The Pawling Little League’s Spring 2014 season came to a close Saturday, June 21st, with a well-attended awards ceremony. Hundreds of Pawling residents arrived at the Upper Murrow Park field around 9:30 a.m. to the tune of “Centerfield,” for the end-of-year ceremony. Players in colorful uniforms and their coaches congregated in the diamond while fans looked on from behind the fence. Raffle tickets for a Renegades game as well as concessions were available at the volunteer-run Snack Shack.
After the National Anthem, Pawling Little League President John Sullivan kicked off the morning with a round of thank-yous to coaches and volunteers. Sullivan explained that this season “was a trying year with weather. Mother Nature was brutal to us.” Saturday’s weather, however, was warm and pleasant.
Before handing out trophies, Sullivan announced that a Hall of Fame Club had been started to acknowledge the individuals without whom Pawling Little League wouldn’t be possible. The first inductee was Mike Grossman, who had been the President for four years before Sullivan, and graciously helped him transition into the position. Sullivan recognized Gina Sullivan (no relation) as the second inductee for spearheading a number of undertakings within the League. In absentia were Pawling Public Radio’s President, Mike Shustak, who was recognized for the ten years he served as a coach and as President of Pawling Little League, and Tom Meyer, who served as Registration Coordinator. Treasurer John Leahy and Field/Coaching Coordinator Stephen Sollazzo were the last two 2014 Hall-of-Famers.
A second club was introduced to Pawling Little League: the Home Run Club. Sullivan read off the names of a dozen players who had achieved this distinction.
The heart of the ceremony was the presentation of the trophies, when each team coach read out the names of their players, shook their hands, and handed them their awards. The presentation began with the “major” teams (as old as 12) and ended with the T-ball teams (as young as four). The coaches took pride in congratulating their players, as they recognized their Home Run Club inductees, their own children, assistant coaches, and the parents. “We did a survey, and received tons of compliments on coaches,” shared Sullivan.
The ceremony concluded about an hour later, as the uniformed players met up with their teams one last time for photos. Pawling residents can look forward to Fall Ball, now open for registration.
A T-ball player accepts her trophy as the rest of her teammates’ names are called.