Most of us have seen the classic baseball movie “Sandlot” right?
The saying goes: “Legends never die.”
Three former UL baseball players and current roommates are not only legends to Cajun Nation, but now to all of Acadiana for helping bring baseball back to the ballpark.
Hayden Cantrelle, Tremaine Spears, and Todd Lott formed their own pickup league, the Louisiana Sandlot League, to help local baseball players continue to play the game after the COVID-19 pandemic cut the season short.
“So you talk about the first day where we’re at practice and they told us we couldn’t practice anymore, probably a week after that, me and Tremaine were in the apartment we were like ‘Yo maybe we could figure something out to get some games going,” Cantrelle said.
“Really me and Hayden came out here one day and he was just like ‘Uh, let’s get a league going,'” Spears said. “I knew the guy that owned the field so we were just like let’s see what we can do and he said we could use it. With that, we just had everything start to go.”
So the roommates began texting other players from around the state and started a Twitter page. Within a few days, two teams were formed. Other Cajuns in the League include Orynn Veillon and Alex Hannie.
The league gives these players, some still in college, some playing professionally, the opportunity to continue honing their skills until baseball officially returns.
“I mean we all want to get our reps in,” Spears said. “Obviously, we want to do it in the safest way possible. For you to get better in baseball, you need to get your reps in. That’s what we’re focusing on here. We’re not out here trying to be Superman or anything. We’re trying to get good work in but also have fun while we’re doing it.”
“Baseball is a very repititious sport, and at the end of the day, we just need at-bats,” Cantrelle said. “If we can make it fun for everybody while we’re getting our work in, that’s the goal.”
The inaugural game was last Wednesday at Acadian Park, but the former Cajuns are hoping that was just the first of many.
“You know, we’ve got two good teams,” Cantrelle says. “We’re looking to grow from here. We’ll see how far that goes.”
“Obviously, we want to keep it going throughout the summer,” Spears said. “We’ll see where the next couple of weeks go. If it continues to work, we can do it again next year, maybe add some more teams and a couple more games and see where that works out too.”
If you want to see the Louisiana Sandlot League in action, the next game is this Wednesday at Acadian Park in New Iberia. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m.