Volume 22, Number 06 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | June 26 - July 2, 2009
Letters to Editor
To The Editor:
As a longtime Gateway Plaza resident (1982), I have enjoyed reading the Downtown Express for years. I read your story today about “The girls of summer” (news article, June 19 –25) and was really disappointed that it didn’t hit the mark. This letter, I feel, captures the truer feeling of the team and the spirit of the softball teams.
Last year, I became an assistant coach to the Downtown Little League’s Girls Varsity Softball team, The Revolution. The varsity team has been coached by Joe Marino for years, who is as committed and passionate a coach you’ll ever find. The J.V. team is coached by Steve Betancourt who certainly rivals Joe with his own brand of passion and commitment. I want you to know that after practicing at P.S. 234 and P.S. 89 all winter, and losing 3 of their first 4 games, the varsity team battled through a grueling schedule against some of the city’s top teams and made it to the championship game last Sunday, June 14th. Although while facing one of the best pitchers in the city they did not emerge victorious, losing 7-3 to Yorkville, their achievements this year were undeniable. Their joy, pride and camaraderie were clearly evident, proving that “winning isn’t everything.”
The J.V. Revolution team, through the same level of off season commitment and dedication, and an equally tough schedule, also made it to the championship game last Sunday. Unfortunately, they met the same fate as their sister team and endured a tough 13-11 loss. Equally unfazed, their team is already poised to work harder in the off-season, while many of their girls eye “moving up” to the varsity.
There is a really sense of community on both of these teams as the girls come from all over the Downtown area and go to many schools throughout the city. What they’ve accomplished is tremendous and needs to be told. There are half dozen girls’ softball teams for 4th – 6th graders as well in this league, but the word needs to get around. There is something wonderful happening on all of these teams each season. They’re surrounded by a challenging, healthy, positive environment and develop all sorts of skills we’ve grown accustomed to seeing athletics provide. If they are going to survive, the word needs to get out. They need the support of the community to continue this marvelous movement, with more girls and parents getting involved.
Michael S. Darvin
To The Editor:
Re “The girls of summer” (news article June 12 - 18):
As the parent of a teenager who played in the Downtown Softball League for three years and then moved on to the Revolution junior varsity softball travel team the last two years, I took offense at your recent article highlighting the three female athletes who played in the baseball league, but belittling the girls softball league and their players.
The notion that “boys sports are better than girls sports” has led to the shortchanging of girls sports teams in our country; this includes our local Downtown Little League. The resources are not distributed equally for boys and girls in our league. While boys’ baseball teams have individual team practices, the girls’ softball teams only have group practice, and these are much less frequent. Because of the dedication of Joe Marino, Steve Betancourt and Bill Baccaglini (the tireless advocates and coaches for the girls softball teams), the girls Revolution varsity and J.V. travel teams are formed from the many great female athletes that graduate from the younger softball league. This year both the Revolution varsity and J.V. teams made it to their league championship finals. Was this even mentioned in the Downtown Express? How about just a little bit of parity?
Editor’s Note: We rely on coaches and parents to provide us with information about all divisions of the Downtown Little League games. We thank all those who did so this season. This week’s highlights on the softball teams can be seen here.
To The Editor:
Re “Dolan celebrates ‘200 years of love’ at Old St. Pat’s” (news article, June 12 -18):
Beginning with Cardinal Egan and then the pope and now Archbishop Dolan, the faithful of the closed Our Lady of Vilnius Church have appealed to a mute wall. Their only hope to save their house of worship rests in the secular court.
Forget the empty talk about the devotion of spiritual shepherds to their flock. It is more about fleecing the flock for the benefit of hierarchy. Forget the distinction between good and evil and only meditate about the almighty dollar. It is high time for parishioners to stand up for their rights against the greed of the anointed prelates!
Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They must include the writer’s first and last name, a phone number for confirmation purposes only, and any affiliation that relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, clarity, civility or libel reasons. Letters should be e-mailed to news@DowntownExpress.com or can be mailed to 145 Sixth Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10013.