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MSBL League of the Month: Fresno Men's Baseball League

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Bob Schiotis is the president of the Fresno Men’s Baseball League, a position he has held since 2009.  This powerhouse league was introduced to MSBL in 1991 and has been one of the premier leagues of the MSBL family.  For their outstanding participation and professionalism, MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler is recognizing the Fresno Men’s Baseball League as the League of the Month.

"Pat Monreal started the league in 1991 with four teams and we now have 24 signed up for 2018,” said Schiotis.  "We’ll offer play in 18-over, 30-over and 50-over divisions this year.”

Bob and two past presidents, Pat Marchese and Chuck Brough, are still playing in the league's 50+ Division.  "Our league has sent one or more teams to the MSBL World Series every year since 1992,” stated Schiotis.  "In 1991 some players played there on other teams. Last year Fresno had three teams represented in Arizona.  We also have three teams going to the Las Vegas Kickoff Classic this year and have participated there for many years.”

Bob’s league starts the middle of March and wraps up at the end of September.  Then it’s time to start working out for Arizona.  But during the year Bob and the players aren’t only focused on playing ball under the warm California sun.  "The league donates $1,500 a year to six or seven high school baseball programs. We use some of the best high school varsity fields in Fresno and Madera. Our website has grown and improved and players now register, pay and sign the waiver on line through the website.”

Bob’s personal baseball resume includes a beginning in a Babe Ruth League andprogressed to Fresno High School and Fresno City College.  In the summer Twilight League at the age of 18 he pitched a complete game, 1-hitter with a dozen strikeouts and made the All-Star team.  Then after a brief hiatus the MSBL entered the picture in 1994 at the age of 44.  "I was happy to be back in the game and had a pretty good season on the mound and won the league’s Cy Young Award in my first year.  That will remain very special to me.”

Now heading into their 28th season are there any words of advice for new presidents or leagues?  "As a president, make decisions that benefit the league and not just a few,” Bob explained.  "You must also be willing to donate many hours of your time while surrounding yourself with quality people for assistance.”

Bob concluded, "This league could not afford to offer a reasonable price to playing ball without the national assistance of MSBL.  They are the backbone of this league. Steve Sigler’s advice and support throughout the years has kept this league moving forward.”

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