Borough Council Pays Tribute to New Providence Reds and Red Ribbon Week

Matt Sommo and Mayor Al Morgan surrounded by four New Providence Reds players Credits: Marianne Ivers
Mayor Al Morgan and Councilman Jim Madden, who accepted the proclamation on behalf of the Municipal Alliance Credits: Marianne Ivers

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Mayor Al Morgan must have seen “red” – but in a good way, at the Monday, Oct. 10 council meeting. First, Morgan read a proclamation to congratulate the New Providence Reds, a men’s baseball team, for their league championship. He also proclaimed that the week of Oct. 23 – Oct. 31 will be declared Red Ribbon Week to bring awareness to drug and alcohol abuse.

Many of you did not know that New Providence has an active men’s adult baseball league, Morgan said as he congratulated the New Providence Reds for their third league championship in four years. According to the proclamation read by Morgan “the Reds were formed as the Whitehouse Reds in 2004 playing out of various home fields in Somerset County. The Reds were part of the Men’s Adult Baseball League of New Jersey until 2013. In 2013 the New Jersey Amateur Baseball League was formed and the Reds joined that league and officially changed their name to the New Providence Reds

“New Providence Reds competed in the Metal Bat Division of the NJABL for their first two seasons. In 2013, the Reds won their first championship in New Providence. In 2014, the Reds won their second championship in a row, sweeping the Teaneck Yankees in two games in a best of three finals,” the proclamation read. In 2015 he Reds made it to the playoffs after a 15-3 regular season, but lost in the semi-finals. However, the Reds came up with another championship title this past summer. “The Reds have produced the league last three Cy Young award winners - New Providence’s own Doug Pastore in 2014, and Scott Horowitz in 2015 and 2016,” Morgan said.

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The team plays its home games at the high school field. The players consist of New Providence players as well as current or former college level baseball players of 18 years of age and older. Head Coach Matt Sommo said that the team wants to be a good role model for children. Many local families and young players regularly attend the Reds games. That is more important to us than any titles, Sommo said.

Morgan also read a proclamation of the Red Ribbon Week to highlight awareness of alcohol and drug abuse and promote preventative education in the community.

“Red Ribbon Week started in 1988 with a group of parents wearing red satin badges as a memorial to Enrique Camarena, a Federal Drug Enforcement Administration Agent who was killed while on duty,” Morgan read. Since 1989 the red ribbon has become a “united symbol of commitment to create a drug-free America.”  The National Red Ribbon Campaign provides citizens with the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to drug-free lifestyles, free of both illegal drugs and illegal use of legal drugs.

The Red Ribbon Week is sponsored by the Municipal Alliance of the Borough of New Providence. Residents are asked to join in a personal commitment to a drug-free America by wearing and displaying red ribbons during Red Ribbon Week.

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