From the Democrat article on 6-26-15 by Matt Shortall;
Baseball has always been known as America's favorite pastime, but there might soon come a day when that's no longer true. As other high school and college sports grow in popularity, participation in baseball, specifically little league, has been steadily declining. One league feeling that trend is the Delaware Valley Little Fellows League, which just capped off its season-ending tournament. “Our numbers are down and have been going down for a long time,” said league president, Rob Taylor. “When I played in the mid 90s there were eight teams and since then the numbers have gone down and we now only have four teams.”This drop off in participation is threatening the existence of the league itself. “It is really 50-50 whether or not we will have a league next year,” said Taylor. “With less than four teams there's really no way you can have a league.”
The Delaware Valley Little Fellows League has explored the option of combining with the Cal Ripken Little League, according to Taylor, but there are obstacles. “Our two leagues have different age groups and also our league has about 15 kids from Pennsylvania and almost all of them would play in Honesdale rather than go to Jeffersonville, Livingston Manor or Roscoe,” he explained. “So us sending 25 kids to their league would only add one team to each of their divisions that only have three or four teams in them now.” Taylor added if the two leagues ever merged into one, there would have to be a discussion about combining teams into larger age groups.
The ultimate problem facing little league, however, is that more kids are trying out for other sports, like football, soccer and basketball. “Football season starts in early August and basketball goes into March,” said Taylor, “I think parents are so exhausted by spring that they want take the season off.”But all hope is not lost. There are efforts to rebuild little league numbers which will hopefully lead to an increase in the game's overall popularity. To accomplish this, Taylor wants to start instructing kids in baseball fundamentals from an early age.There are many communities, youth organizations and school districts that sustain athletic programs through clubs, camps and other activities for younger kids that teach the fundamentals of the sport.
Whether it's a runners club, pee wee football or AYSO, these outlets instill in their young athletes a love and appreciation of the sport that can be nurtured for years to come. “Next year we're going to start a five through seven-year-old instructional league,” said Taylor. “There hasn't been a program for kids that young in a long time and hopefully getting kids into our program at a younger age will keep the league alive.”
And keeping the league alive is the ultimate goal because baseball is an American tradition that deserves to be maintained. “We had about 40 kids in the league this season and it was a pleasure to be a part of it,” said Taylor. “You could really see how much better the kids got from April until June and it is a credit to our volunteer coaches.”
Pictures from the tournament can be found at
The Braves capped off their perfect season by winning the Inaugural season ending tournament. The Braves beat the Yankees and then the Dodgers 13-8 in the Championship game. The Dodgers beat the Cardinals to advance to the Championship. Owen Sager of the Braves was named tournament MVP.
Sonny's Service Center Braves (11) vs Clancy's Diner and Ice Cream Dodgers (3)
Delaware Valley Oil Cardinals (4) at Clancy's Diner and Ice Cream Dodgers (6)-- This was a classic Cardinals/Dodger matchup. It was 3-1 Dodgers going into the bottom of the 5th when the Dodgers score 3 Runs with Devin Taylor topping off the scoring with a (2)RBI triple..Reece Maopolski pitched 5 innings of 3 hit ball with 10 strikeouts but he ran out of gas and his brother Bryce game in the top of the 6th to finish what his bro started and got 2 quick strikeouts to start the inning and it looked like for once these two teams weren't gonna have a close score but with 2 outs Ryan F. Got a single and Taylor followed with a RBI single and Dallas walked Lars belted a 2 RBI single to make the game 6-3 with 2 outs..after a past ball there was runners on second and third when Adam belted a line drive single to left scoring Dallas but Zach Brown fired the ball in for a ending 7-6-2 play at home as Anthony Wagner made the tag on Lars to end the game..These two teams don't know how not to play a good little league game.
