Volume 22, Number 21 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | October 2 - 8, 2009
Parents from the Downtown Little League, above, played Greenwich Village Little League parents Sept. 23 on the Staten Island Yankees’ field to help raise money for teens to play on the professional field next season.
Parents get in the fun as Downtowners top Village league
Three dozen Little League parents from Tribeca, Battery Park City and Greenwich Village lived their fantasy last week when they took the field at the Yankees’ minor league stadium in Staten Island for a softball game that turned into a successful fundraiser.
The Sept. 23 contest between a Downtown Little League team and a squad of parents from Greenwich Village Little League took place under the lights at Richmond County Bank Ballpark. With $1,800 raised from the parents on the diamond, the leagues plan to sponsor games at the stadium next year for teenagers in their older divisions.
The 11-inning affair had many of the trappings of a professional game, with an announcer blaring the name of parents as they stepped into the batters box and the left field scoreboard tallying each run as it scored. The aging players suited up in a stadium clubhouse, and spectators — also known as devoted spouses and kids — looked on from box seats.
“While all of the adults who participated had a great deal of fun reliving their glory days” said Tom Merrill, president of the Downtown Little League, “we mainly were looking to raise money so that our older kids can experience playing baseball on this wonderful field next season.”
Downtown rallied on its first at-bat as Santo Rosa, Norm Kleinman and Joe Romeo struck consecutive singles to load the bases with no outs. Ian Behar and Peter Braus knocked in the first runs with singles, and a fielder’s choice by Charlie Sewell gave Downtown a quick 3-0 lead.
The offensive outburst was short-lived, as the 30-, 40-, and 50-somethings on both teams discovered how winded they’d become chugging 360 feet around the bases. By the ninth inning, Downtown had upped its lead to 5-0, when John Carr of Greenwich Village hit a double to deep centerfield that pushed across a run to avoid a shutout.
“No one will remember the 5-1 score,” Merrill said after the Downtown team posed for a photo in left field. “What they’ll remember is that they got to live their fantasy for a few hours.” But Greenwich Village’s Larry Smith, who organized the event, was quick to add, “We’ll beat them next year.”