GOODING – The Magic Valley Baseball and Softball Leagues finished up their summer seasons recently under a new, streamlined structure.
In the past, rec leagues from small-to-medium-sized communities across Magic Valley were connected only loosely. They coordinated schedules for seven different leagues (three softball, three baseball and one co-ed machine pitch), but there was no official governing body for the league, which offers teams for players from age 7 to 15.
This summer, for the first time, the leagues instituted a board of directors and a chairman of the board, Smokey Legarreta of Gooding. The board is made up of veterans of their respective recreation leagues, and energetic new contributors like Legarreta, who is in his fifth year with Gooding’s recreation department.
“We think we have a well-run league. We were great before, but we needed stability and one functionality. Everyone agreed we needed a board,” Legarreta said.
Seven communities make up the Magic Valley leagues — Kimberly, Buhl, Filer, Gooding, Wendell, Castleford, Hansen, Murtaugh, Fairfield, Hagerman and Shoshone — though some of the smaller communities will submit just one or two teams, depending on athlete turnout. This summer, Shoshone submitted four teams, which is the most Legarreta can remember them having. In all, about 90 teams participated this summer.
In addition to scheduling, rule changes are another major factor that became streamlined this summer. Legarreta said in the past, without a board to vote in potential rule changes, meetings would often be long and unfruitful. Now, a rule change is presented to him, and he presents it to the board for a vote.
“We can put together pros and cons now. It’s much more organized,” Legarreta said. “We believe in the strength of our league, and we want what’s best for all of the kids in our area.”
Final Team Results
Machine Pitch Filer – 1. Filer (Toothman) 2. Hansen
Machine Pitch Gooding – 1. Murtaugh 2. Gooding (Squires)
Minors Valley – 1. Valley 2. Kimberly (Hembold)
Minors Kimberly – 1. Kimberly (May) 2. Kimberly (Brown)
Majors Buhl – 1. Wendell (Jacobsen) 2. Buhl (Theurer)
Majors Filer – 1. Filer (Taylor) 2. Shoshone
Pony – 1. Valley 2. Gooding
A League – 1. Gooding 2. Filer
B League – 1. Gooding 2. Filer (Cowger)