The Steelheads program has undergone several changes since its initial introduction as a way for local college age young men to participate in a summer baseball experience. With the introduction of a teen team called the Sluggers and the elimination of the College of the Redwoods baseball program, the Crabs' Board of Directors determined that it was time to review again the role of a Steelheads program in the area.
We have taken a one year hiatus to explore with community groups, among them the the Sluggers, the American Legion and College of the Redwoods, with the intention of hopefully fielding a Steelheads team in 2013. We hope to determine the number of potential players who may not be being served by other baseball programs and who would benefit from a Steelheads like program.
The program was originally designed to provide for college attending players, who might serve as a "feeder" element for the Crabs. We did bring several players from the Steelheads up to the Crabs, some mid season replacements for injured Crabs or some the following season after seeing their progress on the Steelhead. In more recent years, this element has vanished as the age of the players became increasingly older and ineligible for the Crabs as we are strictly a college eligible organization. We seemed to be increasingly competing with other organizations for the age appropriate and college eligible players. The result is our taking the time to re-evaluate the role of the Steelheads.
We emphasize that this is not a financial decision, although we do support the Steelheads and must pay some attention to the cost, but is more focused on the role of the program in relationship to the local unserved age appropriate and college eligible players. We hope that the information gathered this year will support the re-entry of a Steelheads program into next summer's baseball mix.
In the past, players participated in a scheduled try-out, usually in early May. Depending upon the number of potential players in the future, there may be some other process of selecting a team. That, too, is one of the areas we hope to identify during this year's hiatus.
If you have any additional questions, please get in touch. We are anxious to have the community know what we are about and to answer any concerns regarding the Steelheads or some other appropriate summer program that may result from our review. Summer of 2013 is our target date.