place team getting a first round bye. The second and third place teams will play a best of three playoff series. The winner will play the first place team in at least a best of five to determine the PVL champion.
The league fee will be $300 for 20-30 games or $200 for 10-15 games. The fee will cover field rentals, liability insurance, baseballs, umpires for all the games and uniforms, jerseys and caps.
“I got the idea of starting this league while playing college baseball in the area and after my independent league experience,” said Amerosa. “I thought why not start a competitive wood bat league with that both current and former players could join and continue to play the game they love through the summer.
“The ultimate goal of the PVL is to become the most prominent summer wood bat league that caters to local talent in the present and past. And the hope is to possibly send a few out to live their dreams.”t
Amerosa said there should not be a problem if some players play in other summer leagues.
“We know we have some players who have commitments to other teams and we respect that. We expect no conflicts. There is no rule against a player who wants to play in other local leagues.
“And we don’t consider this a semi-pro league because no one is paid. And a semi pro league would forfeit college eligibility.”
Talented baseball players ages 18-35 qualify, although there will be exceptions for slightly younger or older players based on skill level.
“Many of our players come from very good division 2 or 3 college baseball programs and some are former minor league pitchers who throw in the low to mid 90s. So you can imagine we want our league to be competitive.
“We are looking for talented college players, ex college players and even talented high school players who want to take it to the next level. We have grabbed the attention of former big leaguer Russ Canzler as well as a few former Independent League coaches.”
Amerosa previously worked out for scouts from the Pittsburgh Pirates and LA Dodgers. He was in ited to workouts with the Baltimore Orioles.
He played for the Grey Harbor Gulls of the Mount Rainer Professional Baseball League and the Waterloo Whiskey Jacks of the East Coast Baseball League. Both independent leagues folded due to financial issues.
Amerosa played for the Rockland Boulders of the Independent CamAm League. He was offered a contract last season to play overseas for the Hanover Regents in a professional league in Germany.
But right now Amerosa is building his dream.
And he hopes if he builds it, they will come.