On Saturday, April 8, the annual New Hyde Park Little League Parade brought together village residents who were eager to support the young athletes and their coaches. The official start of the little league baseball and softball season, marked by warm temperatures and sunny skies, commenced at Nuzzi Field following a proud march through the streets of New Hyde Park and opening ceremonies.
“It’s always an exciting time, especially for the kids who get to walk down Jericho Turnpike with their teammates and friends alongside the fire department,” said Vincent Grunert, president of the New Hyde Park Little League.
After the 11 a.m. parade, Grunert led the opening ceremony by thanking all those in attendence, including the New Hyde Park dignitaries, newly inducted Mayor Larry Montreuil and Trustees Donna Squicciarino and Rich Pallisco. He also expressed his gratitude for the staff of the Village of New Hyde Parks Department, whose work allows the little league to play on well-maintained grounds, as well as for the New Hyde Park Fire Department and Auxiliary Police.
Before the games began, Montreuil had the honor of throwing the first pitch for the boys’ game, and Squicciarino for the girls’ game. Both the baseball teams and softball teams, with 29 in total in the league, were eager to get the season underway.
While the boys’ teams will only play against one another, the girls’ softball teams will have the opportunity to travel a bit to compete against teams from neighboring towns such as Garden City, Franklin Square, Mineola, Valley Stream and Malverne, fostering friendly rivalries between nearby communities.
“I’m looking forward to another great season,” said Grunert, who is now entering his third year as president of the league after being an active member on the board of directors for 18 years. “Hopefully the weather cooperates with us this season and we’re able to play our games in some beautiful weather like we did on Saturday.”
Grunert is confident that the league will yet again prove to be a community attraction, rendering positive feedback as usual from both the players and their parents. He describes the program as being centered around fun and enjoyment, rather than winning.
“For the most part everything is very positive,” he said. “The kids all get to play, and its in a way that’s not ultra-competive.”
The remainder of the season will continue through the middle of June. For more information about the New Hyde Park Little League, visit www.eteamz.com/NewHydeParkLL.