Volume 81, Number 2 | June 9 - 15, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Photo by Steve Sutton

The Greenwich Village tournament team celebrating winning the “Lower Manhattan Cup,” held aloft by Manager Daniel Miller.

‘Villagers’ dominate in Downtown tournament action

By Tim Lalumia

There’s no better time than spring, to take a drive in the country. Yet now, sitting in the partially jacked-up family minivan, waiting for a roadside “assist,” I can only dream of covered bridges, tree-lined, dirt roads...mom, apple-rhubarb pie... . Wait, I can write the article about Greenwich Village Little League baseball I’ve putting off since before it was due for last week’s edition.

Now that summer is only a couple degrees away (theoretically) the super-sweep of a tournament weekend the G.V.L.L. “Villagers” just completed only hints at the potential for the “big” tournament coming this summer. As noted previously in this column, the competition becomes fierce, but this team clearly has the potential to give other teams a run for the roses..., umm, hot dogs.

The small but mighty Villagers, outscored three other Downtown teams 59 to 10, in five straight massacres. The hitting was powerful, led by Jack Miller — who also pitched two nearly flawless games for wins, giving up only one earned run. Miller went 10 for 14 with a leadoff homer in the third game.

Other highlights included Ben Crowson’s focused pitching and three-run homer in the second game, and hot gloves at both corners by Trevor Lalumia and Soyer Epstein in left field. Chase Sutton contributed with his first homer, and Johnny Calleluce batted 6 for 7, with Ian Sure anchoring the line up going 9 for 12. RBIs were plentiful by all and an inside-park homer (though driven by numerous errors) kept the fans cheering for this exciting outfit.

The Villagers went 4-0 in the tournament and then won the championship game easily, against a Downtown Little League of great size and girth.

Three out of the five games were won by mercy rule (ahead by 10 runs after the fourth inning).

Wrapping up the regular season and first round of G.V.L.L. playoffs this past weekend, the Orioles beat the Blue Jays 2-1 in the three-game series. This despite the best defensive showing of the season of any team in the division, by the Jays. Drew Rosen led the way with not one but two spectacular running/diving outfield grabs. In the end, thanks to pitching by Benji Freeman and a two-run homer by Mike Weiss, the O’s prevailed, but not without a nail-biting, hard-battled series, from start to finish.


Photo by TIm Stewart

The G.V.L.L.’ers taking the field after their third decisive win.


The Mariners topped the Athletics in two straight. Much was made of some questionable calls, but in the end, it all somehow equaled out, as it always does. These big to-dos always seem to whine about how the umpire did this or didn’t do that, which never fails to remind me why baseball (the game of grass growing) can get the best of even the calmest fans (parents). The reason is that, like no other sport, the “ump” is as much a part of the actual game as the ball itself. Had the bases not arrived before the officiating crew, all those years ago, the game might have been called Umpball, which often appears more appropriate.

Don’t forget, these people must make a judgment call on every single play, and sometimes it happens too fast or they simply could not see it well enough. They are human so they err. Unfortunately, they often do it when the tension is high to begin with. It’s a tough job, no doubt.

G.V.L.L. concludes its American League season this weekend with a best-two-out-of-three matchup between the Mariners (1st place) and the Orioles (2nd place). Both squads feature powerful pitching and dynamic hitting. The games will be played at J.J. Walker Field, at Hudson and Clarkson Sts., at 6 p.m. Friday night; Saturday at 10 a.m.; and if needed, Sunday at 3 p.m. Admission is free and the entertainment level quite enormous, even if you only watch the stands.

These two teams both want to be champions, especially after this grueling 16-game season...at least for their parents, who have alternately baked and frozen on the cement grandstand since late April.

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