Another Year and It’s Play Ball For Castle Hill Little League

Credit: Castle Hill LL Parade/Gary Quintal

Credit: Castle Hill LL Parade/Gary Quintal

By Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor

Little League Baseball gets exposure in mid August with a national televised event known as their World Series.  That only becomes part of the picture for youth baseball around the country and inner city because there is a decline in Little League participation that can be attributed for many reasons.

Credit: Castle Hill LL Parade/Gary Quintal

Credit: Castle Hill LL Parade/Gary Quintal

One main factor is the financial hardship various leagues have to overcome and in New York much of the support comes from parents, volunteers and the limited financial help that area political officials contribute. The time and effort also involves that incentive to motivate the kids who want to pursue their goals in the game of baseball.

Credit: Castle Hill LL Parade/Gary Quintal

Credit: Castle Hill LL Parade/Gary Quintal

So there they were Saturday morning and once again gathered on the corner of Castle Hill and Lafayette Avenues, the kids, parents and all involved for another season of baseball with the Castle Hill Little League. State Senator Ruben Diaz led the parade and 350 or more kids had a Red Carpet welcome to their field of dreams off Zerega and Gleason Avenues.

Credit: Castle Hill LL Parade/Gary Quintal

Credit: Castle Hill LL Parade/Gary Quintal

In the next few weeks over 490 kids and 34 teams will take the field wearing uniforms with the names of sponsors from the surrounding community.

Credit: Castle Hill LL Parade/Gary Quintal

Credit: Castle Hill LL Parade/Gary Quintal

“It’s always a safe haven for kids and always will be,” said Christy Martinez the newly elected president of the league and the first Latina mom to head a league of this magnitude in the boroughs of New York City.  The task begins the next coming days with league play for the 3-year old tee-ball kids to the older kids who continue and hope to move on with their goals.

Martinez is considered a baseball mom. Her husband, Rene also is vital with the daily operations and two sons, Ryan a student at SUNY Purchase and Randy, a sophomore at Monsignor Scanlan are a part of this baseball family.

Credit: Castle Hill LL Parade/Gary Quintal

Credit: Castle Hill LL Parade/Gary Quintal

So this was a day of celebration with Castle Hill now in their 62nd year and going strong. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was on hand and proclaimed Saturday as “Castle Hill Little League Day” and offered his praise to Martinez, the parents and community.  As the kids sat patiently they witnessed state Senator Jeff Klein contribute to a fund that will assist with the financial efforts to assure that their Field Of Dreams is maintained, one of the few that has a good lighting system that enables the kids to play ballgames under the lights.

 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at the Castle Hill Little League Baseball opening day on Saturday, May 1st 2017. Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at the Castle Hill Little League Baseball opening day on Saturday, May 1st 2017. Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office.

 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers remarks at the end of the Castle Hill Little League Baseball ceremony in the Bronx on Saturday, May 1st 2017. Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and NY Yankees exec Ray Negro appeared at the Castle Hill Little League Baseball opening ceremony. Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office.

Said New York Yankees executive Ray Negron, “This is where it starts, here with the kids. It’s important to keep Little League Baseball thriving and we are all here to do our part. Castle Hill also works in conjunction with T M Baseball Training Academy and various participants in the league are involved in summer leagues that are coordinated  nearby at T M  headquarter with Tony and Jessy Melendez.

Other elected officials appearing at the Castle Hill Little League Baseball opening day ceremony included Rep. Jose E. Serrano, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.

More information about the Castle Hill Little League can be obtained by logging on at Castle Hill Little League.

Comment Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com  Twitter@Ring786  Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

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