Little League season starts with awards, announcement of memorial

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Mon., Apr. 25, 2011
Justin Menze is all smiles as he takes his first at-bat of the Glastonbury Little League season on April 22. Photos by Steve Smith.
Justin Menze is all smiles as he takes his first at-bat of the Glastonbury Little League season on April 22. Photos by Steve Smith.

As the players of McGuire Manufacturing and Herbert T. Clark Congregated Housing got ready for the opening night game of Glastonbury Little League’s 47th season at Ross Field on April 22, League President Don Longtin said he was thinking about some of the first players in the ’60s - some of whom have grandchildren in the league today.

“We’ve evolved,” Longtin said, “as a program that is focused on providing equal opportunity for all to play this great game of baseball.”

Longtin said that, while primarily the league is in the “kids business,” the best thing that can happen is that the players grow up and become coaches and administrators of the league.

“With that in mind,” he said, “we remind our coaches that they are not only teaching their kids how to play, but they are also teaching them how to coach.”

The opening ceremonies included the introduction of all the league’s majors baseball and softball teams, and the presentation of the Richard H. Ross Memorial award to Matt Miller.

Miller played in the league since tee-ball, Longtin said, and exemplifies the award’s criteria of courage, loyalty and character, as well as leadership and excellent baseball skills.

“[Miller], over the years, has demonstrated tremendous skills,” Longtin said, “both on offense and defense. He’s been a team leader on every single team that he has played on. He has reached out to teammates when they have encountered difficulties with the game. He has helped in summer clinics for younger players and has demonstrated tremendous potential for becoming an awesome coach.”

Longtin also announced the inception of a memorial scholarship named for Sgt. Steven DeLuzio, who was killed last August in Afghanistan while serving with the Vermont National Guard. DeLuzio was a player, umpire and coach in the league. He coached his team to the town title in 2009.

The scholarship will be given to a 12-year-old player, upon their graduation from high school.

League Vice President Bill Longo said that, on Memorial Day, the league will also honor DeLuzio with the dedication of a new flag pole and monument in centerfield of Ross Field, after the town’s Memorial Parade.

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