La Grange Park Little League prepares for 60th year
Registration for 2013 season takes place Nov. 10 and 17
Registration for 2013 season of La Grange Park Little League, which will be the league's 60th year, takes place Nov. 10 and Nov. 17 at the La Grange Park Community Recreation Center.
"Our league has lasted 60 years due to a strong commitment from the Village government, from all of our sponsors, and from all of the people that have volunteered their precious time over the years to make sure the children of La Grange Park get a quality recreational experience playing Little League baseball,” said league president Phil Dorner in a press release.
The “LGPLL” was born in 1953 “just as the village population began to boom” after World War II, according to Lou Ritten, current La Grange Park Community Park District Board President and LGPLL league historian. The league was founded by a group of local residents: Eldon Glaves, Roy Hart, Doc Merrifield, Bap Mueller, and Burnie Walsh, and they were driven to offer the community an “organized recreational activity for youngsters.”
“The first year they started small,” said Ritten, who’s book “Touching All the Bases: A History of La Grange Park Little League” records the first 50 years of the league. “They started with 60 boys divided into four teams at the Major League (9-12 year old) level.”
A decade later the all-volunteer league would boast 408 players on 26 teams in four different age divisions, including one of the first T-Ball programs to be offered locally. In 1963, the league held its first Opening Day parade, a tradition that will hit its 50th anniversary this upcoming season with over 400 boys and girls participating.
“For sixty years, the LGPLL has provided a place for competitive play,” said Ritten. “But perhaps more importantly, it has also served as a venue for learning sportsmanship, teamwork, and it has enabled the formation of lifelong friendships and great memories.”
As Dorner points out, the LGPLL is proven to be more than just a baseball league. “Our organization really shows how our village, our volunteers, and our entire community works together to insure that its residents have great recreational programs.”
The La Grange Park Community Recreation Center is located at 1501 Barnsdale Rd. Registration is at Saturday, Nov. 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information about registration and league sponsorship contact Phil Dorner at (708) 579-9228 or visit http://www.eteamz.com/LGPLL.
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