AABC Tiniest Players Become Baseball Titans

AARB Teams at home - plate -  Arelius Vendrell - Catcher and  Frank the Umpire

AABC Teams at home – plate – Arelius Vendrell – Catcher and Frank the Umpire

18 July, 2015. On a sunny Saturday morning at the newly renovated baseball field located in Children’s Park, Chestnut Ridge, New York, the American Amatuer Baseball Congress [AABC] League played their championship elimination games.   The age of the players   range from 7- 11 years old.  These kids played with the discipline, dedication and intensity of any major leaguer at the World Series.

Team names like, Rockland Elite [8u], Clarkstown Stars [8u], Brooklyn Blue-Storms [7u/8u], Brooklyn Bonnies [8u], CP Stars [8u] were here to play in the AABC World Series elimination series, where the top four teams will advance to Waterbury, Ct. to decide who is the best in New York State.

It was an intense game out of four when the Brooklyn Blue-Storms [7u] played their hearts out against Brooklyn Bonnies.  It was a tug of war that was decided by a line drive to bring in the winning run for the Brooklyn Bonnies making it 4 -3.

After their customary line up for congratulatory handshakes the Brooklyn Blue-Storms each ran the bases to the cheers of their parents and supporters.  The lesson in good sportsmanship and fairplay was evident by both sides of parents applauding the losing team.

#5 Nico Marino - launches his fast ball - Brooklyn Blue Storms photo credit:  Rockland Voice

#29 Pitcher David Hinojosa – launches his floater ball for a swing and a miss – Brooklyn Blue Storms
photo credit: Rockland Voice

Later on in the afternoon, the game win advancement to the finals went to the Brooklyn Bluestorms. Power hits into center field, line drives down the base-line, base – stealing, impeccable pitching by#29 David Hinojosa and #5 Nico Marino, in tandem with versatile right field coverage by his cousin #8 Mateo Marino, as well as, laser beam focus by team catcher, 8 year old Arelius Vendrell, helped to bring their team to a hard fought victory.

Frank Randazzo is an Umpire with the Bronx Umpires Alliance for 8 years.  “Frank the Umpire” has a voice that boomed across the field; “saaafeeee”  or  “heeezzzz  outttt!” with unmistakably smooth hand gestures communicating each irreversible call.

Anthony Costello, Manager, Rockland Elite [8u] has been coaching and managing little league baseball for 27 years.   His dedication and love for the game sums it all up when he stated; “It’s all about the kids.”

Anthony Costello, Coach for Rockland Elites, Erick Morel, Coach for  CP Stars, and  Frank Randazzo, Bronx Umpires Alliance discuss their years of participation with Rockland Voice photo credit:  Rockland Voice

Anthony Costello, Coach for Rockland Elites, Erick Morel, Coach for CP Stars, and Frank “the Umpire”  Randazzo, Bronx Umpires Alliance discuss their years of participation with Rockland Voice
photo credit: Rockland Voice

Erick Morel, Coach for the CP Stars [College Point, Queens, NY]  recounted the story of one of the 8 year old players was upset with himself because he finished the game with only 2 home-runs and not 3 as he wanted.  Coach Morel explained to him there are major league players who do not finish a game with any runs, let alone 2 runs in one game.  This is an example of the level of devotion to the game they bring with them.

Matthew Rivera, Congers, New York, is the Manager of the Clarkstown Stars  for 10 years.  The Clarkstown Stars organization took on the campaign to raise money from local businesses, parents, and residents to invest in renovations for the under-utilized ball-field at Children’s Park in Chestnut Ridge.  Hat tip to everyone who made it possible.   Clarkstown Stars website

Matthew Rivera is a dedicated coach and in charge of player development for his Clarkstown Stars organization.  He conferred with CP Stars parents Louie and Diane Roopnarine, whose son, 9 year old Leon Roopnarine, player #17 was playing his first season.  “We wanted him to experience the travel, the training, the intense competition and teach him the game” said Diane Roopnarine. Louie Roopnarine was cheering his son and was speaking with Matthew Rivera about upcoming games.

Clarkstown Stars Manager Matthew Rivera confers with Parents  Louie and Diane Roopnarine  in support of their CP Stars player #17 9 year old Leon Roopnarine photo credit:  Rockland Voice

Clarkstown Stars Manager Matthew Rivera confers with Parents Louie and Diane Roopnarine in support of their CP Stars player #17 9 year old Leon Roopnarine
photo credit: Rockland Voice

Charlie Avery is the AABC Charter Commissioner responsible for running the league in Rockland and Westchester Counties.  He has been involved with this organization for 27 years. “We do this for the kids, it teaches them sportsmanship and good conduct on and off the field“; he said.  Coaches Anthony Costello and Matthew Rivera adamantly affirmed that Charlie Avery has been a driving force behind the success of these events for decades.

The major renovations and proper utilization made to  this baseball field came about thanks to the generosity of so many people organized by the Clarkstown Stars organization, led by Matthew Rivera.  They have helped to make this baseball field accessible to so many kids from New York City, Bergen County, New Jersey, Rockland and Westchester Counties.

Parents celebrate their children's victory's with congratulatory cheers for both sides photo credit:  Rockland Voice

Parents celebrate their children’s victory’s with congratulatory cheers for both sides
photo credit: Rockland Voice

Perhaps this small patch of sod, sand, and base bags may not be a field of dreams in a Hollywood movie, but it is a field where dreams of baseball heroism come true each time they hear “Frank the Umpire” bellow; “play Ballllll”.  The tiniest of them become baseball Titans at the crack of the bat, to the sound of wild cheers as they are running the bases, to finally hear; “saaaafeee!” while making the winning homerun.

Honorable mention must go to each and every one of the dedicated volunteer coaches, assistants, parents supporting their respective teams and event organizers. They demonstrated good sportsmanship, imparted infectious enthusiasm for the game, promoted respect for each of the team – players, and made possible the dreams of baseball champions on a beautiful day at Children’s Park Ball Field in Chestnut Ridge, New York.  They are all welcome back any-time.

Clarkstown Stars heading to the Championship photo credit: Coach Matthew Rivera

Clarkstown Stars heading to the AABC World-Series
photo credit: Coach Matthew Rivera

About Anthony Mele

Tony Melé, MA, Diplomacy, International Conflict Management, BS, International Relations and Counterterrorism, is a Federal Firearms Licensee, New York Gun Dealer, and is a Defense Trade Broker licensed by the US Department of State, Office for Political-Military Affairs for International Traffic and Arms Regulations. He is U.S. Army Veteran. Mr. Melé is a Knight Templar, The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem - Priory of St. Patrick. **DISCLAIMER: The Opinions published on the ROCKLAND VOICE are that of each author and in no way represent the the views or perspectives of the SMOTJ / OSMTH**

About the Author
Tony Melé, MA, Diplomacy, International Conflict Management, BS, International Relations and Counterterrorism, is a Federal Firearms Licensee, New York Gun Dealer, and is a Defense Trade Broker licensed by the US Department of State, Office for Political-Military Affairs for International Traffic and Arms Regulations. He is U.S. Army Veteran. Mr. Melé is a Knight Templar, The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem - Priory of St. Patrick. **DISCLAIMER: The Opinions published on the ROCKLAND VOICE are that of each author and in no way represent the the views or perspectives of the SMOTJ / OSMTH**