Riverhead Little League celebrated its 60th anniversary at this year’s opening day festivities at Stotzky Park Saturday, with a special guest appearance by former Mets legend Mookie Wilson. (Photos below.)
The players marched with their coaches onto the field, where they were greeted by Riverhead Town Board members and Long Island Ducks mascot ‘Quacker Erjack’.
This is the first year in the league’s history the teams are named after Major League Baseball teams, made possible in part by theshowbaseball.com’s ‘The Show’ League Uniform Program, which also helped fund Mookie Wilson’s appearance.
League president Tony Sammartano also gave out two awards to league board members Joe and Sheila Cuccia, for all their hard work and devotion to the league. There are 38 teams with 550 children playing baseball, softball and t-ball this season.
Dr. Michael Cimminello, an orthopedic surgeon who pitched for the Detroit Tigers in 1996, was there representing Peconic Bay Medical Center, which provided first aid kits to all the teams.
Riverhead High School senior Stephen Peppaceno sang the National Anthem and Pastor Jerry Halpin emceed for the event.
Mookie Wilson threw out the first pitch to Riverhead Cardinals player Christopher Timpone of Aquebogue. Riverhead High School softball pitcher Amanda Commins threw out the first softball pitch.
Mr. Wilson then signed baseballs, posed for photos with players.
“Have fun,” he told them, “because you’ll never be young again.”
Games started last week and continue through July, with the All-Star Game to be played in early June.
Read a history of Riverhead Little League in this week’s News-Review newspaper.