The New England Collegiate Baseball League is moving forward with preparations for opening day on June 3, which means the Shark Tank could once again play host to the popular summer baseball league.

Speaking with the Gazette by phone this week, NECBL commissioner Sean McGrath said the league plans to continue to monitor the pandemic and vaccine rollout while teams gear up to play for the first time since 2019.

“We’re going to plan for opening day. We’re going to get ready and in the meantime we’re going to monitor and adjust as necessary,” Mr. McGrath said.

“We’re in six New England states so we have different governors with different policies,” he continued. “We’re going to have our eyes and ears open on everything that’s happening in our region.”

Last year, the NECBL canceled the 2020 season in May due to the pandemic. Mr. McGrath said although the league is hopeful there will be a season this summer, much of what happens in the coming months will determine whether or not they’re able to proceed.

“We would love to be able to play but we’re only going to do it if we can do it safely and responsibly while following the strictest public health guidelines,” Mr. McGrath said.

Sharks general manager Russ Curran said lost revenue from last summer is just one of the issues facing the team going forward.

“We have a lot of challenges ahead of us. The biggest obstacle is going to be the host family situation,” Mr. Curran said.

Recruiting has already begun, though, and if everything goes according to plan and the season commences in June, Mr. Curran said he has high hopes for this year’s team. Already on the Sharks’ 2021 roster are 15 players from eight college teams ranked in the top 25 in the nation.

“Our outfield is Vanderbilt, Louisville, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Pepperdine. Outfield has got some great guys,” Mr. Curran said.

The Sharks are also bringing back 10 players who were supposed to be on the team last year. Mr. Curran said Sharks mainstays Daniel Hegarty, Oliver McCarthy and Colin Shapiro will also be back.

Mr. Curran said the NECBL has added an Armed Forces roster exemption for each team this year. Sean Dennehy, a cadet from West Point, will join the Sharks roster for five weeks this summer before he has to return to New York. In the past, Mr. Curran said general managers didn’t want to use a roster spot on a player they couldn’t keep for the whole season.

“They’d always get left behind,” Mr. Curran said. “But now it doesn’t count against your roster. I think it was a pretty good and big thing the league did to try and work that through so we can do an exemption for those kids.”

For information about becoming a host family or business sponsorships, contact Russ Curran at or 508-813-0380.