PARSIPPANY — It was a little blustery, and a bit chilly, for late April, but that did not detract in the slightest from the anxiously, and long-awaited, anticipated start of the Baseball/Softball season for Par-Try West Little League. You could feel the excitement and joy in the air as a large group of local youth, their parents, and many supporters came out to celebrate the day. It was rewarding and energizing to see all the genuine smiles and laughter on the faces of everyone in attendance as they prepared to kick off the season.
As Yogi Berra said, “Little League is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the street.” Who can argue with Yogi?
The Par-Troy Little League Program was established in 1952, making this the 70th year this program has been serving the community. With an all-volunteer Board of Directors, PTWLL has proven to be an extraordinarily successful self-development, fun, and healthy opportunity for Parsippany’s local children to develop confidence, good friendships, learn life skills, and teamwork, while providing them with a safe environment to assemble and play. The League, which boasts 400+ participants, is appropriately divided into various age divisions into both softball and baseball teams for ages 4 through 15.
Par-Troy West Little League’s President, Frank Neglia, a local Councilman, and President of the Executive Board of Directors since 1996 exudes immense pride and personal satisfaction when asked about the program. Neglia, along with his wife Sandra who serves as a Player Agent, along with eighteen other board members clearly possess a personal passion for the program, and still shows the same exuberance as they did 26 years ago. I guess like Cal Ripken, Jr. said; “You could be a kid as long as you want when you play baseball.”
Neglia stated, “I would like to thank the Township of Parsippany, the Parsippany Recreation Department, Parks, and Forestry, and the Board of Education for their vital support in providing and maintaining the ballfields in town and at the schools during the season.” “That support helps ensure that all our Little Leaguers in both the Par-Troy West and Par-Troy East always have a safe place to play. We are looking forward to another exciting, fun-filled, safe season this year, and we look forward to seeing everyone out there supporting the kids and the League.”
The ceremonies began with some introductory comments by Neglia, who acknowledged and thanked his Board of Directors, volunteers, and sponsors, followed by comments from Mayor James Barberio. Next was the parade of players, as team after team, starting with the youngest T-ball teams, began their trot onto the field to a medley of motivational music, and were cheered on by a special appearance of the Little Viking Cheerleading Squad, and the Parsippany Hill High School Baseball and Softball Team.
Next, the crowd was treated to a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem, sung by Stephanie Chang, and a reading of The Little League Pledge by Ricki Rosetti, one of the League’s youthful players.
Of course, there was that ceremonial first pitch by Parsippany’s Mayor James Barberio, who was enjoying himself as much as anyone in the stadium. After a few more closing comments and presentations it was time to get to the business at hand. Play ball!
Besides the mayor, some of the local dignitaries on hand included Councilman Michael dePierro, Councilwoman Loretta Gragnani, Councilman Paul Carifi, and Councilman Justin Musella.
All of whom also sponsored individual teams. Of course, there were many other local officials and individuals of note on hand as well.
So, come on out and support and be proud of our local youth. There’s a good chance you are looking at some future major leaguers. You never know! And, to revisit Yogi; “If the people don’t wanna come out to the ballpark, nobody’s gonna stop ‘em.”