Greetings Lexington Community,
I come to you with a tremendous sense of pride in how our community came together in 2021 and successfully ran Spring, Summer AND Fall Baseball and Softball programs for our kids. There were a few bumps along the way but we leaned on each other and came out stronger and more united in the end. So on behalf of myself, the Lexington Little League Board, and all of our parent volunteers, a huge thank you to our amazing Lexington Little League community of players and families!
Last year at this time, I quoted 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.
Looking back at the past 12 months, our kids lived up to that mission. We kicked off the year with some uncertainty and questions: “How will we track participants?”, “What are the Health questions to ask before each game?”, “Are we going to allow spectators?”, “What’s the limit for kids on the field at one time?”, “Where will the umpires stand?”, “Dugouts?”, “Equipment sharing?”, and on and on and on…
But the biggest question was a simple yet complex one: “Will kids still want to play with all of these new protocols?” The answer was a resounding “Yes!”. They came to every practice, every game, every team meeting aware and compliant with whatever protocols we threw at them. And in the end, we had one of our most successful and enjoyable seasons in recent history.
Our 2021 Spring season kicked off in April with over 200 Softball and close to 350 Baseball players ready to take the field. We had all our protocols in place, equipment at the fields, and uniforms on players’ backs. Then came the rain. And more rain. And even more rain. But with the unwavering support of our coaches who quickly turned into meteorologists and experts in field maintenance, we pulled off the season. By mid-June we were able to play our championship games and crown our league winners:
Softball Majors Winner – Pirates, Runner Up – Reds
Softball Seniors Winner – Royals, Runner Up – Twins
Baseball AA Winner – Grasshoppers, Runner Up – Knights
Baseball AAA Winner – Ironbirds, Runner Up – Hot Rods
Baseball Majors Winner – Diamondbacks, Runner Up - Dodgers
Spring turned to Summer and almost overnight we pivoted to Travel Ball. On the Baseball side, we had a record number of kids sign up to play, resulting in Lexington fielding 4 Baystate and 4 Middlesex league teams. We had a strong mix of seasoned, competitive players as well as kids who were looking to have fun and spend their summer evenings on the diamond.
Over on the Softball fields, the girls turned out once again in strong numbers to represent Lexington. We fielded 3 very competitive Liberty teams in the 10u, 12u and 14u divisions. All three teams represented Lexington proudly and had fun doing so!
As we transitioned to Fall, our momentum kept us going and we had a record turn out of kids wanting to continue to play baseball. In fact, we had so many kids sign up that we ultimately withdrew from the travel program and ran a modified intown Minors and Majors program with 4 teams in each division. Given this tremendous response, we have decided to make this an annual offering and we will be running a full Fall program in 2022.
Softball was also active in the Fall. After a modified Fall program in 2020, this year Softball was able to return to travel ball in the Middle Essex League. Supported by a healthy number of players, we were able to field 3 teams for 10u, 12u, and 14u. Despite the more competitive aspect of the Fall league, our girls were able to find success on the field through a combination of hard work and fun.
Closing out the year, we were fortunate to once again to be able to recognize some of our Little League players for their tremendous contributions to our program. 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 fantastic turnout to recognize the following players:
The Rycroft Award Recipients:
· Minor League Division – Joshua Farnham
· Major League Division – Matteo Giannetti
The Mary Dailey Award Recipients:
· Major League Division – Madison Moore
· Senior League Division – Sarah Green
Congratulations Joshua, Madison, Matteo, and Sarah! You truly exemplify what it means to be Little Leaguers.
Lexington Little League is powered by volunteers; from our coaches, to team managers, to our Board members, we would not have a league without the countless hours put in by these volunteers too many to mention. However, there are a few who I would like to recognize and thank for their years of service and contributions to our League. These Board members have served Lexington Little League in a number of ways, and with the close of 2021 have retired from their official capacity on our Board.
· Meredith Applegate
· Carl Fantasia
· Jill Franchella
· Mike Franchella
· Dr. Bill Kormos
Thank you Meredith, Carl, Jill, Mike, Dr. Bill, and all of our 2021 volunteers for your time and effort dedicated to our program.
While we had some departures, I am thrilled to welcome to the Board as new members starting in 2022:
· Colleen Calhoun
· Lee Gazourian
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.
Looking ahead, we are working diligently to make 2022 a fun and special year for our players and families. Of course, things can change quickly, as we all learned all too well over the past several years. And the safety of our players and their families will always be top priority. But, if all goes well, we anticipate continuing our path to normalcy in 2022.
Finally, as always, thank you to the following individuals and organizations who supported us all year long:
· The Managers, Coaches, Field and Equipment Managers who are at the forefront of engaging with the kids
· Our generous sponsors who support us year after year
· The Lexington Recreation Dept, Board of Health, and DPW who worked with us to develop protocols and procedures to give us a safe environment to play the games
· The kids who continuously demonstrated for us what it means to have love for a game
· And you, the Parents, who once again put your trust in us and helped make this a memorable year
We are all excited for the opportunities that 2022 promises. As always, we will proceed with optimism and caution to put together the best program that we can while maintaining high diligence for health and safety of all participants.
Enjoy the holidays, and we’ll see you all in the spring!
President, Lexington Little League