Ticonderoga Whether they grew up to become Mike Trout or Mike from accounting, almost anyone who ever played the game of baseball started out with a bat and a tee.
For the 15th year, the Ticonderoga Tee Ball League will open its season with the goal not only to teach youngsters the game, but to also teach sportsmanship, friendship, and confidence.
Tabitha Woods, league founder and president, said she is pleased with the leagues development over the past decade-and-a-half.
“We started out with nine teams of 15 kids each and each child received only a hat and tee shirt, playing at the school next to the playground,” Woods said. “The number of kids have pretty much stayed the same, but now full uniforms are provided to each child. In 2007 the kids raised enough money and the EMA club was generous enough to lend out property so the league could build their own playing field, dedicating it to Philip Frazier, an 11 year-old boy who died in a house fire.”
The league has filtered players into the little league programs and up through the Ticonderoga varsity baseball and softball programs. In all, Woods estimates that 1,600 kids have been part of the league.
“So many children have come through our league, and not forgetting all the volunteers as well,” Woods said. “We would like to send out a very big thank you to all of those volunteers throughout the years, you never truly realize how much you really are appreciated to most as well as all of our sponsors throughout the years.”
Over the span of the program, Woods said the organizers of the league try their best to meet the needs of all the kids.
“The children enjoy playing, they have built a field of their own, our banquet is much bigger and has more awards to offer to the kids and volunteers,” Woods said.
Opening Day for the 2014 season for the seven participating teams will take place Monday, May 5, 5:30 p.m. at the Philip Frazier Field.
League sponsors include Libby’s Bakery Cafe, Napa, RB Motors, Trout House Resort, EMA, Reale Construction, Elks, Ticonderoga Federal Credit Union and the Knights of Columbus.