Saturday, October 10th had a nice blend of weather I call “summ-all.” Summer like sunshine shining bright, blue skies matched with the backgrounds of fall foliage, brisk almost tropical storm like winds were in full effect on Saturday. I took the opportunity to travel around to several baseball fields, meet baseball parents and volunteers, and check out some fall baseball games and practices. Here is a recap with some photos:
Apponaug Cal Ripken Babe Ruth League has an incredible baseball facility located in Warwick. Three baseball fields, with two actively being used this fall, make up this baseball facility, which caters to the Cal Ripken division of Apponaug. When I arrived on Saturday, super volunteers Sarah and Dave greeted me and allowed me to get some photos in the press box, along the outfield fence area, and learn more about their fall season. Sarah mentioned a Tennis Ball League that Apponaug is working on this fall. There were volunteer parents prepping the field, which looked amazing by the way. One field was fille with Tee Ball/Coach Pitch level kids learning to hit and run the bases. One thing I really liked, in addition to the safety signage, was the clothes basket set up for player’s gear. Very good use of storage space and definitely encouraging a safe environment. Great visit to Apponaug and I look forward to hearing more about their fall season.
My next stop was the Wounded Warrior Tournament at Rumford Little League’s Kimberly Rock Field Complex. Kimberly Rock is an incredible sports and recreation facility located in Rumford which features baseball fields, bike path access, and a legendary snack shack. There is always plenty of seating along the perimeters of the fields, under trees in the shade or right there on the fences. I watched a few innings of a game at Lindberg Field, which is the first field as you enter the complex. Then, I moved over to one of the adjacent fields to watch a team practice. These talented youth baseball players were taking ground balls, batting practice, and learning the game of baseball from some incredible coaches. The coaches and players were from UDRI, a newly formed sports league in Providence. UDRI stands for Union Deportiva de Rhode Island and their mission, according to their website http://www.rhodeislandsportsunion.org is “The Rhode Island Sports Union (UDRI) is a non-profit organization that provides youth-athletes the opportunity to play sports while building confidence, developing their character and ensuring that they acquire the skills needed to achieve their fullest potential in becoming a productive, community minded, responsible adult.” I am looking forward to learning more about UDRI this fall. And good luck to all the players, coaches, and families playing today in Rumford at the Wounded Warrior Tournament.
From Rumford, I took a drive down to Cranston’s Chafee Complex and happened to find a game being played on the CLCF field. Chafee Complex has so many incredible recreational options for families – playground, soccer fields, baseball fields, basketball courts. As I walked up to the CLCF baseball field, I noticed that the uniforms of the two teams looked very similar. I asked one of the baseball parents “who is playing?” She said “RI Reds vs RI Reds.” In fact, it was a 12U Rhode Island Reds showdown. As I walked out of the sports complex, I took a moment to read the commemorative plaque of Michael Varrato which describes in beautiful detail Mike’s impact on Cranston Western Little League. The Chaffee Sports Complex is one of the best places to see a baseball game in all of Rhode Island and hosts two class organization – CLCF and Cranston Western Little League.
I really enjoy these visits to ball parks all over the State of Rhode Island. I love meeting these super volunteers and baseball parents who work countless hours to make their home fields safe and ready to play baseball. With the weather looking promising for at least the next week or so, I look forward to visiting more baseball fields and meeting more baseball volunteers as this “summ-all” weather continues to keep our Rhode Island baseball players playing the great sport of baseball in 2020.