It is tradition for me on Thanksgiving to look back, look around me, and appreciate the positive experiences and connections I have in life. Particularly, this year has been very special as a writer and baseball fan here in Rhode Island. We all have a lot to be thankful for – my family, my health, my sanity (most days) – and I want to add my connections and friendships I have made in 2019 covering baseball here in Rhode Island. Here is my Thanksgiving salute to baseball as I covered it in 2019:
The Pit – Warwick North Little League’s baseball complex on Post Road, Warwick. Home of the Dan Wheeler Batting Cages, Mayor’s Cup Tournament, awesome snack bar, and just one of the many great fields that support Warwick North Little League. Just one of the many stops on my RI Baseball Field Bike Relay Ride this fall.
Home Base Program – I was so honored to be a participant in the 10th Annual Run To Home Base Event at Fenway Park this summer. Running and walking and sharing the streets with the real heroes of our country – the men and women of our United States Armed Forces and their dedicated families.
Ahern Park, Providence – I visited this newly renovated park in Providence which is one of the many baseball fields utilized by Olneyville at Silver Lake Little League baseball. I got the opportunity to meet and greet Richard Hemphill this summer as well. Great volunteer and community leader in Providence.
Newport’s Hogan Field – A baseball field set in King’s Park, Newport with a backdrop of Newport Harbor. It is one of the most picturesque baseball parks you will ever visit here in Rhode Island. Home of Newport Little League.
Kimberly Ann Rock Sports Complex, Rumford – I just love visiting Rumford Little League’s incredible baseball and softball complex in Rumford. Rumford Little League is a class organization with amazing volunteers. They host friendship tournaments and charity tournaments all summer long.
Sharks vs. Waves in Martha’s Vineyard – I spent an incredible day this summer with my wife traveling to Martha’s Vineyard. We hit the beach, had a great lunch, and watched the Ocean State Waves face the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks in the Shark Tank.
Garvin Field, Cumberland – One of the many baseball fields that Cumberland Youth Softball and Baseball can call home. Located behind Garvin Elementary School is this amazing neighborhood baseball field in Cumberland.
Iannetta – Rhode Island’s Chris Iannetta was drafted in 2004 and has been a consistent Major League baseball player for well over a decade. Iannetta is also a responsible social media influencer, gives back to the community here in Rhode Island at The Rhode Island Baseball Institute, and is a positive role model for RI baseball players of all ages.
Varratto Field, Cranston Western Little League – One of the crown jewel baseball fields in Rhode Island, Varratto Field consistently hosts local, state, and district tournaments with style, class, and the utmost respect for the game of baseball. The volunteers are dedicated, the concession stand is always rocking, and the fans come out to support their team.
195 miles – Ok so it’s not an “I” but close enough. 195 miles of biking through neighborhoods, bike paths that connect town to town, city streets, and baseball field parking lots gave me the opportunity to visit 59 Rhode Island Baseball Fields this fall. What an amazing tour of the great baseball and sports complexes we are so fortunate to have for our baseball players to play and love the game.
Noah Strong – The Wiffle at Whipple Tournament touched my heart so deeply. Hundreds if not thousands showed up to support a local Smithfield Little League baseball player who is battling cancer. Wiffleball games were played, T-shirt sales were donated, hugs and high fives were in full force in Smithfield. What an uplifting experience and congratulations to everyone who participated. #NoahStrong
Gorham Field, Scituate Foster Little League – Huge recreational baseball and sports complex in North Scituate, RI. Has one of the most beautiful backdrops of the woods of Northern Rhode Island surrounding the field. Awesome concession stand area with picnic area, great volunteers, and always in great playing shape for baseball.
I am so thankful for my family, my wife and kids, my parents, my siblings, my friends, and my dogs. I am thankful for the game of baseball and the opportunity to cover baseball here in Rhode Island and share stories. To everyone who helps a player with their swing or teaches a young pitcher how to throw strikes or a parent who volunteers to run the concession stand, Thank You.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the Rhode Island Baseball Community.