Wes Braun has a 1.80 ERA with 46 strikeouts in 25 innings as the closer for the Chicago Clout of the Skyscraper Baseball League
July 25, 2008
CHICAGO - Hey Illini fans! This is Wes Braun in Chicago from the corner of Roosevelt and Halsted where I have been playing in the Chicago Skyscraper League all summer long. The advantage of playing in downtown Chicago is that I only live about an hour away (I would be closer without all of the construction on the highways) and am able to live at home.
It has been nice being able to eat some home-cooked meals and also give back to my community as I have been the co-coach of the 12 year old Deerfield Warriors Travel A baseball team. It is my second year in a row coaching the 12 year olds in my home town and I enjoy the teaching aspect along with learning the coaching side of the game of baseball. It would give any player the appreciation for what our coaches go through on a daily basis and along with understanding all of the headaches that result from the players and the whole experience!
One of the perks of coaching this particular team is that each year they are able to go and experience Cooperstown, N.Y., for a weekly tournament that is held specifically for 12-year-olds. We went over the Fourth of July and although we did not end up faring too well, it was great for the kids to compete against the best teams from places like Southern California, Miami, and Montreal. Seeing the Baseball Hall of Fame is always a great time and I would encourage anyone to make the trip because it is well worth it.
As for the Skyscraper League, I play on a team called the Chicago Clout, which is made up of of college players along with many former college and professional players. It is great to talk to the former players and learn from their experiences through the different stories they tell and different game situations they have been in.
I have also enjoyed some success this season as I have taken over the closer role these past couple weeks and have compiled a 1.80 E.R.A. and striking out 46 in 25 innings. All of our games are played at University of Illinois- Chicago, which has a great landscape of the city of Chicago when looking out from home plate.
Soon we will be off to participate in the NABF regional in Fort Wayne, Ind., where I may bump into Nick Stockwell and his team as they might be there as well. Hopefully the Clout can put together a good last couple weeks to come up with their first national championship since 2001.
Hope everyone is having a good summer and Go Illini!