In the realm of Roatan sports there are few activities that can compete with the island’s baseball league. Hoards of families, friends and fans alike visit the two fields in Gravel Bay and Sandy Bay bringing food, drinks, and much exuberance in support of their home team. Spanning over three decades in organized contests, Roatan Baseball has seen dozens of teams come and go through the years. Although the seasons have waxed and waned with as little as three and as much as ten teams in any given season, the spirit behind the game holds stronger roots than ever in the present day. Expanding from five to six teams (Kool, Sandy Bay Pirates, Sandy Bay Giants, Flowers Bay Eagles, Gravel Bay Marlins and Coca-Cola) the 2010 season features the addition of Team Coca Cola after a hiatus of more than six years. The team was granted permission to play on the bracket after asking Mayor Galindo with a week left before the start of this season. Sans uniforms, the group is expected to don the correct attire sometime this month. With a shallow bench and a small pitching staff as of now, team Coca Cola has struggled against more organized and experienced opponents. But their fan base is strong nonetheless, and although there have been multiple calls by players, coaches and fans for the restoration and opening of a field located in Coxen Hole this has not deterred Coca Cola’s fans from showing their support in the other areas. For now the two fields must suffice and there are hopes to expand with teams in other areas located east of French Harbour all the way to Oak Ridge and Jonesville.
Last year Kool edged out the Sandy Bay Giants in the final contest of their five game playoff series, then ultimately beat the Sandy Bay Pirates taking the seven game finals series down to the wire as well, beating their opponents in game 7. This year every team is gunning for last year’s champs, who have proved themselves to be a “tough as nails” style team. Sandy Bay’s two respective teams, the Giants and Pirates have the majority of their players returning from last year. Coupled with experienced and knowledgeable coaching and managerial staff, the “field” of teams this year looks extremely competitive. Many hope that Roatan’s teams can make a run for the Honduran tournament as well after Kool was defeated in the first round and the Pirates were unable to attend on the mainland. Play ball! [/private]