Hamptons baseball league selects Shelter Island GM

Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League President Brett Mauser has named Islander Cori Cass as general manager of the new team that will be based on Shelter Island and a former professional baseball player in the Yankee farm system, Joe Burke of Somerset, New Jersey, as manager. The School Board voted last month to allow the league to base a team here and use the district’s diamond.

BOB DESTEFANO JR. PHOTO | Cori Cass has signed on to serve as general manager of the Island’s new collegiate league baseball team.

Shelter Island Bucks is the team name, according to Mr. Mauser. The name was to be determined in a contest among Shelter Island students who also were to chose team colors. School officials couldn’t be reached by press time to confirm a contest took place.

Mr. Cass, who will function as team general manager, was a star athlete on Shelter Island’s basketball team and after he played his last game in 1995, his number, 51, was retired. He scored 1,375 points over his four-year varsity career, placing second in scoring in the school’s history. He led his team to an undefeated League VIII season in 1995. Mr. Cass couldn’t be reached for comment about his new role.

Mr. Burke, a Brooklyn native, was a New York Yankees draft pick back in 1995 after a collegiate career as a star catcher for St. John’s University. He played for the Staten Island Yankees in the New York-Pennsylvania League; the Tampa Yankees in the Florida State League; the Atlantic City Surfs in the Canadian-American Association; and the Somerset Patriots in the Atlantic League. He was voted MVP in 2010 during his career with the Somerset Patriots and has just ended his playing career and is turning his attention to coaching. He’s bound this month for Southern Illinois University, where he’ll take over as assistant coach before he heads back to New York to coach the Shelter Island Bucks next summer.

“It’s a great place to further my coaching career,” Mr. Burke said in a phone interview about coming to Shelter Island. “I hope to bring a championship here,” he said. He said he’d never been to Shelter Island and looked forward to being here.

The Shelter Island team will join the Center Moriches Battlecats who were added to the league in November 2011. Other league teams are the Sag Harbor Whalers, the North Fork Ospreys, Westhampton Aviators, Southampton Breakers and Riverhead Tomcats.

The collegiate players will be lodged in the homes of local residents.