This past Saturday, Rye Little League top dog Myles Lavelle told the type of story that makes a community–the story of the founding of the Rye Little League in 1959. It's a story we wanted to celebrate and memorialize by sharing with our MyRye.com readers. Thanks to Myles for sharing it with all of us and to the folks that made Rye Little League happen back in 1959.
In March of 1959, a group of hard working men and women, came together to establish the Rye Little League. They began with just sweat, determination, strong backs and shovels to build the League’s 1st field. The Founders and volunteers sold raffle tickets to buy bats, balls and uniforms. Local businesses such as Wonder Bread and Rye Ford sponsored the initial 6 League teams.
The 1st official Rye Little League game was held in May of 1959 at the Rye High School. The opening day opponents were the Rockets and Riots. The four remaining teams were the Bullets, Hawks, Crew Cuts and Chiefs.
These men never expected recognition and they did it purely for the love of Baseball and the Rye Community. They would, however, be very proud and humbled at today’s events. To honor The Founders and the many volunteers the City of Rye, Rye Recreation Department and Rye Little League want to recognize their efforts by naming Rye’s newest baseball fields- Founders Field and a bronze plaque listing the original names on the 1959 Little League Charter. The plaque can be