Trail Little League steps up to the plate

Trail Minor Baseball Little League is in full swing on and off the field as players hit Andy Bilesky Park this weekend.

Trail Minor Baseball (TMB) Little League is in full swing on and off the field as players hit Andy Bilesky Park this weekend, and the league executive prepares to host the B.C. Minor Little League Baseball championship this summer.

It’s going to be another big season for TMB players, coaches, parents, officials, and fans as Trail and Andy Bilesky Park will be the site of the Little League 9-10 provincial championships July 12-19.

It’s a big event that hosts seven teams from around B.C. and all their supporters, family, coaches, and staff. But in order for  it to be the success the Little League Major provincial tournament was two years ago, the TMB Tournament Committee needs volunteers to help with the planning and running the event, as well as local businesses to step up as sponsors to help raise funds.

Tryouts for the Major and Minor provincial All-Star teams will go in June, but before all that, local players will begin development workouts this weekend.

On Saturday TMB will host aspiring young ball players in a primer called Come-try-baseball camp at Andy Bilesky Park going from noon-2 p.m. for ages 5-12.

“It’s for kids that have never played before,” said TMB president Darren Miracle.

On Monday and Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., the seven-to-nine-year-old players hit the diamond on the small field, while the 10-12 year-old players will play on the big field for evaluation practices.

“We should have two Major (teams) this year, and two minors, and the 7-8s look pretty good with Scott Wallace taking the reins of that and running the show there,” said Miracle. “ As for the older kids, we look like we’re going to be pretty good there too. Hopefully we have lots of kids. We’re hoping to have more than two teams.”

TMB also offers introductory and skill-developing programs for younger kids, offering Blast Ball and Rookie Ball this season.

Blast Ball offers youngsters the opportunity to learn the basics of hitting, throwing, running, and fielding using soft baseballs, wiffle and tennis balls and goes Mondays from 5-6 p.m.

Rookie Ball invites seven-to-eight year old players to come try it at a camp on Apr. 12 from 1:30  to 2:30 p.m.. Rookie Ball consists of smaller teams with maximum of nine players. Teams rotate between playing games and practicing skiils throughout the season, while using a sling arm pitching machine. Rookie Ball goes Mondays and Wednesday from 6-7 p.m.

TMB will open its regular season Apr. 26 with opening ceremonies scheduled for 1 p.m.. However, before the ceremonial first pitch is thrown, TMB requires someone to take over the concession and run it for the season.

“It’s quite a big undertaking . . . in the past we’ve had guys like Bob Moffat and Tracy Snary running the concession doing a great job, but all volunteer. But right now those people are gone and we need to fill those positions and hopefully someone steps up.”

The concession has been a substantial fundraiser for the TMB over the years, and while it is a committment, Miracle hopes someone with the time and ability will take over.

“It’s a huge help and now we are just figuring out how much of a help it was,” said Miracle.

The concession is open for three to five games per week, in addition to three tournament weekends and the 9-10 provincials.

Early-bird registration for Trail Minor Baseball continues until Apr. 8, where parents can sign up their kids at a discounted fee. The final day for registration is Apr. 15.

For more information go to traillittleleague.ca or contact Keith DeWitt at 231-8187 to volunteer for the upcoming provincials.

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