Dear Westport Baseball and Softball Families, Friends, and Alumni,
Westport Baseball and Softball, and the programs it offers -- Little League, Travel, Challenger, Babe Ruth, and American Legion -- have been a bedrock part of the community since the early 1950s. As the longest running volunteer youth sports program in Westport, Little League participants like coaches, administrators, umpires, and parents have dedicated literally hundreds of thousands of hours of their time over the years so that our players – our children – can learn, develop, grow, engage, and have fun through the sport of baseball.
Today we are asking everyone – both families currently in the program that are building, and former families that hold, many cherished memories close to their hearts – to give back just a little more as we get set for amazing new renovations at some of our facilities. To complete these projects, we need your help through donations. We cannot get it done without you! Our goal is for 100% PARTICIPATION from all of you at whatever level you can give.
Our first project is a major transformation of the Burr Farms West field. Our goal is to turn this field into a premier convertible 46/70 - 50/70 field with a new grass infield and pitcher’s mound, new irrigation system, and a portable fence attached to the existing one in left field. If you have a long memory, originally this was a “Pony League Field” used by 13-year olds as they transitioned to a full-size field. The original mound and grass infield were never irrigated, and we eventually had to switch to an all-dirt infield because of difficulties funding its maintenance.
In the last few years we have experienced a larger demand from more age groups for play on a field with these dimensions. It would accommodate many Westport players ages 9 through 13 who play Little League Intermediate 50/70 Baseball, our fastest growing program, and Westport Youth Travel Baseball. At Burr Farms, we want to provide the same quality physical setting that we do at the Mary Ellen White Town Farms complex on Compo North. Importantly, the Town is partnering with us on this project. They will supervise all the construction and provide the sod and labor to install in the infield. Our responsibility will be to provide the connectivity to the water supply, any electrical work, and the irrigation system itself. The Town will also be responsible for future maintenance. The cost of this initial investment to us is estimated to be ~$50,000. We hope to have adequate additional funds to purchase the portable fencing as well. We hope to complete this project by this upcoming spring; May 1st, 2020 would be the goal.
Improvements at our Main Little League Complex -- Mary Ellen White Town Farms on Compo North
We also want to share with you a bigger plan of upgrading the Town Farms complex on Compo North. This is our main Little League baseball and softball hub.
As you may or may not be aware, Westport Baseball and Softball is financially responsible for the care and maintenance of these four fields and the three Coleytown fields. We spend approximately $130,000 per season to fund this work. Contingent on the success of our fundraising effort, we seek to pursue the following projects:
New, permanent bathrooms and concession building -- a major upgrade from the current portable bathroom situation
New dugouts and press boxes for all four fields at the complex. While our fields at Town Farm are in excellent condition, the dugouts and press boxes could use an upgrade
Explore alternative surfaces to reduce the impact of weather on our use
Explore the cost and feasibility of adding an indoor complex for training
For families currently participating in any of Westport's baseball and softball programs, your donations would directly benefit your children for many years to come! For families that have already graduated from Westport's baseball and softball programs, your contributions would help future generations experience the best that Westport Baseball and Softball has to offer.
Amounts received beyond what is necessary for the Burr Farms project will allow us to start planning, including drawing up architectural plans, for the more ambitious Mary Ellen White Town Farms fields projects discussed above.
As a volunteer organization, you should know that 100% of your donation goes to funding these renovations. And as a 501(c)(3) organization, donations are fully tax deductible.
Again, we’re hoping for 100% participation to get this done!
Following try-outs this past weekend, Westport Youth Travel Baseball (WYTB) is excited for the Spring 2020 season for its 8U through 14U/15U teams. There was strong competition to make the Spring 2020 rosters, which led to difficult decisions made by the respective coaches.
Please see below for program information and rosters for the Spring 2020 WYTB 8U through 14U/15U teams.
Communications: Parents of all players on the rosters below will be contacted via their email addresses on file with WYTB by their teams' coaches to welcome them to the team and provide relevant information regarding the season, including information regarding assistant coaches and expectations for the Spring season. After you hear from the coach, please send him any additional or alternative email addresses for communications going forward, which will be coordinated by the parent team manager, as applicable.
Roster Acceptance/Pricing: Parents of each rostered player will receive an email later this week requesting a deposit of $350 (8U) or $700 (9U-14U/15U) (to be credited against a player's registration fees for the season) to secure a spot on the team. If a parent declines on behalf of a player, or fails to accept, a roster spot within 7 days of receipt of the email, coaches will consider the invitation forfeited and will reduce the size of the team or reach out to the parents of another child to fill the spot. Final pricing (which will include a contemplated tournament) will be shared in a separate email as the coaching staff for each team finalizes its respective program.
Commitment Letters/Code of Conduct: All players invited to join a WYTB team, and their parents, must sign and return to the applicable head coach a Commitment Letter, which sets forth the player's commitment to the team and the player's and parents' obligation to abide by certain requirements and a code of conduct.
Spring Little League Baseball: All rostered WYTB players eligible to play Westport Little League Baseball are required to register for, and be full participants in, Spring 2020 Westport Little League Baseball (which is also required to participate in any of Westport’s District or other baseball programs this summer). Registration will open for Spring Westport Little League Baseball in December, with information to be circulated via email and posted on the Westport Little League Baseball website.
Winter Training: All teams will have Winter training run by their coaches and other coaches at the Staples Fieldhouse or IST. Players are highly encouraged to participate in these team workouts to ensure that they are developing their baseball skills and bonding with their coaches and teammates. Each head coach will send an email with a link to register for Winter training (billed separately) to all rostered players.
IntroducingNEW Baseball Program: Given the many talented players who tried out for the WYTB 9U and 10U Travel Spring teams, IST will independently offer top performing players who did not make these WYTB teams the opportunity to join a new combined 9U/10U team that will feature a skills-based focus. IST professional coaches will lead this program in the Spring, which will last for approximately 8 weeks with two 90 minute practices per week. Winter workouts will be offered for this team as well. To the extent that the coaches consider the team ready (especially with respect to pitching) to play games against competitive teams from other CT towns, they will schedule up to 8 games (unlikely to be doubleheaders) against these teams. There will be a separate tryout for this team run by the coaches within the next couple of weeks. An email with more information will be sent to parents of eligible players with registration information. As is the case with respect to the WYTB 9U and 10U Travel teams, players on this team must play Westport Spring Little League Baseball.
14U/15U Team: The roster below for the WYTB 14U/15U team will be supplemented in the Spring with players following a second tryout after the Staples High School Freshman Team is selected.
Uniforms: If your child played on the 9U-14U/15U WYTB teams this Fall or last Spring (not last Spring's 9U Blue team), the kit remains the same, and your child's number has been reserved, such that you do not need to purchase anything. If your child needs a uniform, wishes to replace his/her number or any part of the kit has been lost or irredeemably soiled, or if you want to minimize the washing machine cycles, you can purchase, replace or supplement at ASF. The coaches will contact you to let you know when to bring in your child to be fitted for his or her uniform at the appropriate time.
Tournaments: The curriculum for the 9U through 14U/15U teams contemplates teams participating in at least one baseball tournament that may involve travel and the opportunity for an overnight stay. Players and parents have been very enthusiastic about these tournaments, including this past Fall, and the bonding experience from playing in them. The tournaments can be expensive in the aggregate, fill up quickly and require a substantial time commitment from the coaches. Therefore, coaches will be identifying suitable tournaments in advance to book for the applicable teams taking into account their understanding of players' scheduling conflicts and competitive ability. It will be challenging to find a weekend that works for everyone. Once we register for a tournament for a team, we expect parents to honor the commitment as it is not fair to others if a team cannot field enough players to play competitively.
Feedback: Head coaches will be available to explain why any child was not selected for a particular team. You may contact Glenn Katz of IST at
to coordinate to receive detailed feedback from the applicable head coach as observed by the evaluators during the try-outs. Please understand that in selecting rosters for teams, there were many difficult decisions made by the coaches. This opportunity to discuss your child's performance with a professional coach is for you to solicit constructive feedback—it is not a forum for demanding your child be added to the roster or making abusive or negative comments. We are confident that many of the players who did not make the WYTB teams for this Spring will be strong candidates for selection on WYTB teams in the future with continued practice and development, which will be the focus of the new 9U/10U team operated by IST.
Congratulations to the players who made the WYTB teams. They and you should feel very proud. We look forward to a terrific season. Best wishes for Thanksgiving.
WESTPORT YOUTH TRAVEL BASEBALL – SPRING 2020 TEAM ROSTERS: