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March 6, 2007 > The great American pastime - local style

The great American pastime - local style

By Geoff Stanford

It's baseball time again! You can already smell the pancake breakfasts served to swarms of little leaguers running around in their brightly-colored uniforms. They'll take to fields and play all day, cheering teammates on from the dugouts. It's time to break out the gloves, lace up the cleats and rub some dirt on your hands. Baseball!

We can thank a man named, Abner Doubleday, for the American version of the game, the one that became the world standard. Supposedly conceived in Cooperstown, New York in 1839, Doubleday's brainchild became an American favorite. The official findings of Major League baseball give credit to Doubleday for devising the scheme to play the game as we know it today, but like most American folklore, there is some debate as to the extent of his involvement.

Doubleday's role may have been exaggerated after his exceptional military and civilian career in the Civil War. After firing the first shot in the defense of Fort Sumter to begin that bloody conflict, Doubleday went on to distinguish himself in some of the wars most defining battles, such as Gettysburg and Anteitam. After the armistice at Appomattox, Doubleday moved to San Francisco and secured a patent for the cable cars that have become entrenched in the culture of the City by the Bay.

Regardless of baseball's true origins, childhood memories are filled with Saturday afternoons at the field, strikeouts and home runs, friends and family. Kids involved in little league not only learn what it means to be a member of a team, but they learn the humility that goes along with being a good winner and the perseverance required to overcome a temporary setback. In an era where countless hours are spent in front of TVs and video games, time spent together in the sun enjoying America's pastime is justly considered a national treasure.

Little league baseball is all-volunteer and helping hands are welcomed, whether in field maintenance, scorekeeping, umpiring, coaching or more; opportunities abound to share your time and experience with the kids, time that is truly well spent.

TCV readers will find ample choices this year as always. With nine different leagues in Fremont alone, there is no doubt that wherever you live in the greater Tri-Cities area, there is a league for you and a field around the corner.

Even newer leagues, like Fremont Cal Ripken Baseball, are finding traction from Milpitas to Hayward and are still accepting registrations in all territories. You can register online until March 12 at www.fremontcalripken.com . Opening day is Saturday March 10 at 10 a.m. at Holy Spirit Church in Fremont.

For many weekends throughout the summer, you and your family can count on catching a baseball game on any Saturday after the 10th. Games are played at Harvey Green Elementary, Holy Spirit Church, James Logan High School, Newark Memorial High School, American High School; the list goes on and on.

For more information, contact any of he following numbers or links.

Okay, let's "PLAY BALL!"


Fremont
http://www.ci.fremont.ca.us/Recreation/YouthSports/LocalSportsOrganizations.htm


Hayward
Mt. Eden American Little League
(510) 783- 2211

Rookie Ball (boys/girls; ages 9 - 15)
510-293-7270

Hayward Area Parks and Recreation District
510-881-6700


Newark
Newark American Little League
www.newarkamerican.com
(510) 494- 1303


Milpitas
http://www.gomilpitas.com/LittleLeague.htm
Milpitas North, (408) 262- 4523
Milpitas South, (408) 278- 5227


Union City
Union City American Little League
www.ucall.org
(510)888-3410

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