OLNEY, Md. (DC News Now) – There’s a new baseball team in Olney.
In its first season, Cropdusters Baseball in Olney of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Summer Baseball League, is the league’s newest and maybe most fun team too.
“To have a baseball team in Olney, five minutes away, a ten minute drive,” Olney resident and Cropdusters season ticket holder Carl Baumbach said. “It brings the community together.”
The Cropdusters bring what they call a new “vibe” to the league. Fans can watch games sitting on a hay bale, kids run the bases and take part in other events on the field during the game and can even play cornhole with members of the team during the game. The team has alternate uniforms that look like their wearing overalls.
“The league already has three other teams in Montgomery County and I think we eventually could have the biggest attendance,” Cropdusters founder and team president Tony Korson said. “We want to make baseball fun here. We want to pay homage to the Olney community and the agriculture this 225 acre plot used to be a farm.”
Korson is a Montgomery County native himself, growing up in Bethesda, where he was an All-Met baseball player at Whitman high school. He played college baseball at Florida Gulf Coast University. Korson played in the Clark Griffith League, that merged with the Ripken League, for the now defunct College Park Bombers.
Korson and his team in Olney are excited to provide more local college aged baseball players with a chance to play in Montgomery County.
“I feel like every other place is just kind of stock, there’s nothing to it,” Cropdusters first baseman Mike Bouma said. “I feel like Olney kind of brings that farm, homegrown country land and I think it’s awesome.”
Bouma, who starred at Sherwood high school, is a rising senior at the University of Maryland. The Cropdusters roster includes more than a dozen players from the state of Maryland and three Sherwood graduates: Bouma, Towson rising sophomore pitcher Brett Seils and Frostburg rising sophomore pitcher Ben Vok. Seils won he 2021 state championship with Sherwood, the team repeated as champions this year.
“It’s literally just like I’m 12-years-old again, playing five Minutes from your own house,” Bouma told DC News Now. “A bunch of my family, a bunch of my friends live around here. It’s really awesome that they can come and see me play play.”
Involving fans in the experience and bringing in local vendors, the Cropdusters hope to connect with the community on and beyond the baseball diamond.
“You know add a little couple things in there to get the crowd involved,” Seils said. “Trying to make it fun again for people to come watch baseball.”
The team plays at OBGC Community Park and its venue will receive upgrades soon. The team received a $1 million grant from the state to improve the stadium. Korson says they plan to add seating for 450 people, along with lights and other additions in the near future.
“We really want to be in high demand and provide a great experience for the players, the fans,” Korson said. “And the community is going to benefit.”