ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — “Yeah, it’s awesome man,” Curtis Nobles said. “My juices are flowing now, wish I could get out there and play.”
The Albany Twilight League has returned after last year’s COVID-related layoff, marking the 90th season for the amateur baseball league here in the Capital Region.
“We had no doubt that it would come back, we’re just happy that it came back as strong as it did,” league president Bill Kelts said. “The area needs baseball and Albany and baseball are one and the same.”
“It’s really special for them to have the opportunity to come out this year,” Albany Athletics manager Joe Altieri said. “90th season, come back and play Twilight League baseball.”
“We belong here at Bleecker Stadium and a lot of people are used to that tradition,” Altieri added.
The return of the league gave Albany Twilight a chance to honor 2019 hall of fame inductees, including Ballston Spa head coach and 2019 New York state champion Curtis Nobles.
“I’m blessed and honored man,” Nobles said. “This is where I grew up. A lot of first things happened here. It’s an honor to be here tonight.”
“Curtis certainly amplifies what the Twilight League stands for,” Kelts said. “Good professional people. He’s just another member of the Twilight League that’s had success. Great guy.”
“It’s only fitting that we have this tradition where we recognize our hall-of-famers and anybody who has contributed to the league on opening day and it’s kind of exciting,” Altieri said. “It’s an opportunity for everybody to get together and say ‘let’s play ball.'”
For former players like Nobles, the connections off the diamond are just as important as the success on it.
“This league has developed a lot of lifelong friends for me,” Nobles said. “I love the game of baseball and that’s what it provided for me. It also gave me a lot of things to carry on in through my coaching career.”
With 90 seasons down, that give the Twilight League another 90 seasons to go, right?
“I’d be happy if we get one or two for me then we’ll worry about that as it goes,” Kelts said. “It’s day by day now.”