The Chance of a Lifetime Awaits You in Mahwah, New Jersey


A lot has been said in recent years about baseball fans.  We’ve gone from wearing fancy hats and buying war bonds to moving into our parents’ basements and pounding on keyboards until our virginities grow back; or continue to be there, depending on how strong the internet connection is.

We idolize baseball players, but we also analyze them.  Is it because we’re failed athletes ourselves, and feel as though we can make up for career-ending injuries at age seven by scrutinizing our favorite players until the sport borders on unenjoyable?  For the sake of this argument, yes.

So what if there was that chance to slide out from behind the computer, ascend that fairly intimidating staircase, and expose ourselves to broad daylight for another crack at playing the game that has made us eternal dependents?  Would we dare cross the chalk of the foul line for one last shot at the big time?

I certainly hope so, because the Rockland Boulders are banking on it.

Look at them, putting a newspaper headline of Bob Feller’s historical no-no right above the Boulders’ offer of a brighter future; practically promising that legendary glory is all that awaits those who step onto the field at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey on May 15.

But this is about more than locating previously uncharted towns in New Jersey.  This is about at least one person making their wildest fantasies come true.

That’s right.  The Rockland Boulders have guaranteed to accept at least one person from the squadron of semi-pro athletes and that one drunk guy in the football helmet who keeps chasing birds to play for their team.

And they didn’t even really want to.

"“I was shocked when our manager indicated he was going to guarantee that one attendee will make our team.  I had to ask Dave to repeat his statement because it was so bold and extraordinary.”–Boulders’ President Ken Lehner"

Go ahead, register online, as President Lehner fake-smiles behind you and gives a half-hearted thumbs up while he contemplates the destruction of his life’s work.  So its not like he’s just trying to get as many people to come out and fork over the $100 entry fee as possible.  This is a true talent search, and for some reason, I’m invited.  And it seems like there’s next to no chance of being traumati–

"“This is an elimination camp.  It is going to be competitive, and if players do not meet our requirements, they will be eliminated on the spot.”–Rockland Manager Dave LaPoint"


The looks of disgust from coaches/my own father were abundant enough at junior high tryouts; and they didn’t even have an immediate cut system.  They dragged the process out, gathering all of us in the school cafeteria and callings us over one by one to reveal what our baseball fate would be.  Being ejected in mid-wind up sounds absolutely terrible.

But I guess that’s the risk you take when attending open tryouts for an independent league team.  They have every right to kick somebody off their field if they’ve spent the last four hours assuring the coaching staff they’re “just about warmed up enough” to throw three knuckleballs with some sort of accuracy.

So maybe its time to go out into the world and engage that dream that’s been just out of–or totally beyond–reach for most of your life.  Maybe 2011 is the year that baseball stopped being the thing we blogged about and became the thing we played professionally.

Maybe let’s see what’s new on Deadspin.