Clancy's Diner and Ice Cream Dodgers (3) at Sonny's Service Center Braves (8)- The Braves won the battle of Narrowsburg Thursday evening 8-3 over the Dodgers. Owen Sager was the winning pitcher striking out 12 in 4 innings. The Braves held the Dodgers to one hit for the game. Ryan Fredo was 3-3 with a double and Gavin Hauschild had 2 hits for the Braves. Reece Maopolski and Joey Curreri combined for 12 strikeouts on the mound for the Dodgers.
Freda Realty Yankees (0) at Sonny's Service Center Braves (15)- The Braves beat the Yankees 15-0 Tuesday night in Narrowsburg. Shane Cross was the winning pitcher for the Braves and helped his own cause with 4 hits at the dish including a triple and 2 doubles. Ryan Fredo had 2 doubles and Andrew Crandall added a double.
Sonny's Service Center Braves (5) at Clancy's Diner and Ice Cream Dodgers (1)- The Braves stayed undefeated by beating the Dodgers 5-1 Thursday night. Ryan Fredo and Joe Curreri dueled it out on the mound, neither one allowed a run through 4 innings. Fredo was dominant striking out 8. Curreri was matching him the whole way with solid defense behind him. The Braves bottom of the order came through for them in the 5th. Lexi Scheuren drove in the first run and Cameron Sullivan got on base allowing Shane Cross to drive in 2 runs. Ryan Fredo added to the Braves lead with a double that drove in Cross. Cody Powell finished the scoring with a RBI single. Bryce Maopolski the Dodgers RBI machine added another one for the Dodgers lone run. The Dodgers battled all night leaving 12 runners on base, one big hit and this game could have been entirely different.
Freda Realty Yankees (7) at Delaware Valley Oil Cardinals (8)
Clancy's Diner and Ice Cream Dodgers (17) at Freda Realty Yankees (0)- The Dodgers rebounded from a tough loss on Thursday by taking it to the Yankees 17-0. The Maopolski brothers led the Dodgers, Reece hit a Home Run and Bryce had 4 hits including a bases clearing double. Kaitlyn Brown got her first hit of the season and Tariq Gambari had a triple and 2 RBI's for the Dodgers. Ryan Sayers had a double and Timmy Dailey added a hit for the Yanks.
Delaware Valley Oil Cardinals (0) at Sonny's Service Center Braves (15)- The Braves continued their winning ways with a 15-0 shutout versus the Cardinals Monday night. Owen Sager was the winning pitcher striking out 13. Todd Marchesin was 4-4 with 4 RBI's, and Ryan Fredo was also 4-4 to pace the Braves offensive attack. Gavin Hauchild and Andrew Crandall added 2 hits apiece.
Clancy's Diner and Ice Cream Dodgers (11) at Freda Realty Yankees (12)- Two words......WALK OFF...Ryan Sayers with two outs in the bottom of the 6th hit a ball deep to right field, that managed to stay in the field of play and raced around the bases to give the Yankees their first win of the season. The Yankees and Dodgers came out firing in the first inning hitting through their lineups. The game was back and forth all night until Sayers game winning heroics. Zack Brown continued his impressive first season with 2 hits and Bryce Maopolski added 2 doubles and 3 RBI's for the Dodgers. Monday these two teams meet again in the rubber game of their season series.
Delaware Valley Oil Cardinals (2) at Sonny's Service Center Braves (23)- The Braves took no chances after being locked in a 2-2 tie with the Cardinals on Monday night, by trouncing the Cards on Thursday night 23-2. Ryan Forelli had a double and triple for the Cardinals. No other details on this game as of now.
Sonny's Service Center Braves (6) at Delaware Valley Oil Cardinals (3)-The Cardinals gave the Braves all they could handle Monday night but came up short losing 6-3. The game was tied 2-2 going into the 5th when Shane Cross hit a ball over the center field fence driving in 2 runs and putting the game out of reach for the Cards. Cross was the winning pitcher going 4+, and then Owen Sager got the last four outs for the Braves. Ryan Forelli pitched a complete game and Dallas Gombita had an RBI double for the team in red.
