When the final out is made at Centennial Field, the fans, concession workers and team staff go home.
But where do the Lake Monsters go? The players come from all over the country and beyond to pursue their dream of making it to Major League Baseball. They’re not from Vermont, but they do have a home in Vermont.
Local families all around the Burlington area host Lake Monsters for the summer. They give them a home, food, and a place to escape the whirlwind of professional baseball.
The Carlos family hosts Dustin Harris and Oakland’s first-round pick Logan Davidson.
After a home game, the players head to the Carlos house to be greeted with a feast.
Tracie and Vince Carlos prepared a spread of ribs, baked potatoes, corn, and homemade cheesecake.
Logan Davidson said the elaborate spread of food is a nightly occurrence at the Carlos house, but there’s a lot more to this host family than just food.
“It’s been everything I could imagine plus more,” Davidson detailed. “It’s been an awesome experience here being able to have Tracie and Vince as my host parents. They’re like my actual parents. They take care of us very well. It’s been awesome, it feels like home, really.”
At the time of the interview, Dustin Harris had only been with the Carlos family for 4-5 days. Even so, he had a glowing review as well.
“We’re all really close,” Harris said. “They make it seem like a family. It’s really easy to talk to them and just hang out.”
Tracie and Vince have been hosting players for 20 years. They started doing it because their son’s baseball coach asked them to help out and host a player mid-season.
From there, they continued hosting Lake Monsters, and at times, it was more than one or two players.
“We’ve had as many as eight [players] in our house,” Tracie remembered. “We’d have a certain group, and a friend would come and one would maybe go move up but then he’d come back.”
“We’ve had every couch full, every bed full, and every refrigerator full.”
Tracie and Vince have hosted about 50 players in the two decades they’ve been a host family, and they keep baseball cards and photos to remember all the players who pass through.
“It keeps our house very warm and comfortable and I don’t know if we’d know what to do without that.”