Dunbar Little League is Essential Fabric of our Community

Little Leaguers ready for action, l-r, Dylan Berrington-Dom, Robert Jaques, Ryan MacLean, Matt MacLean, Matt Vrlak
Little Leaguers  l-r, Dylan Berrington-Dom, Robert Jaques, Ryan MacLean, Matt MacLean, Matt Vrlak

Reprinted from Dunbar Residents’ Association Newsletter, Spring 2017

By David Berrington, President, Dunbar Little League

People often assume that I have always loved the game of baseball, given my current role President of Dunbar Little League (DLL). But that’s not the case.

Like most parents with young children, I used to put my kid in lots of activities, including swimming, soccer, gymnastics, and yes we also tried baseball.

Since that first season back in 2007, which happened to be the 50th anniversary of DLL, our family, like many before and after, had joined the baseball community. We were hooked. It started with that first swing of the bat when my oldest son was a mere 4 years old.

Over the last 10 years I have watched our neighbourhood kids grow up at the park. Many kids get their first taste of independence through DLL. The park is such a magnetic draw for kids. Baseball season offers that first right of passage for young people, the opportunity to walk to the park alone, often starting around age 10. Boasting a few dollars in their pocket, kids can get a treat at the “sugar shack” (the affectionate name for DLL’s concession, open during all games). Parents know we don’t have to worry about our kids at the park. They are surrounded by dozens of neighbour parents who we know and trust (and are just a cell phone call away). Many of those neighbours who I’ve met through DLL are now my closest friends. You can see many of those same former players still active in our community, some of them returning to DLL as youth coaches and umpires, and a number of former players now working as young employees at the new Stong’s. DLL is part of the fabric of building community for so many families in Dunbar.

Being part of this community spirit ignited my passion for DLL. I am in my 5th and final year as president of this amazing league. I will miss being so heavily involved (although most volunteers never fully leave, they all come back to take in a game and re-experience some of that DLL magic). As a president and active volunteer leader, I’m not worried about the league’s future. There are good people with a similar passion who are taking on key roles. As volunteers, we don’t own the league, despite our collective passion and commitment to it. We are just caretakers of a wonderful community asset that continues to thrive in Dunbar.

As DLL enters its 60th anniversary in 2017, we will celebrate those six decades of being special. We will invite present and former Dunbarites to join with us in celebrating this unique league through events to be planned this year. For more information on DLL’s plans for its 60th anniversary, visit the website at www.dunbarbaseball.ca