Greetings Lexington Community,
On behalf of myself and the entire Lexington Little League Board, welcome to the start of the 2021 season! While there is still much to be figured out in terms of how the year will unfold, one thing that is for certain is that we are doing our very best to ensure that we can provide another fun, exciting, healthy and safe experience for our children.
As is so well stated in the Little League International Mission Statement:
Little League believes in the power of youth baseball and softball to teach life lessons that build stronger individuals and communities.
And that strength was evident in how the kids responded in 2020 with their resilience, passion, camaraderie, and love for the game. It is with immense pride that I am able to share some of the highlights from this most unusual of years:
On the Baseball side, on-field activities finally started with participation in the Baystate Summer League followed by the District 13 Tournament. This was still in relatively early days of the pandemic, and we were not completely sure how our community would respond to the opportunity to play organized sports. But with the right protocols and procedures in place, thanks in great part to our Safety Officer Bill Kormos and support from numerous healthcare professionals in our community, we were able to offer up this limited opportunity. To our surprise and delight, the community responded! In the end, we were able to field 4 very competitive teams from Lexington, and even managed to bring home the Championship Trophy for our u12 team! Most importantly though, we got to see once again kids being kids - - having fun, playing hard, laughing, and finding joy through competition. Even with their masks on it was easy to see the smiles.
Not to be outdone, the Softball program had an equally strong showing this summer, fielding 3 competitive Lexington Liberty teams in the Middle Essex Summer League in the 10U, 12U and 14U divisions. These dedicated softball players and their families and coaches were grateful to get back out on the softball field safely during the pandemic, had a lot of fun, and played hard together.
With the success of summer activities, and with renewed confidence in our kids to follow safety protocols, we offered up a broader fall program than we normally do. Once again, the community responded with tremendous support. We had over 450 Baseball and Softball players, ranging in ages 5 to 12 for Baseball and 1st to 9th grades for Softball, compete in an in town league. We also had several LHS baseball and softball players, veterans of LLL from years past, serve as umpires for some of our games. The focus of the fall season for all of these young athletes was fun, safety, and love of the game. Of course a little healthy competition is also a good thing, and we were able to crown the Orioles as Majors Baseball Champions and the Marlins (Majors Division) and Padres (Seniors Division) as Softball Champions! Congratulations to players and coaches alike.
None of this would have been possible though without a concerted effort from numerous members of our LLL Board and the community at large. The efforts of many were needed. In particular, I want to recognize for their hard work and commitment:
Jay O’Shaughnessy, outgoing President of LLL
Meredith Applegate, VP Softball
Bill Kormos, Safety Officer
Tanya and Nick Stamoulis, League Registrar and Administrators
A number of community members who provided their medical and legal advice and support throughout the summer and fall seasons.
Parents and Community members too many to mention who served as Managers, Coaches, Grounds Crew, Equipment Managers, Scorekeepers, COVID Coordinators, and on and on and on.
One additional bit of normalcy we found in 2020 was in recognizing some of our star LLL athletes for their exceptional contributions to their respective teams. Every year the Lions Club of Lexington presents awards to 4 players, 2 from baseball and 2 from softball, for their on-field performance, their determination, their sportsmanship, and their passion for the sport. While this year’s presentation was conducted via Zoom, there was still a tremendous turnout to recognize the following players:
The Rycroft Award Recipients:
· Minor League Division – Marcus Sung
· Major League Division – Matthew Tyson
The Mary Dailey Award Recipients:
· Major League Division – Maliyah Jo
· Senior League Division – Natalie Lou
Congratulations Maliyah, Marcus, Matthew, and Natalie! You truly exemplify what it means to be Little Leaguers.
Lexington Little League is a volunteer organization, and our strength comes from the time and effort put in by parents and community members. As we close the books on the 2020 year, I’d like to offer my personal thanks to the following volunteer Board members who served diligently for the past many years and who are now stepping down from the Board:
· Mark Duchart
· Harry Huang
· Lisa Libretto
· Jennifer Parsons
· Shaonan Snail
In addition, a very special thank you to our outgoing President, Jay O’Shaughnessy. For many years, and in particular for the past three years as President, Jay has been the heart and soul of Lexington Little League. His leadership and vision were instrumental in guiding us through many highs and lows, including the uncertainty that was 2020. Jay has graciously agreed to stay on the Board for 1 more year as VP of Baseball to help with the transition. From all of us Jay, Thank You!
While we had some departures, I am thrilled to welcome to the Board as new members starting in 2021:
· Ram Aiyar
· Tom Hammond
· Jeannine Hunt
· Emily Jochim
· Zach Matus
· Zach Peacock
· Kristin Pechinsky
If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities, please email us at [email protected]. We are always looking for fresh ideas and support to continue making this a great experience for our kids.
Finally, a heartfelt Thank You to all who made this a memorable year despite all of the hardships:
· The Managers and Coaches who found the time and energy to lead our kids in practice and on the field
· The Field and Equipment Managers who scoured every resource available to get us supplies and PPE to keep the kids safe
· Our generous sponsors who support us every year
· The Lexington Recreation Dept and DPW who worked with us to develop protocols and procedures to give us a safe environment to play the games
· The kids who gave us something to smile about
· And you, the Parents, who put your trust in us and showed your patience and support as we navigated through uncharted waters
Looking forward, no one knows yet what the 2021 version of normal will be. But, armed with the knowledge we gained and the experiences we shared during the worst of times, I can say with a high level of confidence that we will once again ‘play ball’. So with that in mind, if you have not yet done so please register and spread the word to friends to sign up for Spring 2021 Baseball and Softball. Deadlines are fast approaching, so check our website and register today to secure your spot.
President, Lexington Little League