PORT ANGELES — It’s getting late in the count to find homes for the boys of summer.
With first pitch set for Friday, May 27, the Port Angeles Lefties’ West Coast League collegiate baseball team needs to find living arrangements for a sizeable chunk of its 30-plus player roster this season.
Port Angeles will open the summer slate with a pair of exhibition games at Civic Field against the Northwest Honkers May 27-28, then head to Victoria, B.C., for its official WCL Opening Day May 31, before returning to Civic Field for a three-game WCL homestand against new opponent Kamloops June 3-5.
Not every player will arrive in Port Angeles by May 27. Some will still be competing in postseason competitions with their college teams. And players attending schools on the quarter system will be finishing up classes.
Host families will provide room and board to players during the season, which runs until mid-August. Families should keep in mind that Port Angeles players will be traveling on road trips for half of that duration.
Host families receive season tickets housed in a host family section up close along the first-base line and the team has hosted an end-of-season potluck for hosts in the past.
“Coming out of COVID, it’s been difficult to find spots for our guys,” Lefties co-owner Matt Acker said. “Last year, we had some families that took extra kids and rosters were a bit smaller, so we were able to get through with fewer hosts. That’s not the case this season.”
West Coast League rules require full vaccination for all players and coaches.
Acker said that retirees and younger families with kids who play baseball or softball have been some of the best hosts.
“All of these kids are trying to make it to the show, the next level, and all of them are very focused on their goals,” Acker said.
“Retirees usually have extra room in their homes and time to interact with and get to know the players. And it’s nice for younger families with kids playing little league. These players can provide an example in how to get to college to play baseball and pursue a business degree or an engineering degree and show how their route has been beneficial.”
Acker said hosts enjoy having players and some form life-long bonds.
“The biggest reason we get from potential returning host families is we enjoyed that player so much, we don’t think the experience can be duplicated with another player,” Acker said. “We have had relationships where hosts attend a player’s graduation and the player comes back to attend the graduation of a host family member. I still get updates on a number of players from hosts from my time in Lacey and Kitsap. So people enjoy having these kids. It’s a rewarding experience.”
To inquire about becoming a player host, contact Lefties general manager Amy Callis at [email protected] or 206-427-3456.