Freda Realty Yankees (10) at Clancy's Diner and Ice Cream Dodgers (18)- The Dodgers came back from a 10-8 deficit to beat the Yankees Monday night 18-10. Joe Curreri and Reece Maopolski both hit Home Runs for the Dodgers and Bryce Maopolski contributed 5 RBI's. Ryan Sayers had 3 hits for the Yanks, and Timmy Dailey added two hits for the club from Cochecton. Curreri was the winning pitcher and Dailey suffered the loss for the Yanks.
Clancy's Diner and Ice Cream Dodgers (1) at Delaware Valley Oil Cardinals (3)- These two teams keep playing tight low scoring games. On this day the Cards got the best of the Dodgers winning 3-1 in Conklin Hill. The Cardinals Ryan Forelli and Dallas Gombita combined for a no hitter. The Cardinals scored their 3 runs in the 4th inning when Taylor Warner drove in the first run with a double. Dallas Gombita had 2 hits and the game winning RBI. Bryce Maopolski and Joe Curreri combined for a 3 hitter but came up on the losing end.
Sonny's Service Center Braves (22) at Freda Realty Yankees (2)
Delaware Valley Oil Cardinals (18) at Freda Realty Yankees(2)- The Cardinals topped the Yankees in Cochecton Monday night 18-2. Ryan Forelli and Dallas Gombita combined to pitch a great game for the Cards. Lars Balthaser and Taylor Warner had key hits at the plate for the Cardinals. Ryan Sayers took the loss on the mound for the Yankees.
Freda Realty Yankees (0) vs. Sonny's Service Center Braves (17)-The Braves used a 10 run 1st inning to cruise to an opening day win. Owen Sager was the winning pitcher, and also added a home run. Timmy Dailey, Ryan Mace and Ryan Sayers all got on base for the Yankees.
Delaware Valley Oil Cardinals (2) vs. Clancy's Diner and Ice Cream Dodgers (5)-The Dodgers got the opening day win with a 5-2 victory over the Cards. Reese Maopolski threw a complete game with 14 strikeouts. Zach Brown in his first ever game had 2 hits and 4 stolen bases. Anthony Wagner anchored a stout Dodgers Defense. Dallas Gombita pitched a great game for the Cardinals but came out on the losing end.
Below is a story from the Times Herald Record from April 18, 2015, were not the only league hurting for players
City of Newburgh Little League president Jim Wilson worked the phones like a telemarketer for several months trying to recruit players. He even came up with a special cut-rate offer to attract registrants: $50. It’s an unheard of price to play Little League. Still, Newburgh's season kicked off this weekend with 68 players in a city of 29,000 people, leaving the program on the brink of folding. "I will fight to the death to save this league," Wilson said. Newburgh is clearly on life support, and several other local leagues are struggling with numbers as part of a national trend. According to District 19 administrator John Lacey, the district had about 18,000 players per year throughout the 1990s. Lacey said District 19, which makes up Orange and Sullivan counties and a small part of Ulster, now has fewer than 12,000 participants. "I've been a part of (District 19) for 25 years and I don't have an answer for it," Lacey said. "It's happening all over. I've talked to administrators across the state and even in Bristol, Conn. (home of Little League headquarters). Everyone is at a loss. I don't really have an answer."
