Is it better to have a team full of experienced, veterans? Or would you rather your team be chock full of promising rookies? It's a tough question to answer, and one that doesn't even necessarily have an answer. Let's take a look at the oldest and youngest teams in the leauge to see if it will shed some like on the age old question.
|1. Red Skulls||35.77|
|15. Polar Bears||30.40|
|17. Red Dogs||30.24|
|18. Yellow Jackets||30.08|
|20. Milk Men||29.16|
|21. Mud Cats||28.96|
Oldest Team: West Bay Red Skulls
Contrary to rumors floating around the shuffleboard circuit, the Red Skulls did not move their Fort Lauderdale spring training camp down I-95 to Century Village and hire Jack LaLanne as strength and conditioning coach. Still, they are the oldest team in baseball, a 162-episode version of thirtysomething.
With an average age of 36, West Bay officially gets the nod as the "Grand Daddies of the Senior Circuit".
Marcel Orren, 37 realizes his days of leading the team may be numbered. "I'm starting to get to that age where your body starts failing you," Orren says as he rubs mineral ice into his throwing arm. "It's just a fact of life, I guess." At 37, Bruce Peoples isn't far behind.Veteran starting pitcher Mort Hughson sees the this era in Red Skulls' history coming to an end. "Guys like me, Orren and Pudge Bonnici aren't going to be here forever, that's no secret. How the team reacts to that remains to be seen."
It's never pretty to watch a player get old. Watching a whole team do it is like watching a train wreck. One thing's for sure: the future is now for the Red Skulls.
Youngest Team: Calgary Remparts
Whether it's the perils of playing in a small market or for an owner too cheap to want to pay the price to compete, the Remparts have put together a roster that seems to feature more rookies than veterans. The result is a collection of players long on enthusiasm and painfully short on experience including many who made the quantum leap from Double A ball right to the major leagues.
At an average age of 26, Calgary are certainly very green. "There are some games we feel like we belong," says twenty two year-old relief pitcher Thomas Foster. "There are other games we feel like we're a little kid getting beat around out there." Chris Fillmore, 22, nods along, smiling from ear to ear.
"A lot of people see us as the future of the franchise," Carlos Gonzalez, 21 says. "That may be so, but you won't get me, Thomas, Chris or Roy Lawford up here to say it. We know we've got a long way to go."
But as starting pitcher Fred Donovan, a fifteen-year veteran observed, "You know guys are younger and they do things a little different. Different isn't always bad. It's just different."