Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Another chance to play

Dade City Mets players break from a huddle before the start of another inning at Kennedy Park in Brooksville.


Dade City Mets players break from a huddle before the start of another inning at Kennedy Park in Brooksville.


The baseball cliche. It's as much as part of the game as a hotdog and a brew. Build it and they will come. Tip our caps to that team. Swinging for the fences. And of course, for the love of the game. That's where these guys come in. Some are former ballplayers, some aren't. Some just want exercise, others want some competition.

They're players in the Nature Coast Adult Baseball League. They play Sundays all over Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. There's little fanfare and some players don't even have complete uniforms. These guys weren't top recruits or former major leaguers.

They're all there because of a cliche.

"Once a baseball player, always a baseball player," city of Brooksville recreation leader and first baseman for the Brooksville Scorpions Tina Nichols said. "What's their alternative? A men's softball league? This gives them a chance to play baseball. They love baseball like I love baseball and this is the only place they have to play baseball instead of softball. They don't want to play softball, I don't want to play softball, so we come here."

There's also a mix of ages. From 16 and older, teams seem to average in the early- to mid-20s, but others have a few players in their 50s and another has a 60-year-old.

"Each team builds on a team from when they start and get new players to get more competitive as they go," league organizer Steve Arcadipane said. "We're in a small market area, that's why its a good mix in age. If it were a bigger area, we'd have age divisions."

The summer season is wrapping up for the league, but there will be playoffs in October, and Arcadipane says the winter season starts in November. There are seven teams playing, and to be honest, some are better than others, like any other sports league, but the players still feel the games are competitive.

"Overall the competition is pretty level," said Michael Benitez, a member of the Dade City Mets. "There may be some times we get out to a lead and dominate, but that's kind of rare. A lot of these guys have played in high school and stuff, so they can be pretty good and games can be tough."

Arcadipane says that the games are for fun, mostly laid back, but he knows just when players pick up their game. Crunch time.

"Like any sport, its a rec league that gets competitive towards the playoffs," Arcadipane said. "People want to win the championship. That's always a given."

Championships aside, players just want the game. They want to feel part of a team, make the plays, feel like they're skilled at something.

"It's a good thing to do on Sundays," Scorpions player Bobby Russell said. "It's a good league for people who just want to play the game. They love the game to the aspect of where it's not going to become a life-and-death situation."

So these players leave it all on the field. They give it 110 percent. They feel the momentum swing, play with a sense of urgency, even get their competitive juices flowing.

They pick a cliche and just go play.

"Everyone out here is here for the love of the game," Nichols said. "They have passion to keep playing and the games are competitive. They're have been some really good games out here.

"When it comes to baseball, you really don't need much else than this."

Community Sports Editor Mike Camunas can be reached at or (352) 544-1771.

>>Fast facts

Nature Coast Adult Baseball League

When: Game are on Sundays

Ages: 16 and up

Cost: Generally $50 per player. However, the league looks for already formed teams. Teams can provide a host site, but it's not required.

Coming up: The fall season should start in November. For more information, contact Steve Arcadipane at (352) 697-0909 or log onto to

Another chance to play 09/15/08 [Last modified: Friday, September 19, 2008 8:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

  2. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?


    O NO

    True, the Bucs defense looked pretty leaky in the 34-17 loss to the Vikings. But you know what needs to happen when the defense is getting torched? The offense needs to step up. In games such as these, with defensive players seemingly getting hurt every play, the offense needs to outscore the other …

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Worst-Case scenario: Case Keenum, Vikings hand Bucs 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — With key defensive starters out with injury, the Bucs were dominated by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, with fill-in quarterback Case Keenum beating Tampa Bay for the third year in a row, …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Bucs-Vikings: A by-the-numbers look at the Bucs' 34-17 loss


    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) hits Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) as he passes during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times