Area officials discuss future of baseball in Lake County
BALDWIN — Lake County 4-H Little League Activities were successful this season with the recent end of an expanded summer program.
The league’s Board of Directors met Tuesday night with other interested youth baseball community members to discuss the past, present and future. Lee Moore is the president of the board, while Jerry TenBrink serves as vice president, Jason Moore as secretary and John Kirwin as treasurer.
Bill Buckley, the ages 10-13 division coach was also at the meeting.
The Little League was revised this season.
“In prior years, 4-H was totally responsible for Little League,” Moore said. “As a result of some administrative issues, the Little League had to become a separate club that responded to the principles of Little League. Our goal in essence was to use baseball to adapt to some of the guiding principles of Little League.”
The organization is actually more of a youth league that presently is not under the umbrella of Little League International.
“It’s allows 4-H to channel some of their resources to baseball,” Moore said.
There were more numbers in T-Ball, plus coach pitch teams this season. Buckley worked with a 10-13-year-old teams that traveled to Scottville. Last year, there were 30 participants while the totals were more than double this season. The community got more involved and dugouts were constructed at the T-Ball field.“We want to use baseball to teach the boys and girls citizenship, enhance their overall learning abilities,” Moore said. “We use baseball to teach teamwork required to exist in today’s world.”
Buckley and Moore are hoping to have enough participants to have softball in the future.
Buckley said the Scottville League director will come to a meeting and help the Lake County area establish a similar program.
“He’s going to put 13-15-year-old boys we didn’t have this year in the West Shore League. They’ll play Hart, Pentwater...those types of teams,” Buckley said. “We will have games here next year. They go to Reed City so they can come here too.”
“Our goals would be able to support a youth baseball team representing Baldwin,” Moore said. “That’s our goal. It’s more difficult than it sounds because you can’t pull nine kids off the street. We have become more aware of what it will take to have a viable team.”
Baseball coaches include JerryTenbrink Sr. and Jr., Sue Hawthorne, Dave and Nicole Sanders, Leroy Lewis, Perry Pieske, Jason Moore, John Kirwin, Susan Rosenagle, Eva Palmer, Buckley and Moore and numerous volunteers.
League officials hope to start next season early May and go until mid-July.