Lots of cool stuff happens in the summer: swimming, going to the beach, sleeping late, fishing, watersports, but the coolest thing happens at my house. Every summer we have a collegiate baseball team come to Shelter Island called The Bucks. Their players need a place to stay. My family is one of the host families.
The first day is always kind of weird because it’s like a stranger has moved into your house. You have to figure out what the player likes to eat, what he likes to do and what teams he roots for. Most of the time the players don’t like the NY teams because they’re not from here. They sometimes have different accents than us, even the player from Staten Island didn’t sound like us. The one who sounded most like us was from Rhode Island.
We’ve had players from Missouri, Texas, Rhode Island and New York. We’ve had two right fielders, one second baseman and one pitcher. Last year, our second baseman Chris Hess helped win the championship game. Our players have helped me get better at baseball by teaching me skills in the backyard and at Bucks Camp, where the Bucks volunteer to hold clinics at Fiske Field, our school’s baseball field.
How did the Bucks get to start playing on Shelter Island? My dad saw another collegiate team play in Southold, The Ospreys, and got the idea of having a team on Shelter Island. He talked to the league, and that’s how we got The Shelter Island Bucks.
I hope we get to have another good player next year or even one of the players that I had before. Maybe one day, one of my players will make it to Major League Baseball and I could see him on TV. Better than that would be getting season tickets because we hosted them and became friends.