Merillon Sports Association and New Hyde Park North Little League celebrated the start of their 70th anniversary season by parading though New Hyde Park with players, families, neighbors and staff on a beautiful spring morning.
The parade stepped off from Notre Dame Church and made its way up New Hyde Park Road to Marcus Avenue to the Merillon Sports Complex ballfields. The players, aged 4-12, were all adorned in their game day baseball uniforms and escorted along the parade route by Nassau County Police, Nassau County Auxiliary Police, New Hyde Park Fire Department, Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department, Garden City Park Fire Department, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation and Nassau County Firefighters Pipes and Drums.
The on-field celebration was hosted by Merillon Sports Association President Tom Murphy and got underway with our National Anthem. God Bless America and America The Beautiful were performed by Nassau County Firefighters Pipers and Drums. The Little League welcomed Town of North Hempstead dignitaries Town Clerk Wayne Wink, Jr., Deputy Commissioner of Parks John Darcy and 2nd District Councilman Peter Zuckerman. After remarks from each guest, which included a proclamation presented to New Hyde Park Little League by Wink on the accomplishment of providing baseball to the community for 70 years, the town officials sang a rousing rendition of Take Me Out To The Ballgame to the delight of the crowd.
Tom Murphy presented the annual Volunteer of the Year Award to Merillon Sports Authority Treasurer Glenn Kunack for his tireless efforts on and off the field for Merillon, New Hyde Park North Little League and Merillon travel baseball organization, Sharks Baseball Academy. New Hyde Park North Little League President Jonathan Lobdell presented a Coaches Achievement Award to Michael Louizou, and Challengers Director Peter Williams presented a Coaches Achievement Award to Artie Berger. The Challengers division offers play for those with special needs ages 6 through adult. Representatives from Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation were recognized and awarded a proclamation as Heath Care Heroes for their continued efforts surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19.
First pitch by Wink was on the inside corner followed by the raffle prizes being drawn to close the festivities. Then it was time for hot dogs for all of the players as they sprawled out amongst the ball fields to play some catch, sit on blankets with their families on the sprawling fields and enjoy the sun and warm spring air as they awaited their turn for their annual photos.
Merillon Little League started serving the New Hyde Park community in 1951 on the Marcus Avenue fields where the league still calls home. The league name was changed to New Hyde Park North Little League at the beginning of the 2019 season as it was the only league that did not have their town name reflected.
—Submitted by New Hyde Park North Little League