Put me in, coach — I’m ready to play

All Scott A. Capestany wanted to do was continue to play baseball.

All Scott A. Capestany wanted to do was continue to play baseball.

“As soon as I hit 20, there just wasn’t that much out there for people over the age of 20,” Capestany said.

Now 39, Capestany is finally getting the chance to get back on the diamond.

Capestany, a North Kitsap entrepreneur whose business interests have ranged from film and television production to a taxi service he recently started, is taking his business know-how into the baseball realm, opening the doors on NABA Westsound, a men’s adult recreational baseball league, on the Olympic Peninsula.

Part of the National Adult Baseball Association, Capestany said he hopes the league will allow others like him to dust off their bats and gloves and take the field once more.

“It’s always been an interest of mine to have my own baseball league,” Capestany said. “And it gives that kind of opportunity.”

An opportunity the area has been lacking, he said. NABA agreed, and about three to four weeks after meeting in January, the league was born.

“They think it’s a good location,” Capestany said. “Anyone that wants to play hardball would have to go catch a ferry to the other side. There was just nothing like that out here.”

A former assistant track coach at Central Kitsap most recently, Capestany has coached baseball and basketball before, most extensively in the Lake Washington School District. A high school graduate of Redmond, Capestany went on to compete in track for the University of Washington. But now, he’s just glad to be back on the baseball field.

“Spring would roll around,” Capestany said. “I’d always carry my bat and glove with me.”

NABA, which also offers tournaments that take place across five days in locations like Las Vegas for individual players, drew Capestany in similarly during a business trip in Denver.

“That’s kind of how I got hooked into this league,” he said. “I was doing a show in Denver with the (Colorado) Rockies. It was just baseball fever. At the time I didn’t have the time. Now I do.”

That’s led to NABA Westsound, which Capestany said he hopes will encompass players across the Olympic Peninsula, from Gig Harbor to Port Angeles and everywhere in between.

For its inaugural season, Capestany said the league, which is for ages 18 and older, hopes to field five teams with 12-to-14 players on each team.

“We’ll also have the league 18-plus for the first year,” Capestany said, indicating that larger leagues like NABA Seattle break up age divisions. “We’re gonna mix it up.”

But the ultimate goal is to promote a fun, baseball-filled atmosphere for adults.

“The league’s gonna be based on on a philosophy of just coming out, having a good time and being around guys that just love baseball,” he said. “The teams are going to be set up evenly so a 40-year-old is not going to be facing a 19-year-old pitcher just out of the high school season every time.”

For its season, which will begin in mid-June and run through the first week or two of September, the league just reached agreements to use both North Kitsap Babe Ruth’s fields as well as Legion Field in Bremerton. The schedule will include 15-18 games as well as an all-star game, playoffs and a league championship.

While the league is still looking for more players, it also has managerial vacancies.

“To be a manager (of a team), all the prerequisites are is a love of baseball, can manage people and can fill out a lineup card,” he said, adding he will serve as a manager as well as the league president.

Practices will take place at the discretion of each individual manager.

While weather hasn’t been too complementary with tryout dates (last weekend two dates were canceled), Capestany said he hopes to get at least two more tryout sessions in before May 3.

“It’s been good,” he said of early turnout. “In the first three weeks we’ve gotten about 40 interested people. We only need 56 to get the league going. We’re at 80 percent of our projected numbers.”

Still, Capestany is trying to promote the league more widely. He’ll be a guest of Kevin Mac’s ISPN Sports (www.ispnsports.com), and also is talking with Mac about broadcasting the league’s all-star game.

With the range of ages anywhere from 18 to older than 50, Capestany said a passion for the game is all that’s required to try out.

“As long as you can throw and hit a baseball, you can come out and play,” he said. “We’re looking for those that still want to come out and play.”

Registration is $250 per player, covering liability insurance for the league, Olympic Peninsula Umpires Association umpires, field costs, lights when needed, league advertising and Web site maintenance, awards and baseballs.

“It’s a really good, low-cost, fun summertime event,” he said.

For more information on the league or becoming a player or manager, visit NABA Westsound at http://naba.statdepot.com/WestSound/default.aspx. Information also is available on Capestany’s Web site, http://www.centerfieldstudios.com. More information about NABA in general can be found at http://www.dugout.org.