My wife Darlene and I moved into the Bayport Blue Point community in the summer of 1994. Settling in on Woodland Street in Blue Point, we knew we had found a “pot of gold” as we began to meet our neighbors and learn about our community. The early years were filled with our town parades, block parties my wife started and of course Gene Horton’s wonderful walking tours of Bayport Blue Point.
It was 1995 when we attended our first Bayport Blue Point St. Patrick’s Day parade. My wife and I could not believe how spectacular it was. To this day, like the rest of our town, it is now a family tradition.
In October of 1998 our son T.J. was born and then our daughter Melanie in April of 2000. With a growing family we moved over to Nelson Avenue in Blue Point where our daughter Kate was born in July of 2004. Once again, we were surrounded by great neighbors who have become lifelong friends.
My journey into the Bayport Blue Point Little League has been one of the most rewarding times of my life. I have had the distinct honor of spending time with many of the children and families of our community. I have also had the pleasure of working with so many past, present and future volunteers of the Bayport Blue Point Little League. Through the years I have been an assistant coach, manager, T-ball coordinator, training coordinator, division coordinator, field crew and president.
It didn’t take me long to wish that all of the fun our little leaguers were having during the Spring could also be had during the Summer. It was then that me and my good friend and coaching partner Rick Garcia came up with the idea of a summer baseball camp. And so it began… In the summer of 2007, the Bayport Blue Point summer baseball camp with the help of our good friend and former shortstop of the New York Mets, Kevin Baez, we created what many believe to be the best baseball camp ever.
Our camp mornings began with over one hundred of our little leaguers singing a hearty rendition of “Take me out the to the Ball Game”. It was followed by skills and drills on all our fields with legendary ball players Kevin Baez, Ray Navarette, Lew Ford and Danny Lyons. At lunchtime, legends grew as campers participated in our world championship “Double Bubble” gum blowing championship. Local school yard legends P.J. Weeks and Dan “slugger” Woods often battled champion Kevin Baez for his title. Camp afternoons were filled with sandlot games where campers would compete with their newly learned skills. Each day new “school yard” legends were born. The last day of camp was filled with music, sandlot games, pictures with Quacker Jack, teammates and trophies as big as fire hydrants. The boys and girls of Bayport Blue Point now had a camp they could call their own and where dreams always came true.
There is a certain magic to the Bayport Blue Point Little League, a feeling of small-town America. As you walk down the “path” you instantly see American flags flying, boys and girls playing baseball and softball. The smell of hot dogs and cheeseburgers cooking makes your mouth water. The sight of siblings riding their bikes, writing in chalk and flipping baseball cards while parents cheer on their children as they play on our fields warms your heart. Standing there you instantly feel that you’re the luckiest person in the world to live in Bayport Blue Point, and I’ve been lucky enough to have a box seat.