Six Sandlot Baseball Figures Honored By Mets
The New York Mets on Saturday, August 23 honored the 2007 and 2008 Greater New York Sandlot Athletic Alliance (GNYSAA) Raymond F. Church Service to Youth Baseball Awards Dinner Honrees with an on-field ceremony. Joseph Victor, Lower East Side Gauchos Baseball Program athletic director, Richard Arcari, Long Island Connie Mack Baseball League immediate past president, Bill Klapach of the Staten Island Federation, Jack Kaiser, Saint John's University athletic director emeritus, James McElroy, Cadets Baseball Club chairman and Bruno Franco, New York City Baseball Federation president, together represent more than 250 years of sandlot and amateur baseball experience.
The ceremony included a recounting of the longtime service of each man and a presentation of a scoreboard picture commemorating their day at Shea. Met coaches Howard Johnson and Sandy Alomar Sr. both came out to take pictures and say thanks to these men and honor their contributions to amateur baseball
The GNYSAA is the successor to the Journal American Sandlot Alliance established in 1940 by Max Kase, Journal American sports editor. It is currently comprised of area sandlot leagues, including the Brooklyn-Queens CYO, Diamond Pros, the Kings County American Legion, the Long Island Baseball League, the Long Island City YMCA, Long Island Connie Mack, the Metropolitan New York Amateur Baseball Association, the New York Federation, the Police Athletic League, the Queens Kiwanis Sports Association, the Staten Island CYO and the Staten Island Old Timers Organization. The GNYSAA has provided long-term support of New York City children through baseball and currently serves approximately 21,000 young people age six to 18 in the New York City metropolitan area.
Each year the GNYSAA honors individuals who have made major contributions to youth baseball in the New York Metropolitan area at the annual Raymond Church Service to Youth Baseball Awards Dinner. At this year's dinner Arcari, Franco and Victor will be honored for their community service and work in youth baseball. The Margaret Tempone and Raymond Church Memorial Scholarships will be awarded to graduating high school student-athletes who have shown exceptional ability on the field complemented by community service and educational achievement. Two additional scholarships are expected to be added this year in honor of the late Tommy Holmes and the late Richard Arcari.
The GNYSAA is supported by the New York Mets Foundation, Major League Baseball and local fundraising. Contributions to the Greater New York Sandlot Athletic Alliance are tax deductible. To make donations to the GNYSAA or to purchase tickets to the upcoming dinner, contact Thomas Sylvester at 718-392-7932, ext. 239, firstname.lastname@example.org or 32-23 Queens Blvd., Long Island City, NY 11101.