Bill Larsen did not expect miracles when he decided to bring the Peach State League to Luther Williams Field.
After the first week, Larsen says he hasn’t seen anything that has surprised him. And that allows Larsen will continue to work on what he said he wanted to do, to give Macon a quality baseball experience.
“I’ve been doing this a long time,” Larsen said. “Of course we would like to have bigger crowds here right off the bat, but we have got to gain the trust of the Macon baseball community first. The most important thing I look for is that the fans we have already are coming back, and they are reporting to me that they are having a great time. Right now, we just need to market the league and get the word out that we are here.”
The fan support in the first week is running about where Larsen had expected.
“We had close to 2,000 opening night, which we were happy with, and after a week, we are averaging around 700,” Larsen said. “We will find out what the people want and we will accommodate them. We know that the concessions are great, the entertainment is great, and the baseball is improving everyday.”
After a difficult first couple of games, the baseball has drastically improved during the past few days.
“We were basically coming in without a spring training,” right fielder Chris Brown said. “We are getting used to seeing live pitching again, and everyone is getting comfortable. I don’t think there is any doubt the baseball is much better now than it was a week ago.”
Several players are saying they are getting what they were promised out of the Peach State League, which is a chance to play.
“Everything is going great,” Pinetoppers second baseman Chad Rebecca said. “We came here to play baseball, and we are getting to do that everyday.
“I started out kind of slow, and if I was in another independent league, I may have been sitting. Being in a developmental league like the Peach State allowed me to work through the problems. We really don’t have to worry right now about not getting enough at-bats. It is a very competitive atmosphere because everyone wants to move up the ladder, and that keep you motivated everyday. Plus the people of Macon have just been great to us.”
Said Larsen, “I think if we put all four of these teams together and took the best off each team, we could compete with any independent league team. Our focus will remain to develop players and be a fan friendly operation. I am still very excited about Macon and Luther Williams Field.”