The Big Train fans are an integral reason why so many players choose to come back.
Deciding where to play summer collegiate baseball can be a complex decision for a young ballplayer to make. For many Big Train veterans, though, coming back to Bethesda was a no-brainer.
Eight players – Alex Calvert (Erskine), Michael Emodi (Creighton), Vinny Esposito (Sacramento State), Garret Kueber (Austin Peay State), Justin Morris (Maryland), John Murphy (Maryland), Fox Semones (James Madison) and Stephen Schoch (Maryland-Baltimore) – returned in 2017 for another season of summer collegiate baseball in Bethesda.
“It’s a lot of fun to come here and compete for a championship every year,” shortstop Garrett Kueber said.
For them, winning back-to-back CRCBL titles with the Big Train is extra special.
“[The titles] show everybody how great this organization is, how well it’s run, and how much care they have for their players,” catcher Michael Emodi said.
Catcher Justin Morris, who played for the Big Train for four seasons, fell to the Baltimore Redbirds in the championship in his first two years with the team. He finally came away a champion with the 2016 squad, and capped off his fairytale Big Train career with the League Championship Series Most Outstanding Player award in 2017.
“Its special, man,” Morris said about his time with the Big Train. “I looked forward to every year coming back here. I didn’t want to go play anywhere else.”
When asked why they chose to come back to Bethesda for another summer, the players spoke highly of the organization and its staff.
“I just loved playing for [manager Sal Colangelo],” Morris said. “He trusted me and just let me be myself out there.”
“The whole staff treats us really right,” said second baseman Vinny Esposito, the 2016 CRCBL and LCS Most Outstanding Player. “The general manager [David Schneider], everyone is here for us. It makes it easy on us and a lot of fun.”
The veterans agreed, though, that there was a particularly big reason they were eager to come back to Bethesda – the fans.
“The fans are just awesome,” Esposito said.
“You go out to every game and you actually have a crowd,” Emodi said. “They care about baseball and they love watching good baseball.”
It is no wonder, then, why players return to Bethesda – when it comes to playing, providing, and appreciating good baseball, the Big Train players, staff and fans are the perfect match.