“I have a network of coaches I can talk to, so there’s a snowball or spider-web effect and the next thing you know, you’re talking with whoever,” Hughes continued. “We’re a little behind in that part of it because the sale took so long, but we’ve got some good leads.”
Hughes, 55, said he has inquired about signing Mike Calkins, a Division II pitcher for the University of Tampa who joined Sean Getman on Hughes’ state-championship team last season. Getman is playing baseball for Bridgeton Academy, a prep school in Maine. Both earned Daily Star First Team All-Star accolades for baseball last season.
“No one’s committed yet (besides Getman),” said Hughes, who graduated from OHS one year after Laing did. “If we think they can play at this level, whether it’s an Oneonta kid or a D-I, a D-II or a good D-III kid, we’ll take them. We’re looking for good people, good citizens and good ballplayers.”
After playing professional baseball, including a stint in Venezuela, Hughes served his alma mater Florida International University as an assistant coach. He also assisted former Oneonta Yankees manager Bill Livesey during the 1983 and 1984 NY-Penn seasons and has been the head coach of the Yellowjackets for 28 years.
Laing said the Outlaws will continue to sell beer at Damaschke Field and ticket prices will remain the same for the 2013 season, which will begin in early June.
Dean Russin can be reached at email@example.com or 607-432-1000, ext. 215.