Baseball has long been known as America's pastime. The sport conjures images of dads and kids playing catch in the backyard and barbecues and family bonding. But the game is losing popularity. Little League participation spiked in the 1990s, with about three million children playing in the baseball and softball divisions nationally. That number is 2.4 million today. District 19 is the largest in the state, comprising 28 leagues. Lacey said 65 percent of them have had a drop in participation numbers this year. Warwick's major boys (ages 9-12), for example, has fielded 10 teams in past years. Lacey said they have five teams this spring. Leagues such as Mamakating and Walden don't have enough players to form teams, so they compete in other leagues. Mamakating has teams in the Town of Wallkill and Middletown leagues. Walden has “interleagued’’ with Montgomery, Wallkill Area and Town of Newburgh. Jamie Cody, president of Otisville Little League, said about 190 players signed up this spring, 10 more than last year. Three years ago, however, Otisville had 340 players. "I think eventually we might have to combine with Minisink; it's going to happen," Cody said. "It's happening to a lot of leagues. Little League is great for the community. Everyone knows everyone. It's kind of sad." The trend can be attributed to several factors. Registration fees run anywhere from $125-$290.
Little League administrators will tell you that sports such as lacrosse and travel soccer steal players from the diamond. "I love a 1-0 baseball game," Cody said. "I'm on the edge of my seat coaching, but the kids are bored in the field. Maybe they think lacrosse and soccer is more exciting. Maybe they would rather be running around. I see a kid bunt, a kid steal - that's intense. But a lot of kids get bored." Lacey's predecessor, John Ward, said that different variations of travel ball, from Babe Ruth, American Legion, to Cal Ripken, have hurt Little League participation numbers as well. "I think travel ball has been hurting Little League for a long time," Ward said. "It's really doing a lot of leagues in. All the good kids are playing on these travel teams because there aren't as many restrictions and they are trying to get recognized to get a scholarship. Back in the day, they didn't have travel ball. I remember when I coached (Detroit Tigers closer) Joe Nathan in 16-18 year-olds (in the Town of Wallkill). That's all they had.’’ Ward coached Nathan in the early 1990s, when District 19 had 12 teams in the 16-18 division. Today, there is just one, in Chester. The team plays Rockland County squads. Lacey said five leagues have remained stable or grown slightly: Pine Bush, Cornwall, Washingtonville, New Windsor and Town of Wallkill. Pine Bush president Michael Rispoli said the league has 472 registrants, up from 430 two years ago. Rispoli estimated that Pine Bush had 550 players a decade ago. He said reasonable fees are key to Pine Bush's stability.
Cost is $150 per player, but parents volunteering to help with the fields or concessions get a $50 refund, an incentive used in many leagues. Families can earn another $20 back for selling raffle tickets. "Little League is a great community organization, but it's not the only game in town anymore," Rispoli said. "You have lacrosse, soccer and travel ball. A lot of parents want to pay anywhere from $350 to $1,000 to play travel ball. They get home and away uniforms, matching cleats and a bag to play elite baseball. But these kids all go to school together and are friends. They sit together in class and goof off. One kid might be a great shortstop and the other might not be that good. But they can put on the same uniform and play together." The City of Newburgh has tried to stay afloat for years while struggling with numbers. A league needs 80 players to compete. The City of Newburgh combined with the Town of Newburgh in 2013 and with New Windsor last year. This year, it has one senior-league team (ages 13-16) with 15 players that will play with Town of Newburgh and Wallkill Area. Wilson is talking with Walden and Montgomery about interleaguing with the City of Newburgh's two instructional (10-11) and major teams. The City of Newburgh has two Tee Ball teams (4-6). "Bottom line, we want the kids to play," Wilson said. "If the league folds, we would all be devastated."
All returning players are on the team they were on the previous year.
All new players receive Hat, Shirt, and Pants.....returning players receive Shirt and Hat Only! The Fee for all players is $45.00
The Delaware Valley Little Fellows League is the premier Little League in the area and is open to all children between the ages of 8 and 13. The child MUST turn 8 years old by June 1 and not turn 13 before April 1st. This is a 5 team league consisting of kids from all over Wayne County, PA and Sullivan County, NY.Players of all skill levels are encouraged to come out and play, everyone is welcomed!
If you have any questions do not hesitate to call the League President Rob Taylor @ 845.701.1705 or email DVLFL@hotmail.com
Little League baseball guarantees to give you memories that last a lifetime!