Springtime means baseball for 600 in Millstone league


MILLSTONE — The sound of "Play ball!" will ring out on Saturday as 600 boys and girls begin a new baseball and softball season in the Millstone-Roosevelt Little League.

While the first games will be played this weekend, official opening day ceremonies will be held on April 15 and feature team parades and a team banner contest.

Day and night games are played on five fields at the Millstone-Roosevelt Little League complex, Perrineville Road.

In the waning days of March, as he looked forward to a new season, Tim O’Reilly, the league’s vice president, said teams were completing their preseason workouts. Enrollment is up a bit from 1999, when 550 youngsters participated in league play.

Among the changes put in place this year by the Little League are:

• Criminal background checks to be conducted on all managers and coaches.

• Code of conduct given to all managers and coaches.

"We want the coaches to be more aware of activities on the field and of how they conduct themselves with the umpires and players," O’Reilly said of the code of conduct. "We’re really stressing good sportsmanship."

• Increased minimum playing time in training and development divisions (Minor League and below) to three innings (up from two innings). Teams bat through their roster in these divisions.

"This change will provide the impetus for coaches to carry out our mission to teach the game to players ages 7-10 in the instructional leagues," O’Reilly said.

• Junior baseball expanded to include 14-year-olds.

The Millstone-Roosevelt Little League will host a golf outing fund-raiser on May 12 at the Gambler Ridge Golf Course, Upper Freehold, and a tournament for teams of 10-year-olds following all-star competition in July. Squads from Hamilton, Nottingham, West Windsor and Allentown are expected to join Millstone-Roosevelt teams for the event, O’Reilly said.

Members of the board of directors of the league are: Pete Hum, president; Tim O’Reilly, vice president/umpire chief; Joe Celli, secretary/safety officer; Mike Hennessy, player agent; Vincent Pugliese, treasurer; Bob Guiliano, field maintenance; Mike Adler, purchase agent; Stan Sandford, auxiliary/Senior-Junior commissioner; Drew McKenna, fund-raising; Tom Cassera, concession stand manager; Mike Alfieri, commissioner, Majors; Kathy Ras, commissioner, Minors; Bob Rothschild, commissioner, Colonial; Rose McNiven, commissioner, Softball; Frank Kuziemski, commissioner, Tee Ball.