by Joseph Kirchner
This year marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of Little League Baseball in the United States, a great American institution. Thurmont Little League celebrates sixty-one glorious years of playing America’s pastime, with expectations for a great 2014 season! From its humble beginnings way back in 1953—when they played on just one field located near the old shoe factory on Apples Church Road—to today’s beautiful Thurmont Little League Complex with five fields, this enterprise owes a great debt of gratitude to its founding fathers, namely Daniel Waybright, Ray Felix, Paul Hahn, Doug Buchanan, Paul Schaefer, John Strine, and Charles “Hamp” Spalding. Today, President Mike Randall and Vice-President Ed Lowry provide enthusiastic, dedicated leadership to build upon the strong foundation laid by their predecessors.
Thurmont Little League has a very rich history. It is currently the largest youth sports association in Northern Frederick County, boasting active spring and fall seasons and a membership of over three-hundred area boys and girls, ranging in age from 4-18 years old. Not only does it offer a wonderful opportunity to develop teamwork, sportsmanship, and a strong sense of community, the Thurmont Little League also enjoys a great tradition of success, having won numerous District Titles, as well as its most recent State Title in 2005.
Mike Randall and Ed Lowry have had an extremely busy “off-season,” making countless capital improvements to the clubhouse and to the playing fields, as well as organizing registration for what is certain to be the biggest year ever. With the help of generous volunteers (who are always greatly appreciated by the hardworking officers), new electrical services are in place and several completed clubhouse projects now make this venue both safer and more attractive. The playing fields are also greatly enhanced by the completion of many major renovations, including upgrades to the batting cages, 1,500 pounds of clay added to the Minor/Major Fields, drainage added to the Minor Field, re-cuts on both the Major/Minor infields, newly installed home plates and bases, and newly built pitcher’s mounds and batter’s boxes on the Minor/Major Fields. All in all, the Complex is in great condition for the upcoming 2014 season.
Both Ed and Mike are quick to point out that as important as these capital projects are, the heart and soul of Thurmont Little League is the wonderful friendships it encourages. With a sixty-one year history, many of today’s players are the third and fourth generations to participate in the rich tradition of Thurmont Little League. Here is where cherished, lifelong memories are made. Mike proudly proclaims, “This is an exciting opportunity where you can come with a four-year-old child to play T-ball, and play the sport of baseball until you’re eighteen years old, all here in your hometown with great competition and your friends right here in your backyard.”
Significantly, the officers make sure that no one is turned away from Thurmont Little League. All are invited and all are guaranteed the wonderful opportunity to play baseball. The Thurmont Little League is a proud partner with the District 2 Challenger League, which provides support for players with physical or developmental disabilities to participate in baseball to the maximum of their individual abilities. In fact, the 2006 Thurmont Civitan Challenger team was selected by President and Mrs. Bush to play T-ball at the White House with Willie Mays as Commissioner. Moreover, in 2012, Thurmont was proud to host the Maryland State Challenger Jamboree.
Whether you are a native to this area or a newcomer, Mike and Ed invite you to sign up for the 2014 season. Opening Day on Saturday, April 12, 2014, will be an all-day affair, marked by many festivities at the Thurmont Little League Complex. Of course, if you would like to coach or volunteer to help in any way, Mike and Ed would love to hear from you.
Online registration is available at their websites: http://www.eteamz.com/thurmont for Little League and www.eteamz.com/thurmontbaberuthleague for Babe Ruth. You may contact President Mike Randall by phone at 301-271-3958 or by e-mail at Michael.email@example.com.
Also visit “Thurmont Little League and Babe Ruth” on Facebook.