Thursday, 20 June 2013 00:00
When Mike Granath and Chris Orlando got together five years ago to create a local town softball league they had all the tools in the making. Today, MWAL (Mineola Williston Park Athletic League) is as big as ever, where many people look forward to playing in the league every summer. Now in its fifth season, the league has expanded to 104 players and eight teams.
“When we originally created the league my expectations were low at first because we had no permitted fields to play on and had no schedule set in stone. But I was always so confident with the guys we had in the league, that we could make the league legitimate. Never would I have thought that the league would go from 36 to 104 players in less than five years while also having a positive influence on a community in the sense of charity work and keeping us all friends after high school,” said Granath.
Every player is thrown into a draft pool before opening day where the teams’ co-captains select their teams, hoping to bring home an MWAL Championship. This year’s draft was held at Granath’s house for the second straight year as the Hornets, Mighty Ducks, Monarchs, Mud Dogs, Nightmare, Renegades, Titans, and Tune Squad all look to have a productive and fun-filled summer playing on the diamond. It gives players with all kinds of talent to go out there and enjoy playing a sport they love, as most of these players’ baseball days are over.
Guys return home from college for the summer knowing that their Wednesdays and Sundays are already locked in with double headers. MWAL now has permits for two fields in our community that allows the games to be played at scheduled dates and times. The two fields are the Mineola Pool field by Wilson Park and Christopher Morley Park. The games usually start up around 5:30 p.m. as the game of the week is set for 8:30 p.m. under lights at the Mineola Pool. Orlando and Granath, who are both the league’s commissioners, have made the league even more efficient by setting up a website to help keep everything organized and up to date.
You can visit the league’s website at www.hometeamsonline.com/teams/?u=MSSL&s=softball&t=c or simply by typing in, MWAL, on your computer’s search engine and clicking the first link. The site offers the players and outsiders a calendar of the league’s schedule, division standings, updated stats and some quality humor that provides us with some news around the league.
Last year’s champions, The Tune Squad, is currently one game behind the newly established team The Titans in the Mineola League. The two-time champion Nightmare currently sit above the Mighty Ducks for first place by one game in the Williston Park League. The Mineola and Williston Park league break off into their own brackets by the time the playoffs come around as the winner of both league’s meet to play the championship at the end of the summer.