Play Ball! Little League Baseball Comes to Your Neighborhood!

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Nicholas Vitale #13 of Staten Island, NY

Photo by Larry French/Getty Images

Is there anything more Americana than Little League Baseball?

This weekend was the first crack of the bat as Brooklyn Little Leaguers and their parents marched through Park Slope and into Prospect Park, but Little League has also started all over the country. I know kids are involved in so many sporting activities, including basketball, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, pee wee football, etc, but there is something so special in my neighborhood when we see that parade of little league kids on opening day, marching down our main street with a fire truck or two, some vintage cars, a new car from a sponsoring dealership and the school band  desperately trying to get through “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Here’s a salute to the Great American Pastime… for the kids!

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There is just no better moment of bringing the community together on a Saturday morning in the Spring!

And the kids in the parades are priceless, wearing matching baseball tee shirts that are often too small or too large, with the name of the sponsor of their team on the back, like “Tony’s Pizza” or ‘Tom’s Hardware” or nowadays even “”Serenity Spa.” (Hopefully they’re a really tough team with the spa sponsor on their backs!) Many are carrying the new baseball gloves they bought at Modell’s, or maybe a hand me down from an older brother.

You dads, I bet if found your old glove or “mitt” in the garage, you’d stop for a minute and remember that one great play you made, or the winning hit you got, or for me, all the times I struck out. (Derek Jeter I was not.) But the coach would always buy us sodas at the end of the game whether we won or lost.

So, if the kids come knocking on your door selling candy to support Little League in your neighborhood, don’t think twice about buying some. And if you get the chance, stop by a game or two this weekend, they’re going on in every park from Maine to California.

In fact, make it a tee ball game; there is no better free entertainment anywhere!

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