PLAY BALL! Elkton Little League turns 60 years old
League to honor past presidents, pair of World Series teams
ELKTON — Elkton Little League will be celebrating a major milestone this weekend when it holds its annual opening ceremonies.
In honor of Elkton Little League’s 60th birthday, the community is invited to attend the Opening Day celebration Saturday at Eder Park, where past league presidents and a pair of former World Series teams will be reunited to commemorate the anniversary.
Members of the Elkton Little League’s 1966 Senior All-Star baseball team that went to the World Series 50 years ago in Des Moines, Iowa, and the Elkton Little League’s 1979 Senior AllStar softball team that finished runners-up in the World Series in Waco, Texas will be honored as part of the festivities. In addition, several past Elkton teams that advanced to Eastern regionals will also be in attendance.
The Opening Day ceremony will begin on the Major Division (middle) baseball diamond at Eder Park on Howard Street following the annual Little League Parade, which kicks off at 10 a.m. The former World Series teams and past presidents are expected to join the current little league players and coaches as they march.
“I feel for the people of Elkton because most of them played on these teams and now they have kids playing on these teams,” current Elkton Little League President Tim Eller said. “I think it’s great for the town. Elkton Little League has been around for 60 years and it’s a landmark for us. All the All-Star teams from the beginning to now, I think it’s history being made at the ball field.”
Martin Thompson, the administrator for District 5, which encompasses six local little leagues, including Elkton’s, will take part in Saturday’s event.
“Personally, I think it’s great. I’ve been district administrator for the past 24 years and it’s a great honor to be invited to participate in their Opening Day,” Thompson said. “They’re bringing back people who went through the program and honoring them again. A lot of times we have a tendency to forget people after many years. I think it’s great that Elkton Little League is paying respect to the people in the past who have done wonders to their league.”
On display at Eder Park will be photos and mementos from the past 60 years of Elkton Little League, provided by former players and with help from District 5 Treasurer Sharon Arbour.
“I think it’s great for the town. Elkton Little
League has been around for 60 years and it’s a landmark for us. All the All-Star teams from the beginning to now, I think it’s history being made at the ball field.”
Tim Eller Elkton Little League President
“It’s pretty special,” said Ralph Gamble, who played first base on the 1966 World Series team. “We went to the World Series 50 years ago and it’s hard to believe it’s been that long. We were the first ones from Elkton to go. That makes it special.”
Gamble’s World Series teammate, Tom Racine, who passed away in 2012 after a battle with cancer, appreciated the impact that the 1966 team had on the community, according to his daughter, Katie.
“Tom Racine would have loved to have been a part of this anniversary celebration. He was proud of all his team accomplished that year and often thought back to that time with fond memories,” she said. “It not only shaped my father’s youth but generations to follow. Both my sister and I grew up in Elkton Little League. All seven of Tom’s grandchildren have played or are currently playing in various little leagues.
“He passed his love and respect of the game to his children and grandchildren and through them his love of baseball will continue on for generations to come.”
Elkton Little League will celebrate its 60th anniversary on Saturday.