Photos by Carin Ehrenberg
All-star squads from the four Little Leagues listened to the Downtown Little League team’s manager, Matthew Bogdanos, in foreground, talk about military service.
BY DANIEL JEAN-LUBIN | The third annual Downtown Little League Memorial Day Tournament was three days of action-packed games, with all-star rosters from four Little League programs from across the city.
Fielding teams for two age groups — 9 to 10 and 11 to 12 — Downtown Little League, Peter Stuyvesant Little League and Harlem Little League all delivered the best representatives of their respective leagues. For its part, Greenwich Village Little League entered two teams of 11- and 12-year-olds.
The tournament’s format allowed for the age-9-to-10 teams to play three games each over Saturday and Sunday, with a double-elimination championship and also a consolation game on Sunday. The championship match saw Harlem beat Peter Stuyvesant Little League 17-9 at Con Ed Field.
Meanwhile, the 11-to-12s tournament included four games for each team over Friday night and Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings. The championship game and consolation games were Monday afternoon.
Before the championship game, at Battery Park field, Downtown Little League’s team manager, Matthew Bogdanos, a former Marine colonel, spoke to the players about military service and his own experiences as a Marine. The players and coaches from all four leagues, lined up on the field, across the street from the 9/11 Memorial, doffed their caps and all had a moment of silence and remembrance.
In the 11-12s championship game, it was Greenwich Village’s A Squad versus Harlem Little League.
“It was an exciting, tight game with excellent pitching, fielding and batting,” said Carin Ehrenberg, Downtown Little League’s executive vice president.
Greenwich Village took a quick 5-run lead in the first inning. But Harlem, loaded with talented players in their own right, clawed their way back inning by inning.
As the game entered the sixth and final inning, the Villagers led 6-5. All looked to be lost for Harlem until, in the bottom of the sixth, with two outs, the Uptowners were able to send one more run home and tie the game. The contest stretched into extra innings, and in the bottom of the ninth, with two outs and two men on, Harlem took the championship with a walk-off homerun! Final score, Harlem 9, G.V.L.L. 7.