Club baseball finds its way onto Bradley campus for the first time

Originally published October 1, 2010

Club sports have always been a part of life on Bradley’s campus.

Missing from the vast array of sports played at the club level was baseball. Until now.

Sophomore biology major Kyle Morgenstern noticed there was no club baseball team last year as a freshman and wanted to do something about it.

Morgenstern, who played high school baseball, went to the Executive Director of Campus Recreation and Athletic Facilities Mike Keup to see if it was possible to organize a club team at Bradley.

“I wasn’t good enough and couldn’t make the time commitment to play varsity baseball at Bradley,” Morgenstern said. “But I really missed baseball and wanted to find a way to play. I remember the first nice day of the spring last year and I felt like I should have been on a baseball field.”

Morgenstern received permission from Keup to start up a team and a booth was organized at the activities fair during welcome week.

The response was overwhelming. 62 people signed up.

Today, 37 players practice each Friday and Saturday afternoon at Laura Bradley Park.

Morgenstern, who is a player and the manager for the team, said there is no plan to make any cuts to the roster.

“We have 37 guys, but the best 20 players will travel to games,” he said. “With injuries, guys quitting or players improving, all 37 players have a chance to play in the games.”

The team will play in the National Club Baseball Association and be placed in District 5 South.

Other teams in Bradley’s district include the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Purdue University and Columbia College-Chicago.

Morgenstern is still in discussion with the Peoria Park District to see where the team will play its home games. Fields at Peoria Notre Dame and the now closed Woodruff High School are possibilities.

The NCBA provides every team in the league two brand new bats and 70 baseballs. Other equipment such as jerseys, hats, socks, pants and belts have been ordered and will be paid for by the team’s dues.

The competitive season begins in the spring when the team will play a three game series against each of the five teams in its district, but prior to that the team will play two series in the fall.

The weekend of Oct. 23, the club baseball team will compete in its first three games against Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.

Morgenstern said the team is looking forward to the challenge.

“It will be good to see where we are at as a team,” he said. “It will be exciting to be on the field again.”