Soulen Steps Down As Manager

9/25/15 - Mike Soulen grew up in a small town in southern New Jersey during the 70's and 80's, graduating high school in 1989. Soulen started playing organized baseball and soccer when he was 6 years old and continued playing both through high school at the varsity level. Like many other kids in the northeast, Soulen would also play sports seasonally with his friends - football, hockey, volleyball, basketball, etc.

After high school, Soulen chose to delay the start of college to play for Teams USA, an under 18 soccer program which played tournaments throughout Europe. After spending the summer of 1989 in Europe, Soulen returned home with an eye on attending college but a severe knee injury sustained during a backyard football game derailed his efforts. After two surgeries and a lengthy rehab Soulen eventually enrolled at Glassboro State College, now known as Rowan University.

At Rowan, Mike would eventually follow his heart and concentrate his efforts on baseball. But unfortunately for him, the knee injury was just the tip of the iceberg as injuries continued to mount and staying on the field to compete for a position became problematic - a very familiar story for many athletes. However, lots can be learned rehabbing and riding the pine, especially for students of the game, which Soulen had been since he was young.

Armed with new knowledge and eager to share, Soulen returned home and helped coach at his high school alma mater. Mike also continued playing baseball during the summers and as adult baseball continued to grow in the area he eventually organized and managed his own men's team before the sunny skies of south Florida called his name.

Fresh off a move to the West Palm Beach area, Soulen first became aware of the National Adult Baseball Association (NABA) in the fall of 1999 when he tried out for the league. He played one season with the team that drafted him then formed his own team, The Lookouts, in the spring of 2000 and won his first NABA championship.

25 seasons and a few team name changes later, there are some stats worth mentioning. Of the 25 seasons played, Soulen's teams made the playoffs 19 times. They won their division 8 times, won the championship twice and runner-up status two more times. Soulen's record as a manager was 243 Wins, 162 Losses and 15 Ties, giving him a winning percentage of .596. He also won The Citrus Classic Tournament championship and was runner up two more times.

Never seen was the endless and often thankless effort behind the scenes to run a team. The constant texts and calls, the constant recruiting, constant planning and the countless money spent/lost on uniforms, league fees, equipment, etc. One could argue maybe he cared too much about this Sunday league. Maybe he did, but baseball is addicting and it's hard to get out of your system once you let it in. The highs, the lows, the friendships forged and the competitiveness - it fuels a soul.

Thank you for all of your efforts and dedication throughout the years. We wish you and your wife well as you relocate to Austin, TX - you will be missed.