Yesterday afternoon, with 2 outs in the bottom of the 5th inning, in Bristol Connecticut, on a fly ball to left field, the 2021 Rhode Island Little League Spring and District All Star Season finished up. The final out, hit by Team RI/North Providence Little League’s J.T. Raftery, ended the game and thus was the final out of the season, some 4 months or so since roughly 40 Rhode Island Little League organizations began their 2021 season. 2021 was a triumphant return for most Rhode Island Little Leagues to a sense of normalcy – regular season games, fans in the stands, reduced mask wearing or simply suggested mask policies, snack shacks open, home run derby events, Opening Day parades, District All Star Tournaments, State All Star Tournaments and tons and tons of memorable baseball.
Every Spring, the 40 or so teams of Rhode Island Little League play a schedule of regular season games starting after Opening Day, roughly first week of April. There are a required number of games to be recorded and played in order for a Rhode Island Little League team and player to be eligible for post season tournaments, like District All Stars. Leagues meet in conference rooms, via ZOOM, at coffee shoppes, maybe a league admin’s porch to select players to represent their league in District All Star Tournaments. There are several divisions of District All Stars including 10U, 11U, 12U, Juniors, and Seniors. Some leagues have a 50/70 division as well. The Rhode Island Little League system of teams is split up geographically into 4 Districts (1, 2, 3, and 4). These four districts play District All Star Tournaments to determine a District Champion. Then, the 4 District All Star Champions play in the Rhode Island State Tournament for their respective division’s state title.
Here are the 2021 Rhode Island State Champions for each division:
Here is the post from Darlington American Little League’s Facebook page – “8-9-10 STATE CHAMPS!!!!! Pawtucket has brought home the state crown!!!! This team is made up of kids representing all three leagues of PAWTUCKET. As the President of DALL, I am so proud of this hard-working, dedicated team of coaches and kids that have put Pawtucket back on the map in baseball! Coaches PJ Shea, Alex Pereira, and Matt Ferreira, your dedication to the kids and their success in this great sport is shown here with the title of STATE CHAMPS!!!! Your hard work has paid off boys, Enjoy the title and memories that will last a lifetime!!Hats off to all of you!!!!!!!“
Here is a post from Cranston Western’s Facebook Page – “Congratulations to the 2021 11 year old State Champions: Cranston Western Little League. Very proud of all the coaches and players for all their hard work this summer! Congrats boys!!“
Here is a post from North Providence Little League’s Facebook page – “History was made tonight!!!! Congratulations to the North Providence 12u All Stars on becoming the Rhode Island State Champions!!! We are so proud of you! Go NP!!!!“
Here is a post from Barrington Little League’s Facebook page – “Congratulations to our Juniors All-Stars on winning the 2021 State Tournament!“
Here is a post from Coventry Little League’s Facebook page – “Coventry District Seniors team are the RI STATE CHAMPIONS!!“
In years passed, each Rhode Island Little League State champion then competes on a regional level against teams (of their age division) from the Northeast and especially New England. In 2021, only the 12U North Providence Little League team competed on the regional level, going to Bristol, CT for the New England Little League Regionals as Team RI. Team RI played two games and came up short in both, thus ending their potential run to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. I am hopeful that 2022 will bring even more normalcy to youth baseball by including regional competition and regional tournaments to all Little League divisions.
So, from the 40 degree night games in April to the 99 degree scorchers in August, the Rhode Island Little League experience for 2021 has produced home runs, diving catches, walk off hits, and dominating pitching performances. Fans have recorded their sons and daughters on camera phones and posted photos on their social media pages. Hot dogs, candy, and pizza strips were devoured at ball fields all over the state of Rhode Island. District All Star season, non-existent in 2020, was played on the incredible baseball fields of District 1, 2, 3, and 4. 36 teams from all over Rhode Island competed this year in District All Star Tournaments on some level. Then, the Rhode Island State Tournaments took place and champions were crowned. Finally, Team RI headed to Bristol for a shot at moving on to Williamsport. And with the final out landing in the glove of Team Maine yesterday afternoon, that concludes the 2021 Rhode Island Little League Spring and District All Star Season.
Up next, for some leagues, is your local Fall Baseball League season. Check with your league’s admins, go to your local league’s social media pages and websites, or maybe visit your local baseball field for fall baseball sign up information. I will be posting fall baseball registration updates on this site and my social media pages in the next few days.
One final congratulations to all the players, coaches, leagues, and families for participating in the 2021 Rhode Island Little League Spring and District All Star season. It is a joy to write about your league and promote the amazing players, volunteers, coaches, and families that make Rhode Island youth baseball so incredible and so memorable.
The RIBBE is The Rhode Island Baseball Experience. It is promoting the game of baseball here in the great state of Rhode Island for the entire baseball world to see. The RIBBE is positive stories, photos, videos, and responsible social media posts. The RIBBE is an information resource for families looking for an AAU team or a summer camp or a great place to buy a first baseman’s mitt. The RIBBE is a network of coaches, tournament directors, parents, leagues, and baseball junkies whose passion of the game of baseball is unquestioned. I believe that providing expert analysis, information and directions to ballfields, and coaching advice from some of the top RI baseball minds will help promote the game of baseball here in RI to a whole new level.