Ed Cooney, Jr and I have known each other since we were born, we just didn’t realize it. Our families, The Cooney’s and my mother’s family (The Walsh’s) grew up together in Wareham, MA just outside of Cape Cod. My mother remains friends with the Cooney’s of Wareham and now a new generation of Cooney’s here in North Kingstown. They are such a wonderful family, so generous with their time, so important to have great people like Ed and his family in this community and this world, to be honest. It has been great catching up with Ed at baseball games, around town, and he has certainly carried on the tradition of volunteerism, which made his amazing father Ed Cooney, Sr such a special person in my town and my family’s life.
A few weeks back, I was at my mother’s home in North Kingstown and took a few photos of my first baseball experience. It was with the St. Bernard Saints Tee Ball team. We played our games in a corner of Hamilton Elementary School. The teams received hats and shirts and they were like gold to me. Currently, they are residing in “The Museum”, familiar to most as the play room in my Mom’s home.
And last night, while watching the Red Sox game, I received an email from Ed Cooney, Jr regarding the St. Bernard’s Tee Ball Season. Here is an excerpt from that email:
“If you are of a certain age and grew up in North Kingstown, St. Bernard’s (Church) Tee-Ball brings back a lot of memories. For me, my baseball career began playing on a similar field in the early 1980’s with the familiar St. B on my hat. However, the real beginning of the league was Fr. Charles Fountain. It was his vision when he came to the parish in 1971 that got this program rolling. St. B’s tee-ball took a little hiatus for about 20 years until last year. But, we are back! And, since last year was so successful, we decided to bring back St. B’s tee-ball for year two. We are really lucky to currently have Fr. Jack Unsworth who again sees the value of allowing us to organize these sort of activities for the youth of the parish and outside community. And boy do we appreciate it; so thank you Fr. Jack!
The format will be the same as it was last year. This year we decided to raise the registration cost to $35 to be able to provide a hat AND a t-shirt to each player registered. Our program will be open again to children ages 3-6. We will get together on three Tuesday nights in June (12th, 19th, 26th) at 5:30 right in the front lawn of the church again (St. Bernard’s Chruch is at 275 Tower Hill Rd across from Wickford Middle School). We will have three stations where players will be at each station for 15 minutes. And of course, at the conclusion of our final session we will have a cookout.
Unfortunately, a few of our helpers from last year will be unable to help us this year, so I am beginning the call for volunteers early. Please let me know if you, or know of a loved one, are willing to run a station for us this year. Without volunteers we will not be able to pull this off. Right now I am looking for at least two volunteers who are willing to be committed to show up each week and run a station.
I hope you and all of your children are as excited about this as I am, because I am pretty pumped. Thank you again for your participation last year and I look forward to hearing from some of you all soon.”
Well said, Ed. Last year was so incredibly successful in so many ways. According to my mother, the fields in front of St. Bernard’s Church will filled with kids, laughter, and the joy of playing baseball. For more information on signing up your rising star son or daughter for St. Bernard’s Tee-Ball Program, please contact Ed Cooney at firstname.lastname@example.org for a registration form and a BCI form to complete (mandatory if you want to volunteer).