Youngsters set for diamond play in Allentown-Upper Freehold

By mark rosman

ALLENTOWN — Opening-day ceremonies scheduled for Saturday will see 310 boys and girls from Allentown and Upper Freehold Township ring in the 2000 youth baseball and softball seasons.

The Allentown-Upper Freehold Little League will host a parade and team introductions in ceremonies beginning at noon on the baseball fields at Allentown High School. Several games will then be played, according to Bill Morris, vice president of the league.

The league is growing in enrollment by about 10 percent each year as new homes are being built in Upper Freehold, he said. The league’s tee-ball league has expanded from four to six teams this spring and may be adding a seventh team in the near future.

The league is open to boys and girls from Allentown and Upper Freehold age 5 and up. All of the 5-year-olds play in the tee-ball league, which Morris said is a good time for the children, and the adults who help the youngsters get their first taste of the sport.

Boys and girls also play in the Junior League for 6- and 7-year-olds. This league features coaches doing the pitching and a lot of instruction, Morris added.

As the youngsters move up, 8- and 9-year-old boys join the Minor League for baseball and 8-and 9-year-old girls join the Junior League for softball.

On the Major League level, 10- through 12-year-olds play baseball and softball in separate leagues on full-size Little League fields.

Morris said as league officials cast an eye toward the future, they are attempting to rekindle interest in Senior League baseball and softball for 13- through 15-year-olds.

Ed Kubik is president of the Allentown-Upper Freehold Little League. Other board members are Bill Morris, vice president; Doug Walsh, vice president, girls softball; Kit Ruggieri, secretary; Fred Payson, player agent; Chuck Wiedman, treasurer; and Al Mottola, safety director.