Ontario District 1 Little League
2014 District 1 Major Champions
HIGH PARK BRAVES
Preparations are underway as the league gets ready to host the 2014 Ontario Senior League Provincials starting Mid- July at Glen Abbey Park. There will be six to eight teams participating in the tournament for the right to represent the Province at the 2014 Senior Canadian Championships in Victoriaville Quebec.
"We are delighted to be hosting a Provincial Championship after taking last year off in hositng a Provincial Championship" said John Sweeney, President of Oakville Little League. "This tournament provides us once again an opportunity to showcase the fine young athletes of Oakville and from across the Province, as well as, providing the opportunity to showcase the beautiful Town of Oakville and Oakville Little League." "I am excited about the opportunity to coach the team but also to provide our Whitecaps with an opportunity to compete in the provincials for the right to represent Ontario at the Canadian Senior League Championships this summer" said John Leedham, head coach of the host team Oakville Whitecaps. "Our objective is to make this tournament one of the best hosted tournaments in Ontario in 2014" added Sweeney, "For many of these young people, competing in this tournament will provide them an experience of a lifetime. Win or lose, we want the players to always remember the time they spent in Oakville in 4, the fond experience and fun they had, the friendships they made, and the hospitality of Oakville."
Mississauga News By Graeme Frisque
After a chilly and rainy start to last year’s season, Mother Nature played ball this year as hundreds of little leaguers, aged 4-22, took over the park’s five diamonds for their first games of the season.
After a brief opening ceremony at the park’s main field that included the Little League pledge, the singing of the national anthem and an address from league officials, the games started and the 2014 season was officially underway.
The daylong event featured 14 games in all, ranging from t-ball to major baseball, and mite through bantam softball.
“We always have our opening ceremonies here at our Little League park. The kids always have a great time, they have games all day, get to have their photos done. It’s always a great start to the season,” said league president Anne Dundon.
The all-volunteer league was formally established in 1965, but dates back as far as 1960, when the idea of an organized baseball league hardly on the minds of many Mississauga residents.
Since its humble beginnings, the community league has grown by leaps and bounds to include dozens of teams and hundreds of players.
"We now have kids in the league who are the children of former players,” said Dundon. “Going into our 50th year we have grandparents and parents who have all played here themselves.”
With help from organizations like the Lions Club, from whom the club takes its name, volunteers built the main diamond at Springfield Park for the club when it started growing in the 60s and, while affiliated with city, the park continues to be maintained on a volunteer basis.
More recently, the organization was the recipient of an $80,000 grant through the Ontario Trillium Foundation, a provincial program that focuses on community infrastructure on a local level. The money was put towards a new backstop for the main field and to install a batting cage for the players.
“Little League is an organization that’s based on grass-roots community baseball. Some players go on to play rep, but for the most part it’s just community baseball and little kids having fun,” said Dundon.
Oakville Little League kicks off the 2014 Baseball Season
Oakville Little League kicked off its 2014 season on May 11th at Cornwall Park. The diamonds were decorated in pink with pink bases, volunteer staff dressed in pink shirts and the concession stand selling pink cupcakes as part of an Opening Day fundraiser. The day was filled with action packed baseball being played on the two diamonds, a concession stand full of hot dogs, popcorn and cold drinks, pink cupcakes along with burgers being cooked on the BBQ. All proceeds from the weekend event were donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Opening Day weekend is a very important aspect of the Little League season, said John Sweeney, President. It is great to see the kids back on the diamonds after a long cold winter having fun and playing ball. The day was capped off with a beautiful Opening Day ceremony and a very special speech by Erna Vitullo a breast cancer survivor. Erna spoke about the importance of early diagnosis and some of her experiences in battling breast cancer. Following the speeches, Erna delivered the first pitch of the 2014 season to one of our Major division players who promptly delivered back to Erna the game ball and a beautiful bouquet of flowers as a special thanks from the league.
Two weeks later on Sunday, May 25th, the league officially opened its 2014 Challenger season with over 80 Autistic kids coming out to register and start their season of baseball. "This is a very special day" said Paul Doherty, Challenger Division Convener. Having these kids come out on such a beautiful Sunday afternoon with their parents to learn the game of baseball is priceless. The players were treated with a special visit from the Oakville Fire department who brought out to big fire trucks for the kids to tour through and see what is in side of these vehicles that have lots of lights and a loud siren.
The league has a lot planned in 2014 including hosting the annual District One House League Tournament late June, The Minor Major District Championships July 4th - 11th, followed by the 2014 Ontario Senior League Provincials starting on Saturday, July 19th.
For more information please visit us at www.ollb.org or call 905-827-1831.