To the editor:
In reading the delightful article, and smiling at the enthusiasm in the faces of the children in the photographs, I couldn’t help but step back 41 years when we first came to Bainbridge Island.
We had three sons, 14, 12, 11 - and they wanted to play baseball. We had supported the Little League in Salt Lake City, and hoped this would be as much fun for them.
We gathered at Rotary Field for “Opening Jamboree” day. There were eight teams, total, one ballfield to play on - Rotary Field - and no park district or official group to run it.
So, we had a work day. Every parent, including all the coaches, came to the field to clean it, pick up rocks, rake the base paths, build up the mound, and chalk all the boxes. We mowed the outfields, cleaned up the snack shack, then drew up a schedule for which parents would man the shack for each game.
Two of our sons, the two younger ones, played on the Seagulls, coached by Dick Coone. The older one played in the next level up; it may have been Babe Ruth. We spent our entire spring and most of the summer watching Little League games. Our summer vacation was postponed over and over again, as both teams ended up in year-end championships.
Finally, mid-August, we headed for Sawtooth Valley in Idaho for our annual three-week camping trip. Well worth the wait.
As I look back, I can’t help but be blessed by Little League. There were about 6,000 residents of Bainbridge Island then, and you met a large portion of them at the games. It was a great way to get acquainted in a totally new environment for us. I think every parent attended the games back then, or so it seemed.
It was a real delight to see Snyder Field in Poulsbo host the national Babe Ruth Championships last summer. All three of our sons played there over the years. I think we even won a state championship one year, but the details are a bit hazy.
So when you drive by Rotary Field some afternoon, and see a few cars parked and a bunch of small people in the “stadium,” stop a minute and enjoy one of the truly great traditions of this country and this island.