Admission is free, but those attending are asked to bring a non-perishable food item, and in return, will receive a free raffle ticket for a chance to win prizes that will be drawn throughout the nine-inning, sandlot-style baseball contest. Festivities (starting lineups, national anthem, on-field group photos, etc.) will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a first pitch slated for 7 p.m.
The VLB was organized in 1998 by Moline native and Quad-Cities resident Matt Veto with the intention of catering to the less-experienced baseball enthusiast. It’s for folks that didn’t start on their high school baseball team — or perhaps never even played past Little League — but love the game of baseball and refuse to accept softball as the only post-18-year-old option. In 10 seasons, over 320 different players of varying age and skill levels have played in the league. The majority of Monday night’s 26-man roster consists of players with deep roots in the Quad-Cities metro area and players that are 23 years old or older.
To ensure the comfort and enjoyment of players of all skill levels, pitches are thrown at batting-practice speed from behind a protective L-screen. There are no called balls or strikes and we do not suit up a catcher, but place a ninth fielder in foul ground behind the plate to cover home and chase after foul balls. The rest of the game is baseball as you know it.
Staff will be on hand to collect information from visitors new to the league who may wish to play next season. It is free to play in The VLB during the regular season, which runs from May to September. For more information, visit www.thevlb.com or contact The VLB organizer Matt Veto at email@example.com.