America’s classic sport of baseball is still alive in the town of Bergenfield, NJ. Sign-ups have begun for recreational baseball and already kids are getting ready for the upcoming season. The Bergenfield program is split into three divisions with junior league covering kids ages 13 and 14, senior league for kids 15 through 16, and finally big league for 17 and 18 year olds. Every year, the junior league tends to draw in the most players.
“I want to get the seniors strong again, we once had three teams and now we struggle for one. I would also love for the big league to catch on in Bergenfield; the town of Dumont has a team this year,” said Vinny Malley, vice president of the Bergenfield Baseball Program. “The junior program is strong but the senior program is getting weaker and weaker trying to compete with club baseball and video games. The big league is a struggle just trying to find teams to play.”
Although there is a need to fill spots on older age group teams, the program continues to support a range of talented and dedicated coaches who work with kids to enhance their skills.
“I have coached baseball for 19 years including, 13 years of little league and 10 years of BBL. there were four years when I coached both,” said Malley. “I have preached that the only thing anyone can ask of you is to do your very best, play hard, and to try and get better every day. Most importantly, sports get the kids away from their video games and teach teamwork and achievement. I cannot begin to tell you how many memorable moments I’ve experienced coaching Rec [recreational] sports.”
Despite the many distractions that surround children in the modern age, there are always those who choose to join a team and become enriched by the ideals passed down by their coaches and teammates, and baseball in Bergenfield is no different.
“Our league has won many District Championships, section championships and we even played in a state championship which we did not win. We have had a very successful program which seems to be losing momentum,” said Malley. “Currently, we have enough kids for two junior teams and as of now we do not have enough kids for a senior team. I really want to see this program survive, I have been there from a kid’s first hit to a game winning hit, you never know when they are going to happen and I only experienced them because I was involved, I would not trade those moments for anything.”