ElmJack Little League Celebrates Opening Day with Festival
EAST ELMHURST — For kids in western Queens, it's time to play ball.
The spring season of the ElmJack Little League starts Saturday with a festival and an unveiling of its freshly-painted dugouts and facilities, according to coach and organizer Rob Isea, 43.
Players will also get a visit from Mister Wristband, who makes custom armbands for players to wear out on the field on 19th Avenue and 78th Street.
The league has been supporting baseball in western Queens since 1953, and there are currently more than 270 kids from ages four to 14 playing the game, he said.
Isea, who lives in Forest Hills, played in the league as a kid and became involved with the program again when he registered his son, who's now 8, for T-Ball.
"ElmJack's gritty, the coaches are tough, and that's what I wanted," he said.
He now coaches elementary school players in both the spring and Snowflake league, which runs through the fall.
In addition to regular baseball, ElmJack will host an MLB-sponsored skills event at the field on April 26, where players can learn how to improve their pitching, hitting and base running skills.
For Isea, returning to his former Little League has been rewarding, especially as he's watched his own son and other players improve.
"The kids are fantastic," he said. "They learn over time with tough love."
Registration for the regular season is closed, but Isea said parents who are interested can send their information to the league in case there's space for additional players. They can email ElmJackLL@aol.com and visit the league's website for more information.