With help from Revs, York Little League players get chance to enjoy free baseball in fall

PeoplesBank Park, the home of the York Revolution, is pictured above. The downtown stadium will play host to opening-day games for the York Little League, starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 20.

The 2020 York Little League spring/summer season was a victim of the coronavirus pandemic.

The local organization, however, is now ready to take another swing at baseball.

With the help of its army of volunteers and the York Revolution, York Little League has announced plans for a fall season, starting with an opening-day event on Sunday, Sept. 20, at PeoplesBank Park, which just happens to be the Revs’ home stadium.

The Revs' organization has also chipped in $5,000 so that the local league can offer the fall program for free. The Revs’ donation will be used for umpire fees, uniforms, balls and equipment. 

“The Revs came to the rescue with the money,” York Little League volunteer Tom Vranich said. “Every week, COVID changes something. We are doing our best as a league to keep families’ expectations met, the kids safe, having fun and learning the game. To take things an extra step, the Revs offered our teams access to play select games at PeoplesBank Park this fall season. It’s like living a dream for these kids.” 

York Little League is comprised of the Central York and York Suburban school districts, as well as a portion of the Eastern York School District. York City Little League will also participate in the free fall program.

A former York Little League vice president, Vranich helped broker the deal with the Revs, who have opened their downtown park to various community activities this summer, including dozens of local baseball and softball games. The Revs' 2020 Atlantic League season was canceled because of the pandemic, leaving PeoplesBank Park open and available for other local events this summer.

"We had a feeling that the spring (Little League) season would be canceled and saw the writing on the wall for what economic and psychological effects this could have on all of our league member families," Vranich said. "I began using my network of business contacts to see if we could find one big donor (for) $5,000 to help offset the costs to run a season."

Vranich said the Revs stepped in with their "generous" sponsorship.

“There are a lot of families struggling right now, because their kids can’t play sports, but also financially,” Vranich said. “So, if we can provide free baseball, it's a win-win for everybody.”

The exact fall schedule is still up in the air. The opening-day event will feature children from ages 4-6 in two T-ball contests starting at noon.

Overall, Vranich expects 100-150 families to participate in the free fall program for children of various ages.

Like the fall York-Adams League high school season, the Little League fall program will be held despite a strong recommendation from Gov. Tom Wolf that youth sports be halted until Jan. 1, 2021.

Vranich did not want to comment on Wolf's guidance, but he did say that: “Kids need sports, kids need to be active and families need sports. Sports unifies people.”

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.