Right now I’m about a week and a half from being done with summer ball here in Palm Springs so I thought I’d write about my experience.
Going into my third year of summer ball I was excited to finally get to play in California. Being in Palm Springs I knew it was going to be intensely hot, but was just happy for there not to be any humidity.
My very first impression was that the team is well organized. I showed up and there were interns there ready to give me my t-shirt and shorts at the door. There is nothing to complain about when it comes to the facilities (the stadium was built for a minor league Angels team).
The team was started and is run by Andrew Starke who is also an associate scout for the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s a great leader and it seems he’s done a fantastic job with the team and the league.
The SCCBL is a small league made up of 7 teams. The Palm Springs Power tends to dominate the league with 8 league titles in the last 10 years.
The first couple weeks I was here, we played a slew of non-conference teams, none of which showed much talent. Once regular season games started though, I was pleasantly surprised to see much more competitive pitching. Still not at the same level as the Prospect League or the Cal Ripken League, but it was better than I expected for a young league on the west coast.
It was $400 per player to play for the Power which is reasonable considering busing and food expenses.
Starke also runs a separate “Collegiate Training League” for players who don’t have the skills to play in the SCCBL. This league will run you $1800 which is because there aren’t enough host families to house the 150+ players so a most of the money goes to paying for hotels. Also, these games don’t attract the fans that the Power does so there is virtually no revenue from their games. That being said, it is also a great place to get your at bats/ innings in. There are usually 6 teams in the Collegiate League and you play in the morning (when it’s a lot cooler) five days a week.
The Power treat their players very well which is why I’m currently playing with two guys spending their third summer here and one spending his second. I’ve had a great time and if you’re looking for a good spot to land for the summer, Palm Springs is a great option. If you can’t make it to Palm Springs, check out the SCCBL website to find another team to play for in the league.