Valley Wheel Baseball – Survey
    We are looking for some feedback on our first season.  Constructive criticism is welcome.  If
    you have a suggestion for improvement please include a proposed solution.  You can e-mail
    the survey back to me or if you’d prefer to remain anonymous you can mail them to me at: Jim
    Nason, 51 Spence Street, Springfield, MA 01104.
    32% of the league responded to the Survey, here’s the results:
    The median age of the league is 42, half are above and half of the league
    are below.
    1.  Overall, How much did you enjoy playing baseball this summer?
    1 = no fun;   10 = more fun than I could have imagined.

    10 – 42%    9 – 32%    8 – 26%       Average   9.16

    2.  Do you plan on playing again next season? YES  100% NO  0%   
    If you are not playing next season please tell us why?
    3. What did you enjoy most about playing ball this season?
    -Meeting other people who are passionate about the sport. Also playing in a league which
    became more competitive with every week that went by.
    -Playing for the sake of playing, and meeting a great bunch of guys.
    -Reliving childhood memories, camaraderie with the other guys.
    -Playing Baseball vs. Playing Softball
    -I enjoyed the players on my team.  In general everyone got along very well and even when
    things went wrong only a couple of players lost perspective on what this was all about.
    -Seeing your vision for a new league materialize.
    -I enjoyed all aspects including the competition and the camaraderie on the Team.
    -Simply playing baseball again.  Competing.  
    -Everything.
    -I had not played for several years.  Facing live pitching and getting my swing back was a lot of
    fun.
    -Meeting new people and just getting out to try the game again after 35 years.
    -Making new friends and feeling like a kid again.
    -Just playing baseball again.
    -Getting to play again, getting that I’m eighteen again feeling, meeting a real good bunch of
    guys.
    -Being part of something that only happens once a year and once a lifetime.
    4.  What did you enjoy least about this season?
    -If we played one game during the week and one on Sunday pitching arms were in short
    supply.
    -Players from all the teams must respect the umpires and accept their strike zone as we all
    know every umpire has their own zone and I would say each needs to figure out what that is
    within the first inning or so and adjust and not complain.
    -I wish I had been in better shape, and could have contributed more.  Next year, watch out! --I'm
    already in training.
    -I felt some people lost perspective on the fact that it was for fun.  I felt at times rules were
    manipulated for the sake of winning, not the spirit of the rule.
    -We had an occasional uncomfortable moment on our team with an attitudinal player. I was
    spoiled in the Quabog league (who did a great job of weeding out such types). I would
    imagine this league will do the same over time.
    -Not winning the championship game!!!
    -The only thing that I would mention is the condition of some of the fields.
    -Getting hurt at the end of the season and some of the more serious attitudes.
    -Injuries, sometimes poor playing fields.
    -Rain outs, and not having a full roster at the end of the season.
    -No complaints here.
    5.  What improvements would you recommend the league make for next season?
    -My feeling is that you did a great job coordinating everything especially when we had so many
    rainouts.  My only thing I would like to see is the teams gets formed quicker so that the teams
    might be able to have a few more practices before the first game of the year.
    -I would not change anything.
    -Don't be afraid to try new ideas. Most of us will support you, whatever you decide. The others
    will come along too (just complain a little).  Thanks for a great first season. I am looking
    forward to defending our title. Oops, we didn't win. Maybe this year.
    -I would want the league to be sensitive to overall team size so playing time is maximized.   
    -Hopefully there will be more players next season so we can add a few teams.  Starting the
    games earlier would avoid having to call them due to darkness.
    -Just a better rule on courtesy runners.
    -One game a week either on Sun or weekday only.
    - I would like to see night games under the lights on Sat or Sun or even weekday night game.
    -Better fields, 7 innings AND "official" post game tailgating.
    -We need to practice, esp. hitting!!  (At least I do)  
    6.  For Sunday games, how would you rate the following game times?
    4 = No problem at all, I can always play at this time  
    3 = Sometimes this time would be good for me
    2 = Sometimes this time would be bad for me
    1 = Always a problem, I can never play at this time.
    This is one of those “you can’t please everybody” questions.  I guess you could interpret three
    or two as the glass being half full or half empty, but there were very few ones.  Most are
    available to play anytime on Sunday.  The bottom line is we play when fields are available.
    4                 3                2                1                Average
    10:00 AM        41%           18%          29%          12%              2.88
    1:00 PM          50%           22%          17%          11%              3.11
    4:00 PM          71%           12%          12%            6%              3.47

    7.  Are there any good fields that we should consider using?
    -Somers Ct High School and rec fields with lights: Palmer, Thorndike and Holyoke.
    -St. John’s field in Agawam.short left field fence but field is pretty well kept.
    -There is also a nice field next to our condo (Hampden East Condos) which I always thought
    was part of the church. A friend of mine told me the field was not affiliated with the church.
    - Longmeadow High.
    - Mittineague Park & Vets Field in West Springfield.
    -Szot Park, Chicopee.
    -JFK Middle School in Enfield.
    -Fenway Park.
    8.  There is a social aspect to the league. We enjoy each others camaraderie with the
    opportunity to form lifelong friendships. Would you be interested in attending the following
    events?  
    3 = Yes, I’d definitely attend and bring a guest.
    2 = Yes, I’d definitely attend alone.
    1 = No, I’m not interested in attending.

    Top Shelf Banquet –  This is a chance for a night out of dinner and dancing to reward wives or
    significant others for our time away from them and a chance to get together socially.  We could
    have a guest speaker on a baseball subject.  Dress would be semi-formal (coat and tie for
    men) Location would be someplace nice, for example The Barney Estate at Forest Park.  
    Approximate costs per person: Dinner: Steak, Seafood, Chicken: $15; Band $5; Hall rental
    $10; Misc. costs $5, Total $35 per
    person.                                                                                                           3             2               1        
    Average
                                 56%        13%        31%        2.25

    Banquet – Same as above but not as nice a location, cost $25 per person.                  
                                 56%        13%        31%        2.25

    League Picnic – On a Sunday after an afternoon ballgame, cost $10 per person, $20 per
    family.                                                                                                           75%        19%          6%         
    2.69

    League Picnic and Awards – After the Championship game, cost $10 per person, $20 per
    family.                                                                                                           73%        20%          7%         
    2.67

    Family Movie Night –  If we can find a suitable location with a big screen.  Something like “Field
    of Dreams”, cost $5 per person, $10 per family.                                     38%           6%        63%        
    1.69

    9.  Other comments:
    -You did a really great job, Jim!!  I know it was a very difficult and emotional season for you in
    many aspects, and I want to thank you for all your hard work.  I think the league was a success
    in its inaugural year, and I am sure it will only continue to get better as time passes.  I think it
    would be great if we were able to get post-game blurbs in the Spfld. paper and/or Masslive.
    com.  This would help to create more awareness of the league.  I look forward to the Spring
    thaw to give it another go.
    -Last year was an absolute blast. It was awesome! I appreciate the opportunity to act like a kid
    again!! As you may recall, when I first talked with you, I hadn't played ball since I was about 18
    years old (some 25 years ago..). While I've been coaching kids for over 13 years, this Valley
    Wheel humbled me back to reality and for that, I became a much more lenient, understanding
    manager...I had to practice what I preached and I soon gained an appreciation for the most
    routine plays...Sometimes the mind was willing but the body wasn't. Other times it was the
    reverse. While our record wasn't too good, I met some really good guys that I consider as
    friends. We shared a lot of laughs and even more beers...
    -Look at playing more games during the weekday vs. the weekend, so we don't have to hear it
    from the Wife.       Let's Play Ball!
    -It was an absolutely great experience last year and I am really looking forward to getting out
    there again in the spring.
    -I also thought the Umpires (in general) did a very good job this year.
    -I had a great time playing this year.   My manager….  I cannot say enough good things about
    him.  He was always there to put the effort in and did a fantastic job.  I appreciate all the work
    you and the other managers put in this season.
    -All people involved in organizing the league did a great job!! Thank you.
    -I made some good friends had a blast  though I now own stock in Advil  I cant wait fore spring
    to get here, to mimic you – “Lets play ball!” .
    - I had a blast playing.
    -On a personal note, I always wanted to play ball again, but the excuses not to play were
    much too easy to come by.  Nothing comes close to facing a pitcher and crushing his best
    effort, rounding the bases and diving to make a great catch.  I also really enjoyed some of
    the post game hanging out, as it was a great opportunity to make new friends, I thought we
    had the closest team in the league and we really seemed to enjoy each other.  I want to
    thank you for giving me the opportunity to do that again.   
    I'm looking forward to playing again next year as much as my body and schedule will allow.
    Thanks again, have a great off-season!
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