Sports

Guest Column

Youth Baseball the way it should be

3b16a0df563e5ac6c5e2_c80e8df5198fc9493930_DSC_0470__003_.JPG
Baseball teams from Central and Northern NJ participate in the New Providence Green and Gold Baseball League. Credits: John Flack
3b16a0df563e5ac6c5e2_c80e8df5198fc9493930_DSC_0470__003_.JPG

This past weekend, The New Providence Green and Gold League held their first ever All Star Game.  Games were held in Union, Westfield and Warren.

At first we (NPGL Board) thought it was an “Old Fashioned” idea and with youth baseball going the way of highly competitive tournaments -- we didn’t think there would be too much interest.  Teams would rather keep the star pitcher or homerun hitter ‘fresh” for a game that counts in the league standings.  They may want to save them for a tournament that weekend.  

The NPGL has been supporting the idea of giving the game back to the kids.  Let them play for the fun of it.  Let them go out and just play for the love of baseball.  
As I said, we didn’t think it would come to fruition.  Thankfully, we were wrong.  We miscalculated the energy that would carry this “Old Fashioned” idea forward.  Coaches jumped at the idea.  We received numerous emails and phone calls from coaches and parents excited about the prospect of an All Star Game.  

Sign Up for E-News

Now we had to execute this idea… Be careful what you wish for!

We quickly realized it would not be an easy task.  The NPGL has grown to more than 250 teams reaching over 50 towns, run solely by volunteers.  The 2016 season has proven to be our largest ever, providing summer baseball for almost 4,000 young athletes and 1,200 coaches across New Jersey.  

This meant seven (7) age groups and two leagues translating into 12 All Star Games.  We reached out to some of the teams that we knew had the facilities to assist us, such as Union, Westfield, and Warren.  All three hosts played an integral part of making the day special for over 375 athletes and their families.

Each player stood at the first and third base foul lines, as their names were announced they stepped forward and tipped their cap to the cheering crowd.  It was truly a moment they will never forget.  The smiles could be seen from center field.  

“The kids had a blast and all made some new friends from other towns. That was priceless. “      
- Brett Fischer, Westfield White 11U Gold 

The day was filled with players, coaches, and parents from opposing towns cheering for each other.  There was no arguing over “life and death” umpire calls, there was no jeering from the crowd…it was youth baseball as it should be.   It was baseball seen through the eyes of kids.  The kids got back baseball.  It was a great day.  

“Awesome to see the boys from different towns quickly make new friends and teammates and have fun playing the game they love together!”
-    Coach Greg Richel,  Ridge 9u Black

Afterwards, we received many kind words from coaches and parents for having a wonderful event.  In truth, we would like to thank everyone for making it a great day.

Our hosts Union, Westfield and Warren ran a professional event.  The coaches, parents and players were supportive of all the kids.  The NPGL volunteers worked long hours to get the rosters, locations, and schedules in place.  This was truly a collaborative effort.  

What made this little idea work?  Coaches, parents, and players exhibiting the sportsmanship and respect that have been a hallmark of the NPGL since its inception.  

I guess the “Old Fashioned” idea wasn’t so old fashioned after all.  Play ball!

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

'Tired of cronyism? Yeah, us too'

July 21, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests ...

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Caring Contact Volunteer Listener Training

July 21, 2018

Caring Contact Volunteer Listener Training Fall 2018

Are you looking for a flexible, rewarding volunteer opportunity?

Have you ever been told you are a good listener?

Do you have a yearning to really make a difference?

Become a Caring and Crisis Hotline Listener.

You could save a life.

Volunteers receive 52 hours of comprehensive training in active listening, Mental Health ...

Shakespeare in the Park Returns to Union County Sunday, July 22

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce the return of Shakespeare in the Park this weekend. The performance will be presented on Sunday, July 22 at 12:30 p.m. at Cedar Brook Park in Plainfield.

The Shrew Mechanicals Troupe from The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present an hour long performance of “Shakespeare Gumbo,” a stirring collection of ...

Enjoy a Lifetime of Discovery in Union County Parks

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and Union County residents are invited to celebrate this year by exploring “undiscovered” programs and activities found throughout the nearly 6,200 acres of the Union County parks system.

“Union County was one of the very first counties in the United States to establish its own county-based park system for nature conservation and ...

Union County Honored for History Projects

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that two national achievement recognitions for history projects have been presented to the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, a division of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Union County is rich in history, and this Freeholder Board is committed to engaging the public with ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_c8cb6b45d2b342be3cbb_nancy_ori

Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer

Arts & Entertainment Travel

Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer at NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, July 22, 2:00 PM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Moths and other Pollinators

Education Green

Carousel_image_634bcda860ed17650f72_93a8625c-ce9d-413f-a61e-4b2df4fe0604

Tue, July 24, 3:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant , Scotch Plains

Hear the Story of Amelia Earhart, America's Most ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_e6c7d5b8a558926ee4c5_8e2f7c3f3d7547130a87_swim_team_2

Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24th

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_e6c7d5b8a558926ee4c5_8e2f7c3f3d7547130a87_swim_team_2

Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24th

Health & Wellness

Special June Episode of 'Berkeley Heights Here & Now' Features 6th Annual Street Fair

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Berkeley Heights Communications Committee (BHCC) today announced a special edition of Berkeley Heights Here & Now is available on the Township website, www.berkeleyheightstwpnj.gov.

 

The special episode features the 6th Annual Berkeley Heights Street Fair held on June 24 and includes onsite interviews with attending residents/visitors, event ...

And Over Here is the Dining Hall 2

My very first job in admissions was while I was still an undergraduate myself as a tour guide.  Very early on they indoctrinated us with some tricks of the trade.  It’s a dining hall, not a cafeteria.  A residence hall, not a dorm.  If you have to divulge some negative bit of information, sandwich it between two positives.  There were instructions for glossing over ...

Women Have Special Financial Needs That Advisors Overlook

Women have special financial needs that advisors overlook in two ways: 1) advisors don’t always acknowledge the different planning needs women have and 2) advisors don’t always communicate well with female clients – especially if the client comes to a meeting with her husband. It’s very common for a male advisor to spend much or most of the face time in meetings talking to ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...