Swinging for the fences is nothing new to Cayman. The local little league offers a number of programmes every year that allow residents to chase glory on the diamond.
January saw the start of the Cayman Islands Little League Winter Adult Co-Ed Softball League. The Field of Dreams in George Town hosted matches across three divisions. By April a number of champions emerged including Home Gas and the A.L. Thompson Drills.
Also that month Major League Baseball team the Chicago White Sox made their first of two treks to Cayman. Former pro baseball player Mike Huff headed the contingent. The clinics went off just in time as a car accident took place at the field. The accident damaged the electrical meter and circuit box for the field’s lights and needed $32,000 worth of repairs.
February saw two umpires from the US little league circuit host coaching seminars. The result was 15 locals were accredited to umpire little league games. Interestingly both coaches were stuck in Cayman for two days after the clinics due to heavy snow in Maryland.
March saw the start of the Spring version of the local little league. The competition marked the 20th season of free little league baseball in Cayman. Games featured 33 teams across six age divisions over two months.
In May the local little league travel team competed in a youth tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina. A number of Cayman’s 12 and under talents were on the squad.
In July came the little league annual general meeting. Jim Parham was re-elected as little league President with Tim Derrick nominated to be Vice President. That month also saw Cayman send a contingent of youth players to Puerto Rico for the Caribbean regional qualifiers for the Little League World Series.
July also saw former little league coach Kevin Hartmann, who passed away due to cancer, featured in the Tour de France. As part of the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s cancer awareness work, members of the RadioShack cycling team participated with the names of cancer victims on their bikes. Hartmann’s name was selected from thousands of submissions.
August saw the start of the fall edition of the co-ed softball league. Matches would continue into November at the Field of Dreams. The winners this time would be the Kirk Freeport Joolerz, the A.L. Thompson Drills and team HSBC.
September saw local youth players compete at the 2010 White Sox Skills Challenge in Chicago. US Cellular Field, the home of Chicago White Sox, hosted the competition as four Cayman players earned awards in their age groups.
The White Sox made their second trip to Cayman in October. Five coaches from the BullSox Training Academy were present at the Field of Dreams and taught 70 odd kids. Leading the contingent once again was Mike Huff.
In December roughly 28 girls (ages 9-17) participated in a softball instructional camp. Organized by local sports women Jessica Pawlik and Shamar Ennis, the guest instructor was University of Central Florida women’s softball coach Allison Kime.
Ultimately the local little league got many residents running the bases in 2010. With more chances to shine in 2011, home run trots should continue to be a normal sight in Cayman.