WASHINGTON, D.C. – William Bissell and Tommy Barksdale know a thing or two about Hoy Field and having the chance to play summer baseball with the D.C. Grays, the newest members of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, has been a golden opportunity for the two Bison players. Gallaudet University has been hosting the D.C. Grays this summer at Hoy Field during the team's inaugural season.
"Summer baseball is the greatest experience there is. This league is very competitive and it's a great opportunity to play on a team with a lot of Division I talent," said Bissell. "Having the chance to face better pitching is helping me to become a better player both physically and mentally. Playing for the D.C. Grays is great, I enjoy being around my teammates and coaching staff."
The Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, an amateur summer wooden bat league, is in its eighth season of existence and features 10 teams from the Baltimore-Washington area. The majority of the players on the teams' rosters are from NCAA Division I, II and III programs or a junior college.
The Grays were founded and named in honor of the great Homestead Grays, the Negro League champions of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. The Homestead Grays were a legendary franchise as they played at Griffith Stadium, home of the Washington Senators.
Bissell is currently fourth on the team with two home runs and is batting .240 (18-for-75) in 23 games and has knocked in nine runs, walked 12 times and hit two doubles. Barksdale is tied for second on the team with four doubles as he is batting .196 (10-for-51) in 18 games.
"This has just been an amazing opportunity and experience to play with some top players from around the country and learn from each other," said Barksdale. "I think it is great the D.C. Grays are calling Hoy Field home and seeing familiar faces from the Gallaudet community at the games."
The Grays have already made an impact in the local community hosting various clinics this summer. The D.C. Grays are currently 11-15 with two weeks left in the regular season before playoffs begin. The Grays will next be home on Sunday, July 15, at 5 p.m. against the Herndon Braves.
Upcoming D.C. Grays Home Games
@ Hoy Field
7/15 vs. Herndon Braves, 5 p.m.
7/18 vs. Vienna River Dogs, 5 p.m.
7/22 vs. Silver Spring-Takoma T-Bolts, 5 p.m.
7/23 vs. Bethesda Big Train, 5 p.m.
7/25 vs. Alexandria Aces, 5 p.m.