Kruel Gets Her Signature on Her League's Baseballs - 27 East

Kruel Gets Her Signature on Her League’s Baseballs

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Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League baseballs with president Sandi Kruel's signature.

Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League baseballs with president Sandi Kruel's signature.

Drew Budd on Jul 25, 2023

When the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League attended the National Alliance of College Summer Baseball Prospect Games, played at Worthington Field, on the campus of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, for the first time last year, Sandi Kruel noticed that Todd Pratt, the former Major Leaguer, had his signature on the baseballs for his league, the Sunbelt Baseball League, of which he’s the commissioner. It was Southampton Breaker manager Rob Cafiero — the longest tenured manager of the HCBL — who convinced Kruel she should do the same.

In the following months, at the winter meetings held for the NACSB, Cafiero brought it to the attention of both Major League Baseball and the NACSB that Kruel, who has been league president since 2018, deserves to have her signature on her league’s baseballs. They wholeheartedly agreed.

And just like that, Rawlings manufactured 3,500 baseballs with the “Sandi Kruel” signature. They debuted this summer.

“It’s definitely a prestigious honor, one I’m very, very humbled by,” the Sag Harbor native said.

Kruel said a funny thing occurred at this year’s Prospect Games Showcase in Virginia, when New York Collegiate Baseball League Commissioner Joe Brown forgot to bring some of his own baseballs, and asked her if she had brought any baseballs of her own. Brown is a baseball legend in his own right, having led SUNY Cortland to an impressive 854-239-4 record, 23 NCAA Division III tournament appearances, 11 World Series showings and 17 State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) titles in his 23-plus seasons as the Red Dragons’ head coach.

The HCBL defeated the NYCBL, 4-3, in that game with the HCBL’s baseballs.

“I said, ‘Great, we just beat the NYCBL with my name on them,” Kruel snickered.

Lastly, Kruel said John Franco, the former New York Mets pitcher, whom she has become good friends with over the years, asked her for one of her baseballs with her real signature on it. She, of course, obliged.

“Todd Pratt’s got his name on his,” she said. “I guess I’m one of the guys now.”

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