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Warsaw Little League teaches kids the value of teamwork

Screenwriter / Matt Keating
Photograph provided

Tony Clay of Warsaw Little League says the league is valuable for youngsters.

“Warsaw Little League is a 501(c)(3), which certainly teaches kids the value of teamwork, dedication, discipline, physical fitness and conflict resolution,” says Clay . “Baseball is one of the great masters of the game of life. It’s a game that can really knock you down emotionally, so learning to deal with it in a game setting turns the diamond into a classroom if you, the player , let it take as a lesson. We like to think that players take those lessons with them into their lives and are inspired by them.

Clay served as league president for three years until last August when he became treasurer. He says the program benefits the whole community. It also brings together families, friends and residents of Warsaw.

“Warsaw Little League benefits the whole community as a fantastic activity that can be enjoyed by all ages,” says Clay. “Players between the ages of 4 and 18 will play at our parks on various teams, and with them come siblings, parents, grandparents, teachers and former coaches. The pleasant game day environment at the ballpark is truly a great and therapeutic place for people to leave the troubles of the world behind for a little while. When 50,000 people walk through the doors each year, that’s a lot of much-needed stress relief in these ever-changing times.

The league, which completed its 70th season in 2021, has been a positive way to bring different generations together.

“Warsaw Little League has had multi-generational families across the ballpark,” Clay says. “We have grandparents who watch their T-ballers play and who have also played their baseball games at our current facilities or at previous venues. One of our very first coaches, Charlie Ker, started here just after his senior year of high school in 1952. When he had children later in life, he coached his own boys as a coach. 60 years about 40 years later. Charlie is rightly immortalized on the Warsaw Little League Wall of Fame, citing invaluable service to the league.

Warsaw Little League leaders hope to have their first season of Challenger Baseball, which is a league specifically for community members with special needs who want to play the game.

“It would fill a need in our area because the closest Challenger Division is in Concord Little League,” Clay said. “We are always excited about our spring and fall seasons, which serve approximately 700 players combined. We also have the Warsaw Community High School Junior Varsity Season, which uses our park as a playground most of the time.

Clay says the league brings out the best in everyone.

“What I personally love most about the league is that I love that kids of all skill levels can go out to the old ballpark and spend hundreds of hours of quality time with coaches and friends – time that will hopefully create positive, happy memories that they can take with them throughout their lives and hopefully when they return to the ballpark as a coach, referee or fan,” Clay says. “To see a generation of children roaming our park over the past 12 years has been a real joy. I can no longer go anywhere in Warsaw without seeing one of “my children”.

Warsaw Little League

Warsaw Little League has spanned several generations of baseball players with an ever-growing roster of volunteer board members.

“As with most charities, its strength depends on its volunteer strength, and we are always on the lookout for new people who can add their skills to the mix,” says Clay. We invite anyone interested in helping to email [email protected] »

For more information, visit warsawlittleleague.com.

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