By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – With all the snow still on the ground in Bristol, talking about summer baseball might make you feel a little blue right now.
However, that “blue” feeling might melt away when you start hearing about the buzz of the Bristol Blues, the town’s newest baseball team that will soon take center stage and with collegiate schedules are already underway, Muzzy Field will soon buzzing with plenty of action once again.
And along with the Bristol Legion baseball team, the Greeners of the Tri-State League and the Bristol Knights of the Manchester Twilight League, the Blues’ promise to bring an exciting brand of baseball to the historic field.
The Bristol Blues are a summer collegiate baseball team and a member of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL).
Just like American Legion baseball, the league uses wooden bats and play a lengthy slate of games over the late spring and summer months.
Overall, the Blues will battle competitors over a 56-game regular season schedule that also includes several playoff rounds.
The FCBL is an exciting baseball division and the Blues will battle several squads from around New England.
Massachusetts is a hotbed for most of the FCBL squads while New Hampshire and Connecticut also has teams as well.
The league is made up the Brockton Rox, Martha’s Vineyard Sharks, Nashua Silver Knights, Pittsfield Suns, Seacoast Mavericks, Torrington Titans, Wachusett Dirt Dawgs, North Shore Navigators ,and Worcester Bravehearts.
The Bristol squad has a local vibe to it as several players from the Nutmeg State will make-up the Blues’ 2015 roster and that includes former Bristol Eastern standout and current Merrimack college pitcher Mike Nocera.
Nocera is currently a sophomore at Merrimack and is looking to be a big part of Blues’ baseball this year.
Also, Plantsville’s own and UConn outfielder, freshman Liam Scafariello is on the roster as well.
Currently, over a dozen players from Connecticut are signed on to play for the Bristol squad as well athletes from all over the continental United States.
The squad will be managed by Barry Lyons, a former catcher in the Mets organization, along with several other franchises over his lengthy major league career.
He’s played on virtually every professional level and brings a boatload of knowledge to the Bristol franchise.
The squad begins the 2015 campaign on the road against Brockton but the home opener for the Blues takes place on Friday, June 5 as Bristol battles the North Shore Navigators.
On June 5 and 6, there will be a fireworks display at Muzzy Field, celebrating opening weekend for the club.
At the midpoint of the season, the Blues will enjoy a three day break from July 20-22 as the league will hold its All-Star festivities, culminating with the league’s All-Star game from Lynn, Massachusetts.
Official Blues Merchandise will soon be available in town as the team is opening a store at Bristol Commons and hopefully by June 5, all that nasty snow will have melted away and the Blues will be in full swing, expecting an exciting season of action from Muzzy Field.
Comments? Email mletendre@BristolObserver. com.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE