April 1, 2013
To all members of the Great Kills Little League (GKLL) Community:
For those of you who do not know me I played my Little League Baseball at GKLL having grown up in Eltingville. I currently reside in Richmondtown with my wife Stephanie and four (4) boys; all who have played at GKLL. I joined the GKLL Board of Directors in 2001 where I served as their Insurance Coordinator and as a Player Agent. In 2010, I was elected to the position of Vice-President & President of Baseball where I served in that capacity until this past September when I was elected President. I have also served as a volunteer Manager for over fifteen (15) years at GKLL. Those of you who know me best will attest that my first and foremost priority is Little League Baseball. I believe Little League Baseball is the one place where every child has the potential to be part of a team and feel like a star. Unlike Travel Baseball (which I do support and strongly believe in), Little league Baseball is, in my opinion, the best environment to allow your child to learn the game of Baseball in a more relaxed environment while experiencing all levels of talent on one team (as opposed to a travel team where every player is talented and position and batting order rotation if very limited).
My presidency started off in October during some very difficult times. Hurricane Sandy had hit our community very hard and many of our league members had lost all or essentially everything they owned. Hurricane Sandy also took the lives of two very fine men; John Filippowicz Sr. and John Filippowicz Jr.; both who I am proud to say I knew for over a decade. John Sr. served GKLL as a Manager, Coach and Director for many years while John Jr. Played at GKLL from Tee Ball through the Major Division. These two fine men lost their lives way to young and I ask that you all join me in keeping the entire Filippowicz family in our thoughts and prayers.
If anything good came out of Hurricane Sandy it was the manner in which the GKLL Community came together in times of trouble and coordinated an effort under the leadership of our Board of Directors to help our community. Our efforts proved helpful in that we set up a command station in our clubhouse enabling us to distribute hundreds of bags full of clothes, food and supplies to victims throughout our community. GKLL’s Directors and League Members in conjunction with Cap Ripken Baseball of Great Kills and Staten Island United Federation Baseball also organized a baseball tournament / Fundraiser that helped us raise in excess of $50,000 that was distributed to our league members in need of help the week before Christmas. We also assisted in feeding hundreds of Midland Beach residents over the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend. All of the GKLL Sandy Relief Efforts were truly the result of a collective effort by the GKLL Directors and League Members who donated so much of their time to make this all happen. I thank all that were involved in these efforts from the bottom of my heart.
Our 2013 Season has unofficially kicked off last week with the commencement of our annual “Easter Tournament”. This tournament is an excellent way to get our teams some actual game experience before the official commencement of our season which is this Saturday, April 6th (GKLL “Opening Day”). Our Opening day festivities will begin this Saturday, April 6th with a parade that will commence in Great Kills Town (right in front of the GK Train Station and Nonna’s Pizzeria) at 9:30am. I would like all teams to begin lining up between 9:00am and 9:15am on the morning of the parade. All parents are encouraged to contact their respective managers or coaches to find out where their child’s exact meeting place will be that morning if you have not been previously notified. Following the Parade, which will end at the GKLL Complex, we will have a brief opening day ceremony which will include a number of honored guests and dignitaries at which point the first pitch will be throw and off we go.
As the new President of GKLL I do insist on a few rules that we would like to see respected at the complex. Please keep in mind that GKLL is an organization that is comprised of volunteer members and directors. NOBODY gets paid for their service as a Director. Please be respectful of what you do with your garbage. There are over a dozen garbage receptacles located conveniently throughout the complex and I ask that everyone make a collective effort to discard your trash accordingly. I also ask that all parents treat the umpires with respect. Please remember many of the umpires and young men who are working to help put them through school and we would ask that you treat them the way you would want your own son treated in a similar situation.
2012 proved to be yet another successful year for GKLL. Our 12 year American All Star Team under Manager Nelson Ortiz captured the Staten Island (Little League District #24) Title and went on to play very deep in the NYC Sectionals. Our 10 Year Old American All Star Team under manager Jerry Huntzinger successfully advanced to the Staten Island (Little League District #24) Championship game where they fell just a little short to South Shore Little League. Our 11 Year Old American All Star Team under manager Frank Cambria not only captured the Staten Island (District #24) Title but also won the NYC and NY State Little League Championship titles. I believe the success of our teams in the All Star Tournaments is a testament to the many great volunteer managers and coaches we have at all levels at our league.
As far as the Safety and Security of your Child / Children, nothing is more important at GKLL. We have invested in a very sophisticated camera / surveillance system that has almost every inch of the complex on camera. We invested in this technology to make certain the complex is being watched 24/7. We have also spent the money to make certain every Director at the complex is trained in CPR, Basic First Aid and in the AED Defibulator Machine (located in our garage on the complex).
At this time I would like to extend my most sincere thank you to Frank Cambria and the entire Cambria Family. For those of you who do not know Frank Cambria, he served as GKLL’s President for the past ten (10) years and remains involved in GKLL today as my League Vice President, President of Baseball and “Confidant”.
If you look around the complex you will see a number of completed projects that been achieved as a result of both the hard work of the Directors and volunteer league members of GKLL and the generosity of the Great Kills Community over the past several years. It was Frank’s leadership and vision that initiated these projects and allowed them to come to completion. I would also like to thank Ed Rice for donating so much of his time and structural expertise to GKLL. Ed is a big part of why our complex looks the way it does today. I would also like to thank Eric Flashner and Master Mix for donating so much of the concrete to our Little League. Thanks to Eric and master Mix GKLL saved thousands of dollars which can now be used to further improve our fields in other ways.
In summary I am extremely excited to serve the Great Kills Little League Community as your President. I fully recognize that I have some very big shoes to fill and assure you all that I am up for the challenge. I would like to think that I am a very approachable person and with that encourage anyone to contact me directly with any questions you may have at 917-747-7541 or GKLittleLeague@gmail.com.
Robert D. Crocitto
The Great Kills Little League, Inc.