With a few months of baseball yet to be played, Veto League's 26th season is taking on success nearly matched by 2020 and 2022.
VLB capitalized on covid by playing a record 81 games in 2020. After a down following year, last season had the third most debuts in the league's history with 55 (69 - 2012, 57 - 2011). Veto League also played 51 games last season. With the All-Star Classic booked for September 23rd, there have already been 35 games played through the first half of the season, and there are 81 total games scheduled.
Here are some notable items through the first half of VLB's 26th season.
For the first time in history, the league has five designated captains. Each captain is scheduled for 21 games, with the top four moving to playoffs. Rookie Manager Kyle Kent has cemented his spot atop the standings with a 10-4 record and has a four game winning streak where they've outscored the opponents 47-19. They hold a 5.5 game advantage to earn a playoff berth. The Goonies (8-7) are clinging to the #2 seed, with the Hitters (6-6) being a half game back, and the Cannons right behind them at 6-8. Branden Bollman's Dilly Diggs started slow but have heated up, with a 4-9 record.
Alex Miller continues his consecutive games played streak, which is currently at a jaw dropping 263 games. Miller also has a chance to surpass Scott Ellefritz to move into top five all-time in career games played.
With no clear favorite, the statistical league leaders are spread around. Kent is likely the front runner for Most Valuable Player with a big lead in runs scored (62) and second in batting average (.676). Miller holds the RBI lead with 51. Rookie Noah Harrison leads with 20 extra base hits in just 15 games played. Despite only playing 10 games, Zach Graham holds a large lead in dingers with five. No other player has more than one.
Bailey Rericha has only missed four games all year and his 31 games played are in line to set a rookie record (Kent - 65).
The all-time roster has surpassed 900 with 28 "rookies" making their VLB debut in 2023. 72 players have participated in at least one game this year. It will be a stretch to surpass last season's 55 debuts and 113 participants.
The league switched mid-week games from Thursdays to Wednesdays, thanks to veteran Nick Swanson loaning out his Heat-reserved field at Jefferson Park. Games on Wednesdays start at 5:00. On Saturdays, games are still being played at Ridgewood in southwest Rock Island, beginning at 11:00.