By Ryan Kaczmarski
Saturday morning there was a special event at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon as the Westlake Baseball League held its Minor, Major and Pony League evaluation day at the home of the Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier League.
The participants in this year’s Westlake Baseball League had the opportunity to practice on the field and get hitting practice in the batting cages of the professional independent team’s facility.
“I think it was fantastic,” Steve Meno, Westlake Baseball League President, said. “Luckily, the baseball gods gave us good weather today. I think it was nice to pull the families and the parents from the baseball program, and get the kids to be able to play on a professional baseball field.
“It also helps us evaluate the talent level to more evenly distribute the teams that we’re selecting over the next few days,” he added. “Hopefully it’s the first of an annual event that we’ll be doing every year.”
This event was just one part of an overall effort to grow the popularity of youth baseball in Westlake.
“Baseball competes with lots and lots of sports, whether it is lacrosse, soccer or other sports,” Meno sad. “What we’re trying to do with the Crushers is this event, and we’re also having Westlake baseball night at the park, where every
participant receives two tickets to the game – the families can purchase additional ticket as well – and just pulling it together as a community will help raise more funds, so we can be more visible in the community.
“We’ve about doubled the amount of dollars we usually spent on equipment, so almost the entire league has brand new catchers’ gear,” he continued. “What’s really important is that the kids have fun, the coaches engage them and we take our love for the game and transfer it to the kids.”
For more information on the Westlake Baseball League, go to www.westlake-baseball.com.