Volume 17 • Issue 26 | Nov. 19 - 25, 2004

Little League names new president

By Divya Watal

Lower Manhattan’s Downtown Little League is set to launch forth on its new season this spring, with a new president, an expected surge in membership and some exciting plans to host the state Little League championships.

At its annual membership meeting on Nov. 10, the League voted in Vincent Licata as president, succeeding Vito Suppa. Established in Battery Park City in 1992, the League is a non-profit organization that provides children from the ages of six to 14 with opportunities to play baseball in six different divisions, including t-ball, minors, majors and girls’ softball.

“Because of the growing number of children in our neighborhood, we’re expanding the numbers of teams this season. There’ll be 10 t-ball teams, and we’re expanding the girls’ softball teams from three to five,” Licata said.

“Last season, 500 children participated in our league, the highest number ever. This season, we expect the number to grow to 550, representing a 40% increase since the 2001 season,” said Wally Turbeville, treasurer of Downtown Little League.

Suppa, who continues as a member of the board, will head a committee to bring the state Little League championships to the Battery Park City ballfields. The league is talking with Battery Park City Authority officials about making the requisite improvements to the baseball fields, such as stands for spectators and a fence for the outfield, Licata said.

“We already have state-of-the-art fields to host the state Little League championships,” Licata added. “It’ll be a boost for the Downtown area, a part of the continuing revitalization. We want to invite people from all over New York State to show them what our youth have.”

Located just a few blocks from the World Trade Center site, the baseball fields were taken over by the City for many months after the attacks for stationing rubble-removing heavy equipment. Little Leaguers regained use of the property last year, after Battery Park City Authority revamped the fields.

Registration for Downtown Little League’s new season will take place Dec. 4 and 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at P.S. 234, which is located at Greenwich and Chambers Sts. Anyone interested in joining must be there in person.

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