This week has brought warmer temperatures to the Hebron and Andover communities and next week looks to be even better, a sure sign that the start of baseball cannot be far away. Hebron Baseball registration is now closed, evaluations and drafts are complete and teams in all leagues have been determined. As practices begin and we near our opening day celebration on April 30th, we do so knowing that Hebron Baseball sits in a stronger position than ever before.
As I like to do this time of year, I want to remind everyone of the stated purpose of Hebron Baseball:
To promote and develop the sport of baseball at the youth level, to provide an opportunity to the youth of the Hebron & Andover communities to participate in the sport of baseball at various skill and ability levels.
It is important to remember that primarily, Hebron Baseball is a recreational baseball league. I say this because more and more players are becoming involved in AAU and tournament programs where the competitive nature and level of play is much different from that of Hebron Baseball and the differences between these programs can become confusing to players and parents. Hebron Baseball is a program for kids ages 5-12 of all abilities and talent levels. The job of our volunteer administrators and coaches is to ensure that every child in our program learns the fundamentals and basics of the game of baseball. However, that is not the most important part of what our program offers. The value in our program are the life lessons and experiences that every child will endure over time in Hebron Baseball. Life skills such as teamwork, strong work ethic, dealing with pressure, playing with new and sometimes unfamiliar people, dealing with failure, dealing with success, not making emotional decisions etc. These are the skills that we hope every child in our program will walk away with, as they are the ones that will have the most positive impact on their lives regardless of their baseball ability. The administrators and coaches in Hebron Baseball are committed to teaching these life skills as part of the baseball program as every child will benefit, not only the best players and that is how we separate ourselves from the highly competitive AAU programs.
I am happy to announce that this spring we will have 215 kids in our program, offering 18 teams over four different leagues (tee ball, rookie, 60’ minor & 70’ major). The majority of players in our program are from Hebron but we are happy to see again that 15% of the program this year are of players from Andover. With declining populations in our community and surrounding communities, Hebron Baseball is open to the possibility of merging with other towns in the future to ensure that we have the number of players needed to support the quality programs we have become accustomed too due to the hard work of all of our volunteers.
As the season nears and the calendar begins to fill, I would like to highlight two upcoming fundraising activities that will benefit Hebron Baseball and provide opportunities for us to get together for a good cause. On May 12th, we will host the 3rd annual Hebron Baseball Spring Swing golf tournament and dinner at Blackledge Country Club. This event is our largest fundraiser and is open to all adults in the Hebron Baseball program. Even if you do not golf, the dinner and dancing at night is open to all. On June 3rd, we will host Hebron Baseball night with the Yard Goats at Dunkin Donuts stadium in Hartford. This is a great event for the whole family and the kids always love it. Information for both of these events are listed on our website at www.HebronBaseball.org . All money that is raised from these events and any other fundraising events go toward capital improvements for the baseball program. Four brand new dugouts are currently under construction at the Burnt Hill fields due to previous fundraising activities. Hebron Baseball is a non-profit self-funding program. We pay the Town of Hebron for use of the fields; we pay the Park & Recreation department to maintain the fields. Anything that we request as a need or want for the program (dugouts, scoreboards, fences, nets etc.) we must pay for. The registration fees that we charge to enter the program, which are the lowest of any recreation sport in town compared by age group, are enough to cover uniforms and baseballs. Anything over and above that requires money gained by fundraising activities. In order to give our kids the program that they deserve and the program that we as adults want them to have, we need your support to make sure our fundraising activities are well attended.
Thank you for being part of this program. Our focus is to provide a great experience to the players and their family while teaching them the great sport of baseball. This program can only be as strong as the volunteers who support it so we encourage everyone to get involved. There are opportunities for all.
See you at the fields!!
Hebron Baseball – President