Wind: 13 mph
I don’t think any activity in this world makes me more excited than baseball. From the age of 3, it was my passion. Not only did I get to grow up in a town that had an amazing Little League, I now have the honor of helping to run it with parents, players, coaches and eight of the most devoted people sitting on the board of directors.
Due to Irene, we had to make a last-second decision as to if and where the traditional Opening Day parade and ceremonies were going to be this year for Little League. I think over a dozen ideas were considered; we even had to consider scrapping the event all together. Three weeks before opening day we decided to do something absolutely crazy. We wanted to not only restore Moretown Elementary School field back to playing shape with the amazing support of many people but also to restore the Warren Elementary School field and move Opening Day for the first time ever. Help instantly sprang up.
Warren Elementary School donated money from their playground budget; the town of Warren bought the required infield material and hired someone to truck it in. Seth Joslin donated his time and tractor to move material and dozens of volunteers donated their backs and their rakes. Somehow, they were able to pull off something of a miracle and make a beautiful field. Opening Day turned out to better than anyone could have hoped, and I think everyone had a great time. The governor even took the time to stop by and kick off our season.
Also, volunteers at the same time worked to fix the Moretown field. The town of Moretown donated the money and trucking for the material, Eugene Grandfield donated the machinery and Meriden Nelson donated his time to run the excavator. Now we have a field at Moretown that any league in the state would love to be able to play on. Third, Mike Kingsbury and his seemingly endless list of experts donating their time were able to bring the Couples Club field to a condition where we could use one of the fields. If you saw the fields in September, you would know the feat that this was.
The fact that I could spend the entire length of this paper thanking people shows me just how much people in this Valley are willing to help (see Flood Recovery) and also the fact that the love of baseball is stronger than ever. I’m saying this in stark contrast to a letter I wrote last year, and I am so happy to eat my words. The time, effort and passion these people showed to take on the seemingly impossible task of restoring three (soon to be four) fields is just breathtaking. The time and effort the players, coaches and volunteers have put in to make all of these new changes possible is heartwarming. The money put forth from towns and sponsors to make everyone’s efforts possible is humbling.
I am not typically one for sentiment, but sitting where I am right now I don’t think it has ever been more appropriate. Thank you to all of you. Every single person that took time out of their day or money out of their pocket to help push baseball and Little League in The Valley to a new level. I don’t say this as a member of Little League or the Waitsfield Select Board but instead as someone who has seen baseball do so much for a child. You’re all doing a great job. Keep it up and, once again, thank you. You all have inspired me in more ways than you can imagine.
Logan Cooke lives in Waitsfield.