Heading into the 2015 season, Section 1 wasn’t exactly at the top of the pecking order when it came to New York State baseball. The last state title that any local team had won came from Tuckahoe in Class C in 2011, while the droughts in the larger classes — AA, A and B — were even more glaring. Sections such as 11, 8, 5 and 2 were generally regarded as the best that New York had to offer, while Section 1 resided more towards the middle of the pack.
There were close calls in 2014 when both Rye (Class A) and Rye Neck (Class B) reached the state championship games, but tough losses to end the season prevented Section 1 from capturing an elusive title. Along came Mamaroneck and Byram Hills in 2015, and now everything has changed.
With those teams capturing championships in the state’s two largest classes, the rest of the state has been forced to take notice. As we saw when Tuesday’s All-State teams came out, Section 1 has rarely been so well-represented. In many ways, this could be seen as the year that catapulted the Lower Hudson Valley into the upper echelon on New York State baseball.
I’ve noticed some of the comments that have been critical of the All-State selections. Is nine teams per class excessive? Perhaps, but that’s what the number is. And with that many spots to be awarded, few can question that Section 1 deserved just as many as any other section in the state — if not more. The success of the local teams at the state level should be a source of pride, and that paved the way for the best of the best from this area to be recognized, which I wrote about in today’s paper.
NOTE: To officially wrap-up our coverage of the 2015 season, I’ll be posting our final #lohudbaseball rankings on Monday.
Photo by Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News