By Mike Kinney
For about a decade, the bats went silent in Richmond. The city lacked a Little League organization. Then in 2006, the city’s youth got its field of dreams in the form of community.
“The Richmond Police Activities League and YMCA formed Richmond Little League and Girls Softball,” said Mark Torres, the league’s president.
The league has added one more productive and affordable activity for local underserved youth.
“Being from the inner-city, we know that if we don’t keep these kids busy, they are going to keep themselves busy — and usually it’s not doing super positive stuff,” Torres said. “The parents love that they are here and love that kids want to be out here too.”
Every year, anywhere from 20 to 40 new kids sign up, perhaps because they’ve got siblings or other family who played. Torres is trying to reach out to more community members to encourage them to sign up.
The league doesn’t have a large budget to advertise that registration is currently underway. We encourage our readers to share this post to let your neighbors know.
The cost is $125 for girls and boys ages 7-16, and $75 for girls and boys ages 4-6 (teeball), or “a third less than every other league in the area,” Torres said.
Signups launch every year on Oct. 1 at the Richmond Police Activities League located at 2200 MacDonald Ave. in Richmond. They continue through Feb. 15, at which time teams have been formed.
“We do not have cuts,” Torres said. “We go ‘ first come, first serve ‘ with every kid in the community.”
Born and raised in Richmond, Torres, the league’s president for 11 years, said his kids stopped playing about six years ago.
“I continued on with Richmond Little League because I’m invested in this community,” he said. “I have at least 12 cousins in this league every year, so I am not going anywhere. I like doing this and the kids need this.”
Visit the Richmond Little League website here, and follow the program’s Facebook page for updates.