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Westminster resident Davery Ibuado puts baseball at the top of his summer weekend “things to do” list as he joins more than 1,000 metro-area men participating in about 80 Denver Amateur Baseball Association teams.“I played baseball in high school and I knew there were men’s baseball leagues and I debated whether or not I should continue to play the sport,” the 2011 Westminster High School graduate said. “But I quickly decided that I wanted to continue playing so I would stay active and have fun doing it, and joined a team in the Denver National Amateur Baseball Association. I look forward to the season because I enjoy being with my teammates and friends on the field playing the sport I really like to play.”Ibuado regularly plays for the Warriors in the 18 and older AA wooden bat league. But he joined players from several area teams to form the team they called the Denver Warsenlins so they could play in the July 1-3 Mile High Classic Tournament.“We all like to play baseball and compete against other teams as often as possible,” he said. “Not enough players from one team signed up for the classic. So we got guys from several teams together to form this new team so we could play in this tournament.”The Warsenlins faced a Nebraska team from the Omaha area in the July 1 game. The Denver team was made up of players from around the metro area. For example, Alec Bibby of Littleton was the starting pitcher and Broc Vancil of Arvada started at second base.The Warsenlins scored a run in the home half of the first inning but Omaha scored eight runs in the top of the second and went on to win the game, 12-2.Ibuado said everyone wants to win, but no matter which team wins, he feels that players on both teams competed hard and enjoyed the opportunity to get out and play baseball against another team. The Warsenlins scored some runs in the other three tournament games they played but not enough to win a game.“People often ask me why I keep playing baseball at my age,” the 23-year-old construction worker said. “I tell them because it so much fun to be out here playing baseball. I can’t think of anything better than being out here on the diamond playing in a baseball game on a summer day.”The Denver program is part of the National Adult Baseball Association, an organization with headquarters in Littleton.“We have 80 teams playing in the Denver metro area,” Joe Collins, NABA vice president, said. “We have four age-group leagues, 18 and older, 25 and older, 35 and older and 48 and older. Some age divisions are divided into leagues based on player ability. Right now we have more than 1,200 men playing baseball in our Denver-area adult leagues.”He said the association welcomes players over 18 of any skill level. There are tryouts in February when teams are formed but men can join the league at any time. Anyone interested can check it out at the website, www.denvernaba.com.The season runs from June to the end of August. Teams play 16 to 20 regular season games plus teams can play in local tournaments or travel to tournaments around the country. Most leagues play games on Saturdays and Sundays but there are some weekday leagues.The association charges a fee per team for each season and the team fee is divided up among the players on the roster, averaging about $250 per player, Collins said. The team fee money is used to cover operating costs like paying officials, field rentals and insurance premiums. Players also provide their own equipment like gloves, cleats and bats.Collins has been with the association for 17 years and said it continues to grow in the Denver-metro area and around the country.“Right now we have between 25,000 and 30,000 men around the country playing baseball with the association,” he said. “It has been great to see the program grow. We had about 35 teams when I joined the association and we have more than double that number this season.”
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