Island families have the opportunity to adopt “summer sons,” as Russ Curran, general manager of the MV Sharks, likes to call his collegiate players from around the country.
Curran is seeking Island host families to fill the final 10 beds needed to accommodate players on the Sharks’ 35-man roster. He lists “a lifetime of memories” as a key benefit to host families, in addition to season tickets and a $500 stipend for each player hosted.
Interested parties can find information on the team website, mvsharks.com, or by calling Curran at 508-813-0380. Players arrive on-Island on May 29.The Sharks regular season begins May 31 and ends Aug. 5.
The Sharks are one of nine teams in the wooden-bat Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL), located between New Hampshire and western Connecticut. Top players from Division 1, 2 and 3 schools, including Yale, Boston College, Vanderbilt, Pepperdine, Northwestern, Dayton, and Oklahoma State will wear the Sharks uniform this season. Without additional host families, Curran will have to continue to pare his roster. “We’ve already had to cut two kids because we couldn’t guarantee them housing,” Curran said this week.
Curran began hosting “summer sons” 11 years ago when he was involved with the Cape Cod Baseball League. “I call them my summer sons because of the relationships we’ve built up over time,” he said. “We still hear regularly from many of them. These are high-quality young men, and they are great role models for Island kids,” he said.
Dianne Powers, retired Dukes County register of deeds, was an early adopter, and has hosted 16 players over the Sharks’ first six seasons. She’s signed up for a seventh. “It’s a wonderful experience. These kids are terrific. I still keep in touch with many of them. It’s fun to watch them advance in life and their careers. About a dozen Shark players have been drafted or signed to play professionally,” she said.
One player who won’t need a host family is James Sashin (MVRHS 2017), who becomes the third Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School grad to play in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. Sashin will attend the Division 1 University of San Diego next season. He follows former pro Tad Gold (MVRHS 2010), and Jack Roberts (MVRHS 2013), a collegiate All-Star and 2018 senior baseball captain at Williams College.
Howie Sashin, James Sashin’s dad, is committed to the host experience. “These kids know how to be members of society. They are student athletes who have done the work to play at the next level. And it’s not easy. Only 3 percent of high school players play in college. The bonds we make with them are real. In fact, the first kid we hosted is the first person I called when James was invited to the Sharks. He was thrilled. Our kids were young athletes, and they got to watch what it takes to get to the next level.”