Only about 60 miles up the Hudson River from New York City, Dutchess County offers easy access to Major League Baseball at its best. Yankees? Mets? Fans of each are plentiful, as are fans of the nearby Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League.
What wasn’t plentiful was opportunity for community youth baseball. Kids and parents were choosing high-powered travel teams rather than the community teams. “It wasn’t how I remembered it as a kid,” says Al Hammell, a local coach, teacher and former New York Mets farm hand.