By Marìa Eugenia Fanti
How can you not love baseball? In the United States and Latin America is one of the most popular sports. The city of Doral does not escape this sports fever.
In Meadow Park, located at 58th street and 114 Avenue, you will find Doral Little League, a baseball league for children and young people. It has four divisions: TBall for children between 4 and 6 years old, Coach Pitch ranges from 6 to 9, Minors (8 -11) and Mayors (10-12). Open registration twice a year on spring and autumn.
Youngest children who belong to TBall division now have a new coach who came from New York with excitement and encouragement to teach these children. His name is Tom Spellman: “the most important thing is that the kids have fun, to be happy with what they do, for them no to feel pressured” he says, with a big smile.
TBall division trains twice per week, Mondays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and Thursday from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. Spellman told us that at the beginning of the week, he teaches children the rules of the game, such as throwing the ball and the class is at the field. The batting’s practice is on Thursday. "This is what the children like the most, we started practicing in the batting cages, I launched the ball to see how they are and then depending on the level we practice with a T, which places the ball and then, children can bat easily," says Spellman.
Franchesco is 4 years old. He has just started his baseball classes at TBall division. He feels very excitement about learning how to bat, his mother, Luz, says: "he likes it very much, recently I bought him a machine that launches balls and he always want to practice. I am trying to learn as much as possible about this sport to be able to help him".
According to Tom Spellman it is very important for parents to get involved, because the development and success of the children depends on it. "When arrive parents for the first time I tell them that they are also part of the team. They should practice with their children. If they have any questions I am always available to help them, it is very important that parents attend practices, to see their children and get involved."
In the league, there are 17 teams. TBall division’s teams are Mets, Dodgers and Braves. Each team has a different instructor; Spellman is the Braves’ coach. These kids play games alternately Friday and Saturday. "Each child during the game has a chance to bat, we have a coach in each base to help children catch the ball and run. This is a good experience for them because they begin to learn how to work as a team," said Spellman.
A bit of history
A summer of 1939, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Carl E. Stotz's gathers neighborhood children and devises the first rules and dimensions of a baseball program for boys, this was the beginning of the Little League.
Currently, Little League is a non-profit organization with an international program because it has regional centers in the United States and throughout the world.
In our country, all leagues have a district and a geographical area usually made up 10 to 20 leagues. Each district has an administrator who serves as a bridge between the Regional Headquarters and the local Little Leagues. Doral Little League is a local league, and as all leagues operate thanks to the voluntary work of its members, no trainer earns a salary, and all members do this as part of community service.
"At Doral Little League, they support me with anything I need, they help me, so I have no excuses. I do this work entirely on a voluntary basis, I try to organize my time to teach and to help children which is the most important thing," says Tom Spellman, coach of the Braves.
On the other hand, Spellman admits that when he was a kid his favorite sport was not baseball, and he did not consider himself as a fanatic, what motivated him to become a coach were his children, how they enjoy and learn with this sport. He also confessed to us that when he was a kid he loved to watch Dale Bryan Murphy, player of major league baseball who was especially remembered for his games in the Atlanta Braves.
Memories, deeds, fun, teamwork, self-esteem, as well as the benefits for physical health are some of the best reasons for children to practice sports. Doral Little League is a good start. The registration for the fall season began on April 20th. Parents can register their children online at: