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Legends of the Fall



2010 FALL BALL What: A fall baseball league available to all incoming high schoolers When: Saturdays starting Aug. 21 until the weather becomes too bad for game conditions Where: Molitor Field, Veterans Park Tryouts: Monday, Aug. 9, 5:30 p.m., Molitor Field, no players will be cut, it will determine teams n Founder Brett Padjen only has six teams signed up right now, and is hoping for at least eight. High schools interested in fielding a team can contact Padjen at (262) 903-8825.
August 04, 2010 | 08:32 AM
Bloomfield Township — Lake Geneva resident Brett Padjen is definitely a baseball guy.

He loves the game so much that the 50-year-old might even form a team of alumni players for Fall Ball, an annual league open to any incoming high schoolers. The league has six teams right now, but the goal is to have at least eight teams. But Padjen isn't sweating semantics.

"I would play if I have to," Padjen said. "We will even field an alumni team if it worked out that way. But I've received interest from Woodstock, Ill, and Union Grove, so I think we should be fine."

Padjen plays in the annual Fall Ball alumni game, which is set to kick off the season Aug. 21. Currently, there are two Lake Geneva teams, possibly one from Lake Geneva and one from Genoa City, Big Foot, Whitewater, Cary, Ill. and Elkhorn.

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The league runs Saturdays through October and possibly into November on Molitor Field at Veterans Park. Padjen said teams don't stop until the weather gets bad. Now in its seventh season since Padjen and Badger assistant coach Wayne Vorpagel kicked it off in 2004, the idea is simply to play games.

"We just want to get games in for guys," Padjen said. "We don't want to set up artificial barriers to keep people out of the league. The more you play games, the better you will get. Kids out west and down south play a lot more games than they do in this area. We want to extend the season for high-school players."

Along with high school players, Padjen would make an exception for a skilled eighth grader or a kid out of high school in order to fill a team.

And players can look forward to a new and improved Molitor Field this year. The city leveled the field, groomed the infield and fixed drainage issues at home plate.

Former Badger standouts Colter Beck, Laramie Wieseman, Clint Andresen and Jake Hodgeman, who Padjen deemed "Mr. Fall Ball," have all played in the league. This fall, current Badger players Colton Andresen and Nick Skipper will play.

Padjen said it's a testament to the fun of the league that guys keep coming back.

"It's just fun," he said. "It's rare that people don't come back and play after trying it out. We don't keep records or stats. We play to win, but the idea is just to play and forget about the games when they are over."

Padjen added that kids can also learn skills from certain coaches, including Sean Skipper, who will coach this fall.

"It's good for guys to get a lot of batting practice," Padjen said. "It makes them better. Skipper and some other guys want to make kids better."

There will be games at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Padjen said it makes for a better field when the sun shines on the grass for a few hours before playing. Also, he said an individual will maintain the field before each game.

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