The Maui Adult Baseball League was formed by Dave Gold during April 2009, who was motivated by a lack of baseball opportunities for adults on the island. Roadside signs, news articles, and word of mouth were used to gather enough players to hold the practices from which everything else would follow.
The first “season” of the fledgling Maui Adult Baseball League was comprised of a best of 5 game series between the Dirtbags and the Wild Things. The first game was played on July 19, 2009 with the Dirtbags winning 8-5. The Dirtbags would go on to win the series 3 games to 2 on August 16, with the Dirtbags Patrick Merrill taking home MVP honors, and Andy Michaels of the Wild Things being named Cy Young Award winner. A few weeks later, another series began which would be won by the Wild Things, 3 games to 2.
In January 2010, members of the MABL reached out to a league on the Big Island to organize a weekend trip to play a
. About 15 made the trip, renting a large house and playing five games against two different Big Island teams. While thoroughly over-matched, everyone had an incredible time. A huge evening barbecue brought together members of both leagues and showcased the friendly, upbeat, and respectful vibe that the continues on in the MABL to this day. tournament of exhibition games
The Spring 2010 season featured 4 teams, the Upcountry Dirtbags, Central Rays, Southside Mariners, and the West Maui Brewers and a 9 week regular season concluding with a best-of-3 game Championship series, which was won by the Rays, 2 games to none, over the Dirtbags. The Rays showcased a collection of local talent that significantly improved the quality of baseball being played. The Brewers bucked the requirement of an island-themed team name by obtaining a significant sponsorship through Rai Johnson’s place of employment, Maui Brewing Company.
For the Summer 2010 season, the league expanded to 6 teams with the addition of the Lahaina Warriors and the Kihei Centipedes. Pictured above are representatives from each team that participated in the Summer 2010 MABL All-Star Game in Lahaina.
After the addition of a 7th team, the North Shore Navigators, for the Spring 2011 season, the Central Rays and the West Maui Brewers advanced past the newly instituted 1st round of the playoffs to face off in the Championship series. The Rays would go on to win the series, 2 games to none, capturing their 3rd of 5 straight MABL titles.
The MABL grew to 8 teams for the Summer 2011 season with the addition of the La Perouse Pirates and the Maui Marlins, as the Southside Mariners dropped out. Shown is the Pirates’ team photo from their inaugural season.
The Kenneth J. Talbot III Award was instituted following the tragic loss of the Dirtbags’ outfielder who died hours after a game in a motorcyle accident. The award is meant to acknowledge the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement, and positive contributions towards others on and off the field.
The Spring 2013 season was played with 7 teams as the Marlins dropped out. Led by the dominant pitching of Fausto Allosada, the Dirtbags defeated the Pirates in the Championship Series for their first title since 2009.
The addition of the Southside Scorpions returned the league to 8 teams for the Summer 2013 season. Some of the first league members to reach 100 games are shown above with MABL founder Dave Gold (top left to bottom right: Paul Skarbo, Rich Doster, Josh Meier, Tom Kowalick, Rai Johnson, Kevin Spaise).
The MABL held a drive for the Maui Food Bank during games at Maehara Stadium during the Spring 2014 season. The Central Rays were recognized as the team that brought in the most donations.
For the Summer 2014 season, the Scorpions and Navigators would give way to two new teams, the Makena Royals and the Pacific Hurricanes. Pictured above are team representatives from the pre-season Manager’s meeting. From left to right: Mikey Marcotte, Kevin Spaise, Anthony Benigno, Ben Dombroski, Rich Doster, Rai Johnson, Tom Kowalick, Rick Kealoha-Jacobson, and Barry Takahashi at Hitter’s Paradise in Kihei.
The Dirtbags would go on to become the 2nd dynasty in MABL history, winning their 3rd Championship in 4 seasons by defeating the Rays 2 games to none for the Summer 2014 title.
The Lahaina Warriors defeated the Central Rays behind the dominant pitching of lefty Rafael Fuentes to capture their first MABL title since the Summer 2012 season.
The Makena Royals came back from a 0-1 deficit to defeat the Central Rays, 2 games to 1, capturing their first MABL title during the Spring 2016 season.
The Rays edged out the Pirates, 2 games to 1, to win the Summer 2016 Championship Series. The title was the Rays’ 8th in their first 14 seasons in the league.
During the Spring 2017 season, the Pirates would become the first team to complete the season without a loss, going a perfect 16-0 en route to their first MABL Title.
The Dirtbags would go on to win their first title since 2014 during the Summer 2017 season, their 5th overall. Pictured above are representatives from the Summer 2017 MABL All-Star Game played at Kalama Park in Kihei.
For the Spring 2018 season, a new league website was unveiled. Online awards balloting also simplified the voting process, leading to the return of this component of the MABL experience. Following one of the more competitive seasons in league history, the Kihei Centipedes, led by Cy Young Award winner Randy Button, would defeat the West Maui Brewers 2 games to 1 to win the first MABL Championship in their 16 season history.
Longtime members of the MABL Leah Mark and Ben Dombroski got engaged on the field in Lahaina following the Hurricanes and Centipedes game on October 7.
The West Maui Brewers defeated the La Perouse Pirates during the Summer 2018 MABL Championship Series to win their first league title. Led by 2-time MVP Enmanuel Yajure, the Brewers became the 6th different team in 6 seasons to win the championship.
The Brewers became the first team since the Dirtbags in 2014 to win back-to-back MABL titles after defeating the La Perouse Pirates again in the Spring 2019 Championship Series. The Brewers held the Pirates scoreless throughout the series, winning both games by a score of 2-0.
The Centipedes’ Randy Button won the league’s first Home Run Derby competition, held following the Spring 2019 All-Star Game at Maehara Stadium. Button edged out runners-up Kalaika Kahoohalahala of the Dirtbags, and Jeremy Loque of the Rays, runners-up from a field of 12 contestants, to take home the prize.