Windsor Little League throws out first pitch for new merger
By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Fri., May. 4, 2012
Bottom of the ninth, two outs and bases loaded in the World Series is the image that every kid playing baseball in their backyard envisions for their future. Windsor Little Leaguers were one step closer to that all-American dream, as droves and droves of young boys and girls accompanied by their parents and coaches filed from Washington Park down Lenox and Bloomfield avenues to Fitch Field, as part of the Little League opening day ceremonies on April 29.
“[It was an] excellent turnout by all 45 teams in Windsor Little League,” said Fred Tanguay, president of the Windsor Little League Board of Directors. “It was especially nice to see the younger players [t-ball teams] in their colorful minor league uniforms and new, not-broken-in-yet gloves.”
The on-field ceremony attended by the town's 45 teams featured introductions to the new t-ball teams, as well as introductions to seniors from the area high school teams that played in the town Little League and have taken their talent to the high school level. During the ceremony, the Jack Welch Award was given to one softball player and one baseball player to recognize their hard work, dedication, perseverance and character over the course of a season. Jessica Dillon won the award for softball and Ryan Crisanti was honored for baseball. Both players started the 2011 season off slow but finished on strong notes, not allowing their early struggles to get the best of them
“Today’s youth have so many options - sports, music, Scouts, martial arts - and also there seems to be a growing emphasis in sports to concentrate on one sport year-round, so a strong Little League is important to introduce baseball to the youth and nurture their development,” said Tanguay.
This year’s ceremony marked the formation of the new Windsor Little League, after a merger of the town's two Little League organizations this past off-season. The merger of the two leagues occurred after many meetings and discussions over the course of a three-year period. Ultimately, the Little League headquarters granted permission to merge the leagues, elect a new board and have them establish a new constitution, by-laws, rules, protocol and procedures to help smooth the transition.
“We had the Poquonock side of the town, known as W.I.L.L., for Windsor International, and the Wilson end of town, known as W.A.L.L., for Windsor American,” said Tim Rice, vice president of the Windsor Little League Board of Directors. “We continually saw numbers falling in both ends of the town. Seeing we played each other during the season, it was thought that if we combined leagues it would make Windsor baseball stronger. It has made Windsor one league and is no longer separated by a line on the map.”
The ceremony was capped by a randomly-selected baseball player and softball player to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, signifying the beginning of the new Windsor Little League.
“In Windsor Little League, we are promoting a safe, positive environment where the players can learn the fundamentals of the game, learn teamwork and compete and have fun,” said Tanguay. “We can help to promote and facilitate that, but parent support and volunteer support is what makes it work.”