The Hudson Valley Collegiate Baseball League (HVCBL) was formed in the Spring of 1996 (then known as The Collegiate Baseball League) by two residents of Orange County, NY; Tim Croker and Jim Bisaccia. Their intention being to provide collegiate, and some of the better high school aged ballplayers the opportunity to improve their game and showcase their talents in a league designed to attract college coaches, as well as professional scouts.
The HVCBL is unique in that it has only allowed the use of wood bats since it’s inception. Ballplayers with professional aspirations can considerably enhance their chances of being drafted by a professional organization by demonstrating the ability to successfully hit with wood. It has also been a common practice for college coaches to send their better players to “wood bat only” summer leagues, where they can hone their skills by playing against better competition. Learning how to hit with wood, putting the sweet spot of the barrel on the ball, usually results in these same players improving their overall batting statistics upon returning to the lighter metal alloy bats used in the collegiate ranks. The NCAA is currently (hopefully!) moving toward having wood take its’ rightful place as the weapon of choice, through the modification of the rules governing the weight and dimensions of the alloy bats.
The HVCBL is comprised of teams from the Hudson Valley area of New York, Southern CT and PA. Games are played from June through the second week of August.
In 1998, the CBL began offering baseball camps for the area’s youth. The camps were designed to provide young players with the proper fundamental techniques, as well as the understanding of how to develop same, which are essential in order to be able to successfully compete at higher levels of play. The clinics were conducted in a structured environment, free from stress or anxiety, utilizing positive reinforcement methods aimed at increasing players’ self-esteem. The net result producing an atmosphere of disciplined, repetitive learning under the premise of having fun.
In 2000, the CBL sponsored a baseball team for 13 year olds. The team played an independent summer and fall schedule in New York and New Jersey. They won the Washingtonville Invitational 13 year old tournament by defeating Paramus, NJ in the championship game. In 2001 the CBL Storm 14U team had a very successful season, further enhancing its’ reputation as a quality developmental baseball program. 2002 featured both 14U & 16U Storm squads playing busy independent summer schedules, followed by fall seasons. In 2003 the 16U Storm won the Mickey Mantle State Championship (Upstate NY Region). These youth teams ceased to exist in 2004.