In early 2002, a group of seven Northampton friends who have
been involved in playing, coaching and watching youth baseball
over the past decade, got together to discuss the state of
youth baseball for teenagers in our community. Prior to the
2002 season, the only option for thirteen and fourteen year
olds in Northampton was the Northampton Little League’s
Junior League program. For many years the Northampton Little
League had an A division and a B division. This has worked
extremely well, allowing youths between the ages of 9-12 to
play against other youth of similar abilities. In the Junior/Senior
division however, there was only one division. The Northampton
Little League has simply not had the numbers to run two divisions
at the 13-15 age level. This resulted in kids with a tremendous
range of abilities being lumped together. Fifteen year old
All-Stars were competing against thirteen year olds, who had
played in the Little League’s B division and had never
played on a full-size diamond. The result was that the more
talented kids were bored and the less talented kids were intimidated
at having to play against kids who were in some cases two
years older and who had far superior skills.
fifteen and sixteen year olds, there had been for many years
a Northampton entry in the Tri-County Mickey Mantle League.
The problem was that the team had been informally passed from
coach to coach and there was no structure that allowed for
raising money, purchasing equipment and the like. The result
was a team that had no continuity , borrowed equipment from
year to year and faced annual problems of raising money for
umpires and finding a coach at the last minute, in order to
have a season.
that very first meeting, we decided to organize a new entity
to offer baseball opportunities for all teenagers in the greater
Northampton area. We decided to name our organization after
Northampton’s only major leaguer, Mike Laga. Shortly
thereafter, we voted to establish our first two teams: The
Northampton Blue Sox, a team for thirteen and fourteen year
olds that would play in the NEYSA Sandy Koufax "A"
Division, and the Northampton Blue Devils Mickey Mantle team,
that would play in what was then known as the Tri-County Mickey Mantle League. In 2003, we
added the Blue Demons, our B division Mickey Mantle team.
Both our Mickey Mantle teams now play in the Pioneer Valley Youth Baseball League.
At the end of the 2008 season we voted to add a Connie Mack team for youth aged 17-18.
Our Connie Mack team competes whenever we have sufficient interest to field a team.