The Boys — actually, the boys and girls — of Summer have finally taken the field.
Glove- and bat-toting kids from age 5 to 14 paraded through Bay Ridge and then stormed the diamond at Frank Schnurr Field last Saturday for the sunny opening day ceremonies of the 68th Precinct Youth Council’s baseball league.
The league has a storied history — judging from the stories people told.
“When I was a kid playing for the 68th Precinct Youth Council, I couldn’t wait for my mom and dad to take me to Opening Day to start the baseball season” said Council President Bob Capano, a former left fielder.
Everyone from T-ball players to full-fledged Little Leaguers — plus the politicians who love them — participated in the parade, but it was all business once the players got onto the field, which is along Shore Parkway near 83rd Street.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Opening Day without some Opening Day jitters.
“Last season, we were real good, but a lot of people left, so I’m not sure how we’ll do,” said Ahmed Dolah, 10, who plays outfield, catcher, and second base. He’s also a vital table-setter.
“I am smaller and I walk a lot, so my job is to get on base so the guy behind me can drive me home,” he said.
It was nice to see such focus on the fundamentals, but at least one coach reminded her players of youth baseball’s most important rule — the one that suggests that it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.
“At this age, there is no winning or losing, it is all about having a great time,” said Darcy Falcone, who will manage a team of 7- and 8-year-olds. “There are no outs, and every child gets to take a swing and round the bases.”
A level playing field, if you will. No wonder the local politicians flocked to the opener.
“There is nothing better in America then Bay Ridge and baseball in the summertime,” said Councilman Vince Gentile (D-Bay Ridge), a self-described “rabid-New York baseball fan.”
Not to be outdone (or lose the youth baseball vote), state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) and Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer (D-Bay Ridge) played a little catch with the boys in uniform.
And, of course, Borough President Markowitz stopped by to reminisce about the good old days.
“I just love baseball,” the Beep said. “My favorite team is the Brooklyn Dodgers.”
The Beep admitted later that the only position he played as a kid was “left out.”
©2007 Community News Group
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