DLL Parents, Players, Sponsors, Volunteers: we just crossed the halfway point of our summer practices. I’ve been at the park several times and noticed coaches wearing masks, parents working hard not to congregate and, generally, kids having a good time playing baseball with their friends which is about the most normal thing I’ve seen lately. Thanks to everyone for sticking with our summer safety protocols. Given the recent Contra Costa health announcements, it’s more important than ever. Our field reservations run to the end of July so let’s finish strong and keep everyone healthy. Each field box contains masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, sprays and rags. They are there for all to use.
Fall ball plans are still very much in the air pending what SRVUSD announce for the school year and how the Country proceeds with youth recreation activities. No surprise as that is consistent with all of our other local sports leagues. We typically do not host fall ball games in our boundary because of field conflicts with Mustang Soccer and other sports groups, but we are looking at partnering with a neighboring Little League if games are allowed. If not, we may offer a small-group player development option. We will communicate our plans as soon as we can.
A follow up email with additional detail will come to those players that register for the tryout.
13U on Tuesday July 28 or Sunday August 2.
14U on Wednesday July 29 or Sunday August 2.
15U/16U Gold tryouts will be held in late winter.
Meet TPD Baseball:
Steve Friend - 29 years as Head Coach at Chabot College in Hayward. Steve is nationally recognized for his highly successful program and for helping develop and promote players to the college and pro ranks. Danville Little League Alumni & SF Giants World Champion, Nate Schierholtz, is one of many talented players to have learned from Coach Friend. Brady Raggio, Tony Festa, and Tim Gilhooly took similar paths through DLL, SRV, and Chabot to college & the pros. Steve played collegiately for Chabot College and San Jose State University.
Adam Ricks - local product that spent 14 years as a player and coach in the Chicago White Sox organization, including 6 years on the MLB staff. Coach Ricks has a team first mentality evidenced by a PONY & American Legion World Series Championship; NCS Title; two CA Community College Final Fours; and two College World Series appearances with the Miami Hurricanes. Adam is a volunteer coach at SRVHS in the fall.
Luke Cherry - former Kinston HS (NC) Varsity Coach and Tampa Bay Rays Associate Scout before moving back home to run development programs for the Danville Hoots and Mike Murphy Baseball. Two sport athlete at SRVHS and NCS Baseball Player of the Year. Luke was an All-American under Coach Friend at Chabot College before making two regional appearances as the SS for the East Carolina Pirates. Coach Cherry also volunteers at SRVHS.
The TPD Staff embraces transparency and the sharing of information to build trust throughout our organization. The Gold Program will be a collaboration that involves our dedicated coaches and parent volunteers. Teams should expect development and team practices in January and February and then a full schedule of 3 games per week + development and team practices from March-May.
Player selection for the Gold program will occur shortly after tryouts and teams will be formed in the fall/winter. Program costs will include DLL fees, development costs and team specific coaching/training anticipated to total approximately $1,750 for the January-May program. Final costs and timing of payments will be outlined for families at the time of player selection.
It is also expected that GOLD players will have the opportunity to work with TPD in a FALL PLAYER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM from September – November 2020. Details to follow. We support multi-sport athletes, and players will NOT be penalized for not participating in the optional Fall program.
On behalf of the board, thank you for registering, volunteering and supporting the league again this season. We are looking forward to another fun, competitive year.
Our league year started on a sad note with the passing of longtime snack shack and umpire volunteer, Dave Struck, in November. Dave was an Osage Park regular for most of the last two decades. We will miss seeing him at the park this spring.
You all saw my note recently about helping the Little Leagues in District 47 impacted by Camp Fire. With your help, we delivered 8 boxes of donated cleats, pants, belts, gloves, bats, helmets to the Paradise LL. Even though most Paradise families lost homes and property, and the league itself lost all three of its fields, their board intends to play the spring season with the help of others. Our donations reached those families in December and got them started in that direction. I feel really good about what we did there. We'll have other opportunities to help in the spring.
The on-field part of our 2019 schedule starts next week with tryouts for 9-12 year olds. Our Majors, AAA, and AA drafts are scheduled for Saturday 1/26. Tryouts for upper division Intermediate, Juniors, and Seniors House teams will be on January 13th and 14th as communicated recently. Registration for our younger divisions stays open divisions through 2/1/19. Rosters for those teams are published in late February and early March. It's also not too late to register to coach or umpire. And we're always recruiting team and league level sponsors. If you have a small business in Danville and want to advertise on our jerseys or Osage fences, register here.
Our board intends to build on some of the new activities we added last year like Friday Night Clinics and MLB Pitch, Hit & Run. We took your feedback and intend to play some interleague games with neighboring Little Leagues. We will do a better job introducing our Majors players and families to Little League's upper divisions with practices and interleague games on a larger diamond. Finally, we are planning a tryout for 8-year-olds and controlled draft for Single A players, which we expect will help to balance the competition in that division.
You may have noticed the investments that MLB and Dickâ€™s Sporting Goods are making in Little League. We will benefit from both of those. One exciting change for 2019 that our board decided to take advantage of is an Oakland A's promotion called "Future A's". In addition to events at the Coliseum, the A's are supplying jerseys and hats for all DLL players and coaches. All of our younger division players will be wearing different styles of A's jerseys this season. AAA and Majors teams will remain with the MLB teams we have previously had. In addition to the Future A's promotion, look for some in-store and online Dick's Sporting Goods promotions for our families in the spring.
Keep an eye on our league calendar for upcoming board meetings as well as umpire, player, coach, and safety training dates. We anticipate the Town opening grass fields for play around March 1, weather permitting. This year's Carnival and Challenger division games will be on Sunday 4/28. And we'll have our usual Little League Days with the A's (Sunday 3/31) and Giants (Sunday 4/8).
I am looking forward to a great season. Thanks again for your support. Any questions or suggestions, let me know.
Many Danville parents have asked me how to help the families and Little Leaguers in Butte County that have been displaced or lost homes and property in the Camp Fire. I’ve been in contact with the Little League District 47 Administrator and the Paradise LL President. We’ve got several ideas already, two of which are available now for those interested.
First, we will host a clothing and equipment drive this Saturday 12/8 between 9:30-11am at Osage Park. Families there are particularly in need of cleats, belts, socks, dry fits, gloves. . . the basics. Anything new or gently used/reusable, bring it to the park this weekend and we’ll make sure it gets to the folks in Chico that are hosting a free distribution for Paradise LL families next weekend. If you can't make it Saturday, let me know so we can connect with you directly.
Second, Paradise LL has a Gofundme site to raise funds to repair fields and buy equipment. Most Paradise families lost everything, but their board is very motivated to keep baseball and softball seasons on track for the spring, even though they'll likely play in neighboring towns that were less impacted. Donating there is another easy way to help if you are interested.
With our first registration deadline at the end of next week, I plan to send more details about our upcoming 2019 Danville season soon. Wanted to get the word out quickly on this for those that are around and able to donate this weekend.
The Danville Aces are playing this week in the Intermediate West Region Tournament in Nogales, AZ. Pool play completed on Sunday. Despite one of the more difficult draws, the Aces finished 3-1. The loss was to the #1 seed Southern California (Scripps Ranch LL, San Diego). As the #2 seed, Aces play #7 Clackamas LL (Portland, OR) in tonight’s quarterfinal. Semifinals are tomorrow. Championship and third place games are Thursday. The winner of Thursday’s Championship game will be the West Region representative at the Intermediate World Series starting Sunday in Livermore.
Update 7/24 10pm: Aces beat Oregon/Clackamas LL and advanced to the regional semifinal. They will play Hawaii/Central East Maui LL at 5pm Wednesday.
Update 7/25 10pm: It came down to the last pitch, but Aces lost to Hawaii/Central East Maui LL 6-5. Hawaii advances to the West Region championship game against Southern California/Scripps Ranch LL. Aces will play in the 3rd place game against Alaska/Knik LL at 5pm Thursday.
Final update 7/26 10pm: Aces beat Alaska/Knik LL 13-9 to finish 3rd place in the Intermediate West Region tournament. Southern California/Scripps Ranch LL advances to the Intermediate World Series starting in Livermore on Sunday.
This site will be updated throughout the tournament. Ways to follow the team:
Thanks to Devon and Mike Slinger and their family for joining us all week to share stories about Brett and cheer on this year’s players. We are so fortunate to have their family host this event with us every year.
Congratulations to the Livermore LL 10s and Granada 10 Black all stars for winning both A and B divisions of the Chachi Corral orial Tournament. Final results are available on Gamechanger and our website.
Thanks to Denise and Arnie Corral and their family for joining us all week to share stories about Chachi, raise money for the Semper Fi Foundation, and cheer on this year’s players. We are so fortunate to have their family host this event with us every year.
Good luck to the 10s playing at Tassajara Valley next week.
Congratulations to the winners of Sunday’s Pitch Hit and Run local competition at Osage. Age group winners from each of the skill categories plus one overall winner advance to the sectional competition which will be held in Orinda next Sunday 5/20. Award certificates are available to be picked up at the Osage snack shack.
All-Around: Colin Schmiegel
Pitch: Charlie Bell
Hit: Colin Schmiegel
Run: Seth Shelton
Now that DLL Majors has wrapped up I know many of you are thinking about what is the next step for your son in regards to baseball. With my last calculations, I added up 10 different local baseball programs that are available to 13 year olds next spring. With 10 programs, choosing one can be a daunting task. Some of the programs are invitation only (coach contacts you) and most offer professional coaching at different price levels. But are they what’s best for you players enjoyment of the game?
Over the past few years Danville Little League (DLL) has offered a Spring program for 13 year olds called the” Intermediate” (50 & 70 foot base paths) program (players born on or after 9/1/2004). There are two levels in the Intermediate program "Gold”, which is a competitive advanced level team chosen at the beginning of the season thru tryouts, and "House", which is made up of kids who just want to play ball. The Gold program is professionally coached by the Aces Baseball Staff, run by Jim Grant, and the House program is coached by Dads, just like in Majors. Being that the Gold program is professionally coached; the fee is priced accordingly, but is lower than most programs outside DLL. The House program is priced similar to last year in Majors. All DLL Intermediate programs are housed locally (Danville) with local practices and games (located within District 57). Many of the games are played at Osage Field #3. The Gold team also has a District All Star Tournament and World Series and may travel a bit further to play in a few outside tournaments. There will be more information from DLL on these programs coming. Tryouts for the Intermediate Gold program are held in late August. They play a fall tournament season and then a regular local D57season starting in March and ending in Mid-June. House teams will be formed in late January with a player evaluation held at Sycamore Park turf TBA. Please wear tennis shoes on the turf. We are also looking for team Managers and Coaches.
For the 14 year olds (players born on or after 9/1/2003) we have a very similar program that has a “House” league, and a “Gold” league which is equivalent to the 13’s Gold team. This division is called Junior 90’s. The Junior 90’s Gold team will be professionally coached by Darren Nicholson, owner of Hit Lab Sports, with tryouts held in mid-October, TBA. This division plays on a 90 foot diamond to get the kids ready for high school.
Looking a few years ahead there are also Seniors House and Gold programs for the 15 and 16 year olds (born on or before 9/1/2001).
All sign-ups are through the DLL Web site. As always, you can contact me if you have any questions or want to talk about what’s out there for your son next year.
We are happy to inform you that the DLL Snack Shack, located at Osage Park, is now accepting credit cards for your purchases of $5 or greater. We hope you enjoy this added convenience when you are out enjoying your baseball games!