A full day of ballgames, fun, awards, sponsor and volunteer recognition and raffle drawing finished off the 2015 Cayman Islands Little League season at the Field of Dreams Saturday.
Games involving each of the program’s seven divisions started early and ran until dusk. There were all-star games, friendlies, a tournament championship and a home run derby. Some of the coaches and parents even joined the field for part of the action.
After each division’s final game, participants, parents and other spectators gathered under a tent for recognition of effort, fun and excellence in the form of trophies, plaques, medals and kind words.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Harris introduced division coordinators and coaches, who talked about their experiences, recognizing each player with a medal and one-liners about their efforts. Coaches told tales of kids who didn’t want to be there at the beginning of the season, improving so much they were named an all-star, players who didn’t know what a dugout was, and a pretty little pony-tailed girl called “one of the best pitchers and hitters in the division.”
Coaches thanked assistant coaches for making their jobs easier and for making the kids play better. There were a lot of kind words and cheers for all the umpires, while coaches thanked parents for their commitment and for getting players to games on time.
Players received a team photo and a season participation medal and championship teams got their trophies. Awards for sportsmanship and the most improvement were recognized individually by each team. However, none of the hardware overshadowed the shared experience of a season of learning together.
The t-ball all-star game was a show of the improvement and fun. The Pony League tournament championship game went into an extra inning, both teams rocking play to thunderous applause. The “A” and “AA” Division final games were mixed-up fun. AA Division coordinator Paul Reynolds expressed thanks to parents for the best turnout and support he’d seen.
Coaches and parents played as well in the Girls Division, providing plenty of laughter at both the good plays and the errors.
The teams in the Girls Division were so evenly matched, all three teams ended up tied with 6 and 6 records in the regular season, with each having a 3 and 3 record against each other. The two teams with the best run differential, runs scored minus runs allowed, advanced to the final.
The “AAA” Division played a mixed-team fun game, in front of stands packed with supporters of all ages. A few of the young men who just didn’t want the season to end conducted their own Home Run Derby after the awards ceremony.
President John Cridland, board member Jon DaCosta and program director Latoya McField kept the entire day’s program on schedule while also completing raffle ticket book collections for the KPMG auditors. Alero Abrams received the George Rivers award, a special recognition of all her even-handed efforts, knowledge and supportive attitude for multiple years, in the best spirit of Cayman Little League.
The day ended with the annual fundraising raffle. A $10 ticket won $10,000 for Isley Ebanks. Also in the money were Mark Sinclair, who won $5,000, and Aery Ebanks whose ticket won $1,500.