The Warwick Little League North finally held its Opening Day festivities last weekend at the West Side Complex fields after multiple attempts that fell through due to weather.
Hundreds of local little leaguers, along with their families as well as various others in the Warwick community, made the trip down to the pit to kick off another spring season of fun on the diamond.
The day began with the annual parade from the CVS on Warwick Ave to the fields, followed by a gathering on the field which included remarks from North President Steve Einhorn, as well as Mayor Joe Solomon. North also announced that it would be dedicating its minor league facility to Ed “Pop” Shea, who passed away a few years back after spending decades serving local Little League.
“There was so much preparation that went into it between the fire department, the police department and the families. Some families were unable to make it due to first communions; some kids play in different leagues, we try to accommodate everyone but it’s not easy … it’s an important day because it helps us generate revenue, but the kids also love it. They love being in the parade, playing in the opening games, it was a great day,” said Einhorn.
Einhorn was also excited to honor the late Shea, whose family was in attendance to accept the sign that will soon be placed in his memory at the minor league field across the way.
“He gave everything to the league. He would do whatever he had to do to make sure things got done and the fields were always ready for the kids. We invited his whole family, he has grandkids and great grandkids that are now playing, presenting his wife and his family the sign was the best thing that happened all day,” said Einhorn.
With another season of Little League baseball underway, Einhorn and company hope to continue to provide the city’s youth with an outlet to stay active, make friends, and enjoy America’s pastime for another spring and summer.
“(Having a strong Little League program) is very important … these kids need to be able to play baseball and to be able to release some energy. These kids all go to school together so this helps keep them active and spend time with each other. It’s good to see them come out in the community and play baseball,” said Einhorn.
Einhorn also gave credit to the sponsors, local politicians, and volunteers that have helped made North one of the top Little League programs in the state, and hopes that even more people in the community pitch in to help.
“(The Mayor) comes down every year and it’s great. We got a donation from the state, we’re going to get a donation from the city, we have a fundraiser at the Tri-City Elks on May 31 with Funny for Funds. We always need money for the field’s maintenance, many people don’t realize what goes into it,” said Einhorn. “Uniform costs, trophies, light, fertilizer, someone to cut the grass, equipment, it’s so much. We do what we can, but thank god for our sponsors. They come back every year … we rely on them and on volunteers.”