By Anthony Paradiso
The Major League Baseball (MLB) season is in full swing and so is the Greenwich Village Little League’s spring season! Last year only “mini opening days” were held according to GVLL President Peter Marino but this season has been more like the way it was before the pandemic.
The opening day ceremony was a beautiful day with parents, players, league directors and even Erik Bottcher coming out to throw the first pitch and this is how it happened through the eyes of league President, Peter Marino.
“It was a great feeling to have the whole family back again in one place. To go back to the format where every team gets to put on their uniforms for the first time… It’s an opportunity for the kids to meet each other and an opportunity for us to thank the families and elected officials who’ve helped us along the way.” – GVLL President, Peter Marino
“Greenwich Village” may be in the league’s name, but Marino added that the area that players come from goes from SoHo to Hell’s Kitchen. The Little League has five softball and eight baseball divisions with up to seven levels based on age, from the young T-ball level to the baseball senior’s division and softball juniors levels, which are for the oldest players.
GVLL baseball includes the “Challengers Division,” where boys and girls between the ages of four and 18 and who have “physical or developmental challenges” can play free-of-charge. In addition, Marino said that the league offers any family, who have a kid in either baseball or softball and are unable to pay for registration, a scholarship. This financial assistance is a possibility because of the generosity of the League’s sponsors.
The spring season for softball and baseball will run until the middle of June, but every year GVLL participates in the Memorial Day weekend tournament, which takes place in late May. The tournament hosted by the Downtown Little League also features the Harlem and Peter Stuyvesant Little Leagues and GVLL competing against each other. The winning team receives free tickets to a Brooklyn Cyclones game (Mets high-A affiliate).
The one constant through the years has been baseball…This field, this game is a part of our past and reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again. – James Earl Jones in “Field of Dreams”
The Greenwich Village Little League exemplifies what a community can accomplish by working together. Marino explained how Little League can have a positive impact on all who participate in it.
“Little League is not only an opportunity to pass on the love of baseball and softball, but also to build bonds within our community and teach life lessons of cooperation, sportsmanship and leadership.” – GVLL President Peter Marino
From all the writers and staff at WestView News to the GVLL, we say it’s time to play ball!