Baseball in Central VT
1887 The Northeastern League had a semi-pro Montpelier team. The League disbanded before the season was over, largely due to payroll issues and an extensive travel schedule during a time when trains were the transportation means of choice. The Montpelier team had a 2 - 13 record at the time it pulled out of the League, despite having three future major league players on the roster.
1901 - 1907 The First Northern League featured a Barre-Montpelier team largely made up of Ivy League college players and many professionals who played under assumed names, usually for more money then many minor leaguers. In 1905 the Montpelier team won the championship. Twenty players from these teams went on to play major league baseball.
1923 - 1924 The Green Mountain League had a Barre-Montpelier team among its franchises. During this period of prohibition, the teams were often a front for rum running between "wet" Canada and "dry" Vermont. One of the brightest stars of this League was Lou "Crip" Polli, a native of Barre. Seven players from these teams went on to play major league baseball.
1935 - 1952 The Second Northern League again featured many top collegiate players and many former professionals. The Montpelier Senators played their home games at National Life Field (located on the Barre-Montpelier Road on the site of the current Friendly's Restaurant.) The Depression era had one positive side for the Montpelier area, when the Federal Government supported the WPA to build the Montpelier Recreation Field and Swimming Pool. The Recreation Field featured a 1,200 seat capacity grandstand and bleachers down the firstbase and thirdbase lines. The crowds were overflowing with fans to support the Senators and later the Twin City Trojans. The League did well until 1948, when the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Association banned college players from being paid. The league hung on until 1952 and then folded. Ten players from these teams went on to play major league baseball, but only one, Robin Roberts, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Robin Roberts was the biggest star in the Northern League and played for the Twin City Trojans in 1946 and 1947. (See the page dedicated to Robin Roberts on this website)
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS WHO PLAYED ON THE BARRE - MONTPELIER TEAMS 1887 - 1952
2001 A local group formed "Green Mountain Community Baseball". In September 2002, after months of preparation, the NECBL voted to award a franchise to our group. The NECBL is the largest wooden bat summer league in the United States with 13 teams. The NECBL is led by former MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent, and in the League's ten-year history, 40% of its players have gone on to play professional baseball. The Vermont Mountaineers will open the season on June 7, 2003 and play a 42-game schedule that will conclude the first week of August. The Mountaineers are receiving tremendous support from sponsors, fans, and the local communities. The City of Montpelier has welcomed us and been very supportive from the beginning. This will truly be "Central Vermont's Team". The team plans to raise $500,000 though a Capital Campaign to renovate the facility. Plans include a permanent fence, new lights, new dugouts, press box, bathroom renovations, team room, concession, scoreboard, handicap ramp, field renovations and improvements to the grandstand. We need your help! Please support the capital campaign to renovate this historic facility.
Thank you to Merritt Clifton, Tom Simon, Fred Stone, Dave Morse and SABR for the assistance with the research.
Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Vermont Mountaineers and the NECBL. If you'd like to help support the team, we have an opportunity for you.