BY JOE MARVILLI
Although Queens is deep in the midst of winter, baseball season will be around the corner before you know it. The Bayside Little League has opened registration for its spring season, giving children a chance to take part in America’s favorite pastime.
The league’s registration is open through Jan. 25 on Saturday mornings from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Monday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is open for children between the ages of 5 and 17, both male and female.
The spring season starts in the second week of April, with a kick-off parade down Bell Boulevard on April 12, and ends in June. Afterwards, the summer program begins in July and runs through August.
All players are given a uniform to keep. Every eligible child winds up on a team for the spring season. No one is turned away.
The children are not the only ones to get involved. Every parent is required to volunteer two hours of their time to the league during the season.
“It’s extremely important for a program to succeed to have the parental involvement just so they’re involved with their children’s activities,” Bob Reid, the league’s president, said.
The Little League first came together in 1950, when three fathers decided to offer an organized program for children who liked baseball. Two years later, they were approved for a Little League charter, marking the official opening of the Bayside Little League in April of 1952.
While the league started as just four teams, there were 56 teams last year, with a total of 725 kids.
Many teams in the league have proven to be great ballplayers, as they have won the Little League District 26 Championships and gone on to play in State Championships in the past. Last year, the 11-year-olds and 10-year-olds won district championships.
Some of these top athletes have gone on to bigger and better things. Outfielder Mike Baxter of the L.A. Dodgers, formerly of the New York Mets, is an alumnus of the program.
The league costs $105 for ages 5, 6 and 7, $135 for 8 to 14-year-olds and $175 for those between the ages of 15 and 17. Make a check payable to Bayside Little League. The program does not accept cash. All applications must be typed and printed.
The league’s clubhouse is located at 25-32 168th St., Flushing. For more information, call (718) 445-0110.
Reid said he hopes the children who play in the league get a fun experience, learn a little more about the game of baseball and form some lasting bonds.
“Hopefully, some new friendships will develop that will last a lifetime,” he said.
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Joey788.