Bracey, Schreiber, and York City officials challenge Little Leaguers to game
Jim Gross, the city of York's director of public works, manages 94 people.
He's responsible for highway and fleet maintenance, parks and recreation, and electrical and building maintenance, and oversees the city's treatment of wastewater, its sewage systems and trash collection.
"We sweep the streets, we fill potholes, we fix traffic signals," he said. He does a lot, and "every day is different."
Gross will be up against another challenge come Friday, when, led by Mayor Kim Bracey, he and other community leaders will face off in a game of Wiffle Ball against York City's Little League, coached by York Revolution pitcher Rommie Lewis.
The game will take place at Santander Stadium before the Revolution's game that night. Spectators must purchase a ticket; gates open for the Wiffle Ball game at 4:30 p.m.
The mayor's team, Bracey's Brawlers, also includes state Rep. Kevin Schreiber, former Philadelphia Eagles football player Ron Johnson, York City school board member and candidate for York City Council Sandie Walker, York City business administrator Michael Doweary, assistant solicitor Jason Sabol, legacy builders Jordan Ray and LeVaysha Dowling, and Bracey's grandson Brandon.
The game is part of Play Ball, an initiative by Major League Baseball that aims to encourage girls and boys to participate in the sport and to engage in regular physical activity.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors also supports the initiative, and York, which has been named a Play Ball City by the office of MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, is one of many cities throughout the country to implement the initiative.
Edquina Washington, the city's director of community relations, said the objective is for everyone at the event to have a good time and to promote healthy behaviors and activities.
"We are inviting the community to attend the event," she said. "Our Little Leaguers' families and friends will be there to cheer them on."
Little League memories: Gross has fond memories of playing baseball, including Little League, as a boy, he said.
"It's a good program, and we're trying to get more kids to come out for it."
Gross said playing sports is a valuable experience when it comes to character development: "It helps kids become better adults, adding discipline and structure to their lives."
Doweary also stressed the importance of sports in a healthy childhood.
"It helps kids learn how to work together in teams and build lifelong friendships," he said, "as well as stay active, of course."
Doweary said he played sports as a kid and still likes to play basketball, ride bikes and play golf but that he's "mostly the soccer mom on the sidelines now."
In the lead-up to the game, the York City Little League has been hitting the field.
"I like our chances," said Coach Lewis in a news release. "We're going to be aggressive and swing early in counts and run everything out."
As for Bracey's Brawlers, they haven't practiced yet.
"When we get there, we'll figure it out," Gross said.