July 15, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
July 15, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Teaneck Baseball Organization Looks Ahead to ‘16

November is in full swing. With a New York team involved in the 2015 World Series, and with some unseasonably warm weather, people in the metropolitan area held on to the last vestiges of summer a bit longer than usual this year. Now that the cold has finally crept in, however, the time for warm evenings at the ballpark are quickly fading into memory.

Teaneck baseball enthusiasts should take heart, however. While the children have hung up their baseball spikes in favor of soccer cleats or basketball shoes, and pumpkin spice lattes are starting to pop up on your favorite coffee shop’s menu, plans for Teaneck Baseball Organization’s 2016 season are already underway. By all accounts, next summer will be one of the best seasons in the organization’s more than 30-year history.

The league recently unveiled its new logo, and launched a brand-new, state-of-the-art website, all as part of a broader effort to reinvigorate an organization that has become an institution in the southern Bergen County Township. More importantly, league officials also announced plans for wide-scale renovations to several of the league’s fields.

“We’re talking about important upgrades that will enable our kids to play on fields that look fantastic and have the best experience possible,” explained TBO board member Chanan Vogel. “This year we will be focusing our upgrades on New Field in Votee Park and Major Field in Phelps Park. The infields are to be leveled and resurfaced with professional clay and sod. Fencing, including a new backstop, dugouts, and on-deck batting areas will also be installed at New Field. In addition, we’re excited that after the renovations, these fields will be adjustable to accommodate 50’-70’ configurations. This will give us the option to put our senior-division boys on baseball diamonds that are better-tailored for their age, rather than moving directly from the little league fields to major league-sized fields. This could be a tremendous upgrade for that age group.”

League officials are hopeful that the renovations will be complete in time for opening day 2016. Regardless, they are excited for the benefits that Teaneck players will enjoy for years to come.

“This is an exciting time for TBO,” said the league’s newly elected president, Yoni Lieber. “We expect the product we put on the field in 2016 and beyond to be a great improvement on an already vastly successful program. As a part of that, we are anticipating an increase in player registrations at all age levels, in both baseball and softball, so we’re encouraging people to sign up early.”

Youth baseball and softball leagues across the country have faced significant challenges in recent years. Enrollments have declined, thanks in part to an increase in the available recreation choices for today’s grade-schoolers. That declining enrollment has led many local little leagues to combine with neighboring programs, sometimes with mixed results. In addition, there has been an increased focus on highly competitive travel teams, which has often come at the expense of recreational leagues designed to give playing opportunities to players of all skill levels.

“It’s no secret that our kids today have many more options than we did twenty years ago,” noted TBO Vice President Sue Feuerstein. “A generation ago, organized rec sports were largely limited to junior soccer and little league baseball, and even those two sports had limited overlap in their seasons. Today, our kids have a plethora of options, from floor hockey to flag football, and the various seasons often run one into the next. Even just for baseball and softball, the kids today have multiple choices available to them. Thankfully, TBO continues to be going strong.”

TBO Director of Baseball Operations Moshie Solomon says he believes TBO remains one of the best choices. “Our players get access to a large collection of terrific fields and facilities, and we work closely with the town to make sure those fields are well cared-for throughout the season,” says Solomon. “From an officiating standpoint, we have well-trained umpires covering all games from ages seven and up. But perhaps one of the biggest benefits is the combination of competitive play and instruction, which leads to exciting games as well as great training for those players who want to continue playing baseball on travel teams, high school and beyond.”

TBO board member David Greenberg agrees. “It can be difficult to strike the right balance between instruction, competition, and just plain fun,” Greenberg said. “In my opinion, TBO really gets that balance right. The kids are out there taking the games seriously and competing to win. But the coaches make sure that they’re also learning the right way to play their positions, so that they can continue to enjoy the game on all levels as they get older. And while TBO offers excellent summer and fall travel teams for the most competitive players—three fall teams made their championship games this month—the league does not allow those travel programs to come at the expense of the recreational league, where every player gets his chance to learn, play, and shine.”

Registration for TBO’s 2016 summer season opened on November 1, 2015, and will close on January 1, 2016. Visit www.teaneckbaseball.org for more details and to sign up.

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles