Regan League expands with summer baseball for older teens

July 20, 2007
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Photo by Erin Vannasse Michael Frank, president of the Jamaica Plain Regan Youth League JP RYL); Michelle McCourt, wife of Al McCourt; Al McCourt Jr.; and Jim Taff and Herb Vannasse, coordinators of the new summer baseball program for 16- 18-year-old teens, kick off the season June 30 at Jefferson Field. Al McCourt, for whom the summer league is named, was a longtime JP RYL coach and coordinator and a resident of Jamaica Plain.

For the first time since its founding in 1969, the Jamaica Plain Regan Youth League is sponsoring a division for 16- 18-year-old-baseball players this summer. Known in JP and adjacent communities for its Tee-ball through Pony Divisions, which serve youngsters from preschool through age 15, the league is expanding its program for older teens through its Al McCourt Summer Baseball League.

Al McCourt was a longtime Regan League coach and coordinator who worked as a volunteer with every league age group and long strove to expand baseball opportunities for players in the Junior, Senior, and teen divisions. The League continues to build on his successes.

The Summer League includes two six-team divisions: The Show, for 16-18-year-olds, and Pony Summer, for ages 13-15, which enjoyed a highly successful debut season last year. Teams in both Pony Summer and The Show will play two games per week through Labor Day weekend. Between 160 and 190 teens are participating in the Summer League.

“In addition to the usual pluses,” Jim Taff, one of the coordinators, wrote in an e-mail to the Gazette, “we think there may be a net overall benefit to teen safety due to participation in such numbers in such time periods over the course of the summer.”

Teams play in the evenings Monday through Thursday and most of the day on Saturdays and Sundays at Murphy or Jefferson fields, through Aug. 31.

The Show, named for the slang term for professional, big-league baseball, kicked off its inaugural season on June 30 at Jefferson Field, with the ceremonial first pitch followed by two opening day games.

The summer league has a handful of player spots available. In addition, team sponsors, support and volunteers are needed.

For more information call Taff at 327-8502 or Herb Vannasse at 781-647-0890 or e-mail reganyouthleague@aol.com.

From Regan Youth League materials.