Bethlehem Steel to have entry in BML
Bethlehem is finally going to have a team in the Blue Mountain League once again.
Bethlehem Steel baseball is set to take the field this season and the squad will be part of the Lehigh Sports Association, playing home games at Gene’s “Field of Dreams” Complex.
Juan Carreras will be the team’s general manager and is excited about bringing adult baseball back to Bethlehem.
“I have no doubt the program will honor the teams of the past and re-energize Bethlehem baseball going forward,” Carreras said. “Our program, our team logos, our team philosophy, our facility, and our players will all be prepared to prove that we are ready to compete at the very highest level in this league.
“We want the City of Bethlehem to be proud of this team and we want to make every attempt possible to draw our local community out to support our team.”
The team plans to offer marketing banners when acquiring team sponsorships, which he hopes is with many local businesses, including the historic downtown marketplace, restaurants and South Side Bethlehem businesses.
Carreras said the team’s name was picked to honor the thousands of steel workers who worked hard every time they walked through the gates.
“Steel and the City of Bethlehem are synonymous. Steel is hard and iron was transformed into steel right here in Bethlehem,” Carreras said. “Our players will honor its tradition when they take the field and our younger players will use the Blue Mountain experience to transform into better players. I will demand my players work hard every game of the season.”
Gray and maroon will be the team’s colors. The famous steel stacks will be in the background as well as the city’s Christmas star being the centerpiece of the logo. The star signifies a bright future, Carreras said.
Carreras added the team motto will be ‘As iron sharpens iron, so shall one player sharpen another.’
“This is based on the words of advice I was given as I was preparing to enter this league by a BML manager of the past whose dedication to Lehigh Valley baseball I hold to the highest regard - Coach Plessl,” said Carreras. “There is a proven value in having a veteran core of players leading by example in the BML. So I have acquired some of the very best team leaders and competitors I know.”
Carreras said the team has the support of several of America’s largest sports equipment and sports apparel manufacturers. He said the Steel are the only team that has secured a company to make bats as Akadema out of New Jersey delivered on professional quality maple bats.
Carreras also mentioned some veteran members of the team who should be familiar names, especially in Bethlehem. Jeff LaBarge is a catcher from Liberty who graduated in 2006. Robby Williams a former Liberty pitcher who graduated in 2005. Matt Cobb is a first baseman and designated hitter who graduated from Becahi in 2003. Brian Ernst is a former Salisbury grad who will pitch and be the team’s pitching coach. And, Julian Lopez is a second baseman and shortstop who graduated from Freedom in 2013.
The season got underway on May 16, as the Steel hosted the Dodgers. The team is scheduled to play again on Saturday, May 20, against the Northern Yankees at Sammy Balliet Stadium.
For more, check out bethlehemsteelbaseball.com. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“We want the great Bethlehem players to come back and support the team. We want the community of Bethlehem to support their new team,” said Carreras. “We want the Lehigh Valley’s best to come to a team that will demand they be at their very best. We want players in and outside of the Lehigh Valley that want to be around the best and we want to help develop the area’s best young players. From the top down, Bethlehem Steel baseball expects to be the best.”