2004-05-28 / Sports

Rockaway Little League Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

By Marty Andresen

Rockaway Little League Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

By Marty Andresen

Rockaway Little League has been up and running for 50 seasons (1954-2004). We have 65 teams and more than 1,000 boys and girls ages 4 to 14. Many people make the league possible especially our sponsors. 

Here are the sponsors listed by division:

T-Ball (ages 4-5): we have 7 teams- Sweet N Low, Brown’s Hardware, The Beach Club, Papa’s Pizza, Harbor Optics, Rockaway Irish Boys C.H.-C.L., and Busy Bee Learning Center. 

Peewee Jr’s (7-8):  Rockaway Chamber of Commerce, Chris Cori #11, American Legion#272, Ridgewood Savings Bank, Lawrence Pharmacy, Peninsula Hospital, Walsh Properties Inc., Multiviez, Rockaway Sluggers, Two Brothers Construction, Rockaway Irish Boys C.H.-C.L., East Meets West, Frank’s Carpentry. 

PeeWee Sr (7-8): Plum Tomatoes, Sammy’s Variety, Condor Pest Control, Rockaway Rugby, Trident Marine Surveyors, Mirkin Vision Care, Kennedy’s Restaurant, Papa’s Pizza, V.I.P. Fire Prevention.

Minor Girls (8-10): Walsh Properties, Rockaway Sunset Diner, O’Grady’s Plumbing, Cross County Federal Savings, Papa’s Pizza, Rockaway Rotary, Flynn and Flynn Attorneys at Law, J.Caizzo Plumbing and Heating. 

Major Girls (11-13): George’s Florist, Pickles ‘N Pies, Papa’s Pizza, The Gift is Love, ATP Insurance, Harbor Optics.  Minor Boys (9-10)- Breezy Point Lumber, Harbor Light Restaurant, McManus Mechanical, V&B Auto, Esposito Chiropractors, Tracy Real Estate, Fenner & Gravitz Public Adjusters, Trieber-Roberts Insurance, Apex Technical School. 

Major Boys (11-12): DoorMax, Papa’s Pizza, Daly-Demarco’s Dodgers, The Wave, Plaza King, Litchenstein’s Lions, V.I.P. Fire Prevention, Lawrence Pharmacy. 

Junior Boys (13-14): Knights of Columbus, Mocean, Quigley Insurance, All-State Insurance.

I have been doing this for 31 years. We started playing in 1954 and I became involved in 1973 when we were playing at Field #1 and#2 by Neponsit Home. We had 200 players and 20 teams. In 1983 we moved Rockaway Little League to 102nd between Beach Channel High School and PS180.  We went from 20 teams to 45 teams and added a T-Ball and PeeWee division.

In 1994 we moved to Fort Tilden, our current home. We have 5 fields: Field #1 T-Ball 100 foot fence, Field#2 Peewee 140 foot fence, Field#3 Minor Girls and Boys 200 foot fence, Field #4 Major Boys and Girls 200 foot fence, Field #5 Junior Boys 300 foot fence.

I couldn’t do this without the help of the coaches, parents and most of all the wonderful boys and girls, which make up Rockaway Little League.  Danny Stroke maintains the field and facilities. The Vice-President who does it all is Rick Ehrsman. 

There are many people who help us logistically behind the scenes, especially Muriel and John Donohue. The concessions have been maintained by several people, most notably John Cuneen and presently Mike Cerrone. 

There are many other people who have helped build this league in the past such as Jimmy Roberts, Charlie Brady, Tom Lee, John Gillespie and host of many other great people. Also I extend my gratitude to the past treasurers Frank Finn, Frank Bagley, and the current treasurer John Duggan. 

I would also like to thank the politicians who have aided the league throughout its existence- Audrey Pheffer, Joe Addabbo, and Anthony Weiner. Today we have a program with 1,000 boys and girls with a great future- 30 of the teams are ages 4-8. 

As an organization we put more than $400,000 into the fields and every year we improve and get better. People think I am crazy for putting so many hours into this program, but if I could do it all again I would. This is all for the kids. The players that I used to coach now have their children playing in the league. 

We have 4 new scoreboards that are dedicated to special people in our league who helped us get to where we are today. John Quadrozzi helped us turn the desolate area of the fort into 5 beautiful fields. Another scoreboard is dedicated to Audrey Pheffer who helped us in many ways. The other is dedicated to our friend who coached and worked in the concession- John Cuneen. The last is dedicated to a former player- Michael Christopher Cuneen. 

We will have our in- house Rockaway Little All-Star games in June.  The traveling All-Stars will begin in late June. Good luck to the players and coaches. T-Ball and Pee-Wee Junior have no playoffs, however all other divisions will have standings posted in a few weeks. I invite everyone to come on down to watch some world-class baseball played by Rockaway’s own young athletes.


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