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Last updated: March 25. 2014 6:05PM - 914 Views
By KYLE SMITH Democrat Sports Editor



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The Sedalia Bombers are looking for a few host families for the upcoming season.


According to sedaliabombers.com, a host family is one of the most important and influential aspects of a baseball player’s summer league experience. Many of the players on the Sedalia Bombers are in a brand new environment, away from both school and home. The goal of the program is to help players adjust to moving to a new area, assist them as they get acquainted with the Sedalia community and provide a safe and stable living environment.


“It also provides an opportunity for the community to assist in the development of these players on and off the field. The Bombers organization strongly believes the relationships that are forged between players and their host families will be memorable and will last a lifetime.”


Susan Mergen and her family are entering their fifth year as a host family.


Mergen said that the players her family has hosted have been a positive influence on their son, Chris, who is now a sophomore at Sacred Heart School where he plays soccer and golf.


“I highly recommend to families that have kids who are athletes,” Mergen said of the lessons a college athlete can teach a teenager about being the best they can be. “We were not a baseball family. We’re a soccer family. You don’t have to be a baseball fan, but we have become one.”


As of Monday night, the Bombers had 12 host families and need three more.


Host families should expect the players to arrive as early as June 1 and leave in mid- to late July based on the team’s success. If they qualify for the NBC World Series, their stay might stretch into early August.


Bombers manager Jud Kindle said the players don’t require a lot.


“(They just need to) have a room to themselves, have supplies for basic needs, breakfast and lunch,” Kindle said. “They take care of themselves. Mainly, they just need a room with a door.”


According to the website, host families are expected to provide one or two meals a day, a bed and bathroom for each player you are housing and access to your house, usually by key or garage door opener.


Host families are not required to provide a vehicle to players, according to the website. Many of the players will have their own vehicles, so a parking place will be needed. Host families are not required to provide insurance for players. Insurance is covered by the league and the players’ schools.


“It’s fun to go games and root for them. You follow their successes. It’s fun to follow the team,” Mergen said. “I know families still in contact with their players after they’ve been gone for three or four years.”


“If you have the space and enjoy watching baseball, it’s kinda fun,” Mergen said of being a host family.


If you’re interested in being a host family, call Kindle at 287-4722.


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