Cayman’s littlest hitters are packing up for 2012.
On Friday, 25 May, the Cayman Islands Little League is slated to officially end its 23rd season. A number of all-star games are planned for the various age ranks. The T-Ball festivities are slated to take place at 5.30pm and continue on Saturday, 26 May, at the Field of Dreams facility in George Town with an awards ceremony and exhibition contest from 8.30am to roughly 11am.
Aged 5-6, the T-Ball youngsters have played throughout the year on Saturday mornings, starting from 8.30am. For division coordinator Cheyenna Stewart, the competition is arguably local baseball’s most important segment.
“T-Ball, in my view, is the most vital part of Little League when it comes to our future baseball players,” Stewart said. “If we don’t catch our children at an early age and teach them the basics, it is difficult to get them into the programme when they are older. For the children, this is a free sport that any child can play.
“There is literally no cost to them except for their glove. T-ball provides a fun way to learn the importance of teamwork and discipline, which is paramount to a child’s development into a productive member of society.”
In 2012, T-Ball attracted about 120 children on seven teams sponsored by Appleby, Butterfield Bank, Conyers, Dill and Pearman, Esso, GCM, KM Ltd and Scotiabank.
Eddy Salaverri, Stephanie Menko, Jaden Verhoeven and Nicolai Christian will be the GCM all-stars this weekend. Reyah Stewart, Aimee Manderson, Mathias (Mark) McLean and Marcus Lagman suit up for Butterfield while Jasmine Eden, Kayden Marshall, Keissy Zuniga and Nicholas Franklin represent Esso.
Matthew Bush, Zachary DaCosta, Trey Josephs and Christoff Williams suit up for Scotiabank; Jonathan Bodden, Charles Gilman, Harry Milne and Jeydon Hayles represent Appleby; Aidan McCallister, Neil McComb, John-Paul Miller and Johnann Jr. Taylor star for KM Ltd with LeAndre McKay, Demae Lee, Seane Curry and Isaiah Whittaker playing for Conyers, Dill and Pearman.
Stewart states a number of prizes will be on offer this weekend.
“The awards ceremony will be at the end-of-season picnic on Saturday and we will also be drawing the prizes for the end-of-season raffle. We are currently selling tickets for this raffle and they can be purchased at the Field of Dreams or from any player or coach. They are $20 each and the grand prize is $10,000, second prize is $7,500 with third through fifth getting $2,500 each.”
Stewart, who also plays co-ed softball, went on to say all of the 2012 participants walked away with more baseball knowledge.
“The season has gone amazingly smooth this year. The coaches and assistant coaches have done an outstanding job teaching our five and six year-olds the basics of catching, throwing, batting and of course the rules of how to play baseball.
“We have had enough sponsors and spaces in T-Ball that we have not had to turn away a single child who has wanted to play.
The teams have shown great improvement from the first weeks of the season and kids are making outs at first base like pros. I am excited to see them all continuing to progress through the rest of the season.”