Niagara Gazette — Summer is still in full swing, but Hyde Park Babe Ruth Baseball is already thinking ahead to the fall, announcing that it has begun registrations for its second-annual Fall League.
Jeff Cafarella, the league’s vice president, says that the idea of baseball in the fall was a spur of the moment decision last season but they plan to build on the idea for years to come.
“Last year, nobody wanted to stop playing so we threw the idea out there and got a big response. We put it together last minute and ran with it,” Cafarella said. “We hope to expand to this year by having registrations sooner, rather than later.”
The purpose of the fall league, officials say, is to provide a relaxed, instructional environment that helps prepare kids for the next level of competition.
“The Fall League helps kids develop their skills at all levels,” Cafarella said. “Some players need additional practice or training and the Fall League gives those players more opportunity to develop them. Someone whose skill set that might not be as high as the ‘all-star’ player they had on their regular season team might become discouraged and stop playing baseball. The Fall League caters more to those players in hoping to develop the skills for those players to play at a higher level the following season.”
Hyde Park is the only league that offers the opportunity to play baseball in the fall and there are no boundaries for children who meet the age requirements to play. Typically, in the summer, a child is restricted to play in a league based on where the child resides.
“Players are also playing with kids throughout the city who belong to other local leagues. The Fall League gives them the opportunity to create new friendships that they may not have had the opportunity to do without the Fall League,” Cafarella said. “Coaches and parents from other leagues come and play in the Fall League, so it is a great networking opportunity for the leagues to unite and come together for the sake of all the kids.”