The smells of grilled meats and flavored ices floated over small clouds of dust and base line chalk Saturday morning as Bushwick’s oldest youth baseball league played its first games of the season at Hope Field, located on the corner of Myrtle and Knickerbocker avenues.
The Quebradillas Baseball Organization, in its seventh year of existence, will be fielding 36 teams this year, an increase despite the formation of the new league.
“We teach the basics, how to play as a team, offense and defense, and good sportsmanship,” said Juan Diaz, manager of the Rug Rats, a team in the Pampas Division. “Whether they win or lose, they’re all winners in my book.”
The Pampas Division, ages 4 to 6, kicked the day off as the Rug Rats held the Yankees to a scoreless tie.
Coaches of both teams were happy to start the season, which unofficially marked the beginning of summer in Bushwick.
“Playing baseball in the summertime keeps children off the corner,” said Walter Parris, a coach with the Rug Rats. “Not only that, we’re integrating families.”
The first game started at 9:30 a.m., but Quebradillas President Carlos Feliciano arrived at the park four hours earlier to draw the base paths and prepare the field for a full day of athletics.
“We’re working hard, but you know, this is what makes us happy,” said Nilda Rosario, a Quebradillas Board Member.
For more information on the league, call 347-251-1458.