The Flint City Baseball League isn't 'dead,' it's just a little older

There's "under the lights," then there's "UNDER THE LIGHTS." Flint's Whaley Park provides a throwback feel for those who love the smell of pine tar, leather and dingy equipment bags. 

There's "under the lights," then there's "UNDER THE LIGHTS." Flint's Whaley Park provides a throwback feel for those who love the smell of pine tar, leather and dingy equipment bags. 

By Adam Biggers/@AdamBiggers81

We can go back-and-forth about the quality of the Flint City Baseball League for days on end. Sure, it's no longer a two-division powerhouse featuring juggernauts such as the Halo-Foutch or Bishop Construction national title teams, but it's still a quality circuit occupied by men who LOVE the sport. 

Did you get that?

They LOVE the game--and that's what it's all about. It's fun to think about the past, but the present and the future is what's important. And after Wednesday night's 35-and-up doubleheader (Palacio's Tailors vs. Family Physical Therapy [12-4 Palacio's]/Team Transition vs. Custom) at Whaley Park, that very idea couldn't be more true. 

I didn't see "old" guys--I'm not too far behind, mind you--playing ball. I saw REAL competition. The nightcap between Custom and Team Transition was a real game, a legitimate nail-biter that went down to the wire. 

Thanks to Jamie Sweet's walk-off RBI-single, Custom squeaked out an 8-7 win--and that was after it trailed 4-0 going into the fifth (of a seven-inning game). They didn't roll over or mail in their efforts, despite many of them having to be at "work"--that four-letter word we all hate--the next morning (or that night!). They gave everything they had until after 11 p.m., just because that's what baseball players do. 

So, allow me to tip my cap to the guys who refuse to believe that Flint baseball is fading. Allow me to recognize those who'll have black-and-blue bruised shins, backaches and sore arms tomorrow while they do meaningful stuff, like teach our kids, protect our streets and manufacture our cars. 

And finally, let me give a nod of respect to the wives and children who watched dear old dad belt a couple base-hits, make a few catches and enjoy the game the same way he did decades ago. 

Flint baseball isn't dead, as some would like to claim. It's just a little older and more mature. 

Note: the CBL is split into age divisions. It's home to some of the area's best college talent, mainly from Mott, and to other guys who still have a lot in the tank but aren't old enough to hop on the "senior" train. I'll be there in about two years, so save a spot for me!