Tag Archives: Bayside Little League

Bayside Little League female player is determined to continue playing baseball


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre


Bayside Rebels Little League coach Randy DeCastro was approached by a fuming parent two years ago, resulting in a conversation he won’t forget.

The man, who was frustrated because his son didn’t receive enough playing time, criticized another player on the field, but not targeting a lack of skill.

“Any good coach knows at this age you shouldn’t have a girl on your team,” DeCastro remembered the parent said, referring to Regan Goger, the team’s left fielder.

DeCastro responded by saying, “Then you don’t know Regan.” Following the confrontation, Regan went on a 10-game hitting streak, securing her starting spot.

“The timing was great,” DeCastro said. “You could have written a movie to it.”

Regan began playing baseball at 5 years old, after watching her father coach her two older brothers.

“When she was 3 or 4, we tried to put her in dance, but she was like ‘no,’ she wants to play ball,” Teresa Goger, Regan’s mother, recalled.

She briefly tried softball, but went back to baseball because of the higher level of competition the male version of the game offered.

Around 8 years old she tried out for the Bayside Little League travel team, and beat out rival boys for a spot.

Every year since she’s battled to keep her position on the team and grew up with most of the players until the boys don’t even see her as a girl anymore, just “Regan ‘the hitting machine,’” DeCastro said.

And the nickname is well-earned. This season, as of July 17, she has 15 hits in 22 games, and is maintaining a .300 batting average with a .430 on-base percentage and 15 RBI. She also has two homers.

So when people criticize her for playing the male game, “I just ignore what they say,” Regan said.

But having just turned 13, next year she will outgrow Little League and begin high school, where odds are she won’t be able to join a baseball team and be pushed into softball.

Until then, she has decided to keep working hard at baseball, and her parents vow to support her whenever she makes a decision regarding the next level.

“She’s not just doing this because she’s a girl,” George Goger, Regan’s dad, said, “but because she’s pretty good at it.”

 

 

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Little League bobbles sked, knocks Bayside from tourney despite win


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Bayside Little League


Little League struck out not looking.

After the Bayside Little League team defeated Elmjack in the District 26 finals on July 1 by a score of 24-0, there were smiles all around.

The Rebels were preparing to face teams from around the city in the intermediate sectional round, but those smiles turned to frowns and confused faces days after their win when manager John Callahan broke the news that the team will not advance to the sectional round because of a Little League administrative blooper.

The district was not properly registered for the sectional tournament and the 12 kids of the Bayside Rebels weren’t allowed to continue to the next round.

“The kids were heartbroken, and they didn’t understand why,” Callahan said. “Unfortunate. It really is unfortunate.”

Days following the win over Elmjack, Callahan reached out to Bayside Little League administrators for details on the next round. Usually, he would know by the next day, he said, but no one seemed to know anything about the team’s next game.

Bayside Little League President Bob Reid reached out to Little League coordinators for an explanation.

Little League officials told The Courier when Bayside defeated Elmjack, the sectional tournament had already begun, indicating that at some time there was a mistake that led the District 26 tournament to start late and not finish in time for the sectional round.

Little League representatives said they don’t know who is to blame yet for the slip-up, but are investigating the problem.

“There was some miscommunication between two of our district administrators,” said Pat Wilson, Little League senior vice president of operations and programming. “We are still collecting information.”

Callahan and Reid said that despite their efforts, Little League didn’t try to amend the situation and have the team continue anyway after the problem was discovered.

At this point, the sectional tournament is already over and there isn’t much Little League can do for Bayside, but maybe issue an apology to the parents and players.

“Growing up, my father said a man makes mistakes and you don’t judge him by the mistakes but how he makes up for them,” Callahan said. “But [Little League] ignored it.”

 

 

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Bayside Little League makes semifinal


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Jerry Costa

BENJAMIN FANG

The Bayside Little League junior team, ages 13-14, which dedicated its season to Newtown victims advanced to the semifinal round of the New York Section 5 tournament, but lost to eventual champion Franklin Square Little League on July 18.

Bayside, the District 26 champion, won its first two games before losing two. The first loss came from Oceanside Little League and then to Franklin Square, 17-14.

“We let them know how proud we were and how proud their parents were,” manager Jerry Costa said. “Everyone dug in.”

The lost ended their season, which was highlighted by a 20-game undefeated regular season which was dedicated to the victims of the shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. During that time the team wore patches and made chants throughout the season to honor the Newtown children.

“Of all the teams I’ve managed, this team had the most heart,” Costa said. “Plenty of times we kept losing, but kept coming back.”

Costa praised two pitchers, Anthony Costa and Stephen Castro, for performing well in the sectional tournament.

“He played so hard,” Costa said about Anthony, whose team nickname is “Ace.” He pitched the whole game in a 4-2 victory against Westside Little League, Bayside’s first win in the tournament.

Now the junior team will play in other tournaments against other teams, Costa said.

 

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Bayside Little League team wins it for Newtown victims


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Jerry Costa

BY CHARLES OSBORN

Jerry Costa has been managing little league teams for nine years, starting when his son turned five. But this season was different.

The Katie Den Little League team out of Bayside not only won all 20 of its games this season; they won on behalf of victims of the December 2012 shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

A parent whose child played for Costa approached the coach about wearing a patch to call attention to the victims of the grisly school shooting. Costa immediately got in touch with Bayside Little League President Bob Reid.

“I go to the baseball field all the time and see young, six-year-old kids playing and laughing and having a good time,” Costa said. “Win or lose, it doesn’t make a difference to them as long as they’re playing baseball. I don’t care how much money the professionals make. Baseball was invented for kids.”

Reid approved the patches, and the team, sponsored by Katie Den Enterprises, had an official rallying cry: “One-Two-Three-Newtown!” They chanted it before innings as well as after games, including their final victory on June 21, sewing up that perfect 20-0 season and a story for the ages. Each win represented one child whose life was taken at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“There were 26 total victims at Sandy Hook, and six of them were teachers and staff. When I was told that we had won 20 games for 20 children victims, I had to pull myself together,” Costa said.

“Two of the kids playing for the team had never picked up a bat or a glove. It’s a miracle what we were able to accomplish for those kids,” Costa added. “Baseball is a great game. [The] children will never be forgotten. They will always been in our hearts.”

 

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Bayside Little League bestows honors


| MKirk@queenscourier.com

George Goger now has a plaque that reads “Great Jiminy Cricket!”

He was feted with the Frank Coppelli Memorial Coach of the Year award for his work with the 10- through 12-year-olds of the Bayside Little League.

The players, coaches and parents packed into Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament School on Saturday morning, September 8 for an awards ceremony to commemorate the end of another season.

While the event itself signified there was a sense of pride in all that the players and teams accomplished, Bayside Little League commissioner Bob Reid said that the main purpose of summer ball was something much more intangible.

“The goal is to create a memory he or she will carry with them throughout their adult life,” he said.

The players, who ranged from five to 13, received awards for team and individual achievements, along with plaques recognizing their participation in the league. According to Reid, 2012 saw 847 children come out to play for 64 teams.

This year’s Home Run Derby champion was 13-year-old Jamie Reagan, who was able to blast three homers in five swings during the competition this summer.

Reagan said it was “really fun” to have won the award and credits his success to practicing with his father.

“We go to Cunningham Park and do batting practice a lot,” Reagan said.

As for “Coach of the Year” Goger, the saying on his plaque is a testament to the season.

“It’s all I ever hear him saying on the field,” Reid quipped.

Before presenting Goger the award, Reid reiterated his stance on Little League being about more than scores and records.

“The Coach of the Year award goes to a coach who has shown that winning isn’t everything,” he said. “They instill in their players that having fun is more important. They’re always there for the players and make sure every player is in the game.”

Also following this theme was the Scholarship Award, which was started by Bayside Little League three years ago. The contest is solely for players about to enter high school and asks them to write an essay about how youth sports has prepared them for the future. After 10 entries had been reviewed by the league’s five-judge panel, the winner of the $1,500 prize was declared Charles Angelo Maisano.

The Christopher Adam Scott Memorial Most Valuable Player Award pays homage to an 11-year-old boy who was killed after being struck by a vehicle on a Clearview Expressway overpass in 2000. This year Christopher Velaoras took home the honor.

Both the 10-and-under and 12-and-under teams were recognized for the tournaments they won over the summer as well. The 10U team racked up championships for the District 26 and Rosenbluth tourneys, while the 12U team won a first place trophy at the Gorman Tournament.

One by one the wall of trophies dwindled as kids ran up to receive them, giving their coaches high-fives and fist pounds as they made their way onto the stage, their family members applauding in the audience.

“I think it went very well considering the weather,” league board member Marty Palermo said as the rain drummed against the windows. “It was a big turnout. Packed. I think all the kids had a lot of fun.”

 

Like father, like son: Son of Mets star Edgardo Alfonzo is a Little League phenom


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Sana Karim

Apparently, the “Alfonzo” doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Daniel Alfonzo, son of former Mets star Edgardo Alfonzo, is making waves in the Bayside Little League, leading all players in home runs and playing in the All-Star game last week.

“It’s good, because I see many kids in the league that have really good talent,” Edgardo said about his son, who is standing out as one of the league’s top batters.

Edgardo has noticed his son’s enthusiasm for the game and believes he may have a bright future playing the sport.

“He’s passionate for the game, that’s a good sign,” said Edgardo. “You know that kids are going to be good when they have that passion for the game.”

Every time he has a free moment the former Met goes to watch his son play and support him. There’s no doubt in his mind that the reason Daniel is fond of baseball is because he played professionally.

“Since he was born he has been surrounded by bats, balls and gloves,” Edgardo said, adding “Every time we go out to eat, people recognize me so I think he likes that.”

Despite the talent and passion his son already has for the sport, Edgardo noted that he still has to teach Daniel situational baseball, before he will be able to advance to higher levels of the game.

This means how to play the game in every facet, avoid errors to play smarter baseball and make crucial plays in game situations.

“He teaches me a lot of stuff, like how to play baseball with the pros,” Daniel said of learning the game from his dad, whom he considers his role model.

“Everything he learned is from watching the game,” Edgardo said. “I want to teach him how to play the game. Every time I can support him and correct him playing the game, I try to do it.”

Because he is still young, Daniel also hasn’t settled with a specific position yet.

For the span of his 12-year career, Edgardo played at third and second base, and batted .284 overall with 146 home runs. He was an All-Star with the Mets in 2000 and won the Silver Slugger award in 1999.

His son has played at various positions including catcher, pitcher and some spots in the infield. And although Daniel likes to pitch, Edgardo just wants him to do what comes naturally.

“Right now at this age I told him to play where he is comfortable,” Edgardo said, adding that his son has time to figure out where he will play on the diamond.

Edgardo said it’s too early to say if his son will make it to the big leagues, but he just appreciates that his son is following his path.

“It’s fun watch your own son trying to follow your footsteps,” he said.

However, Daniel may play for the Yankees instead of his dad’s Mets.

“I would like to play for the Mets and the Yankees. Either or,” said Daniel.

— Additional reporting by Sana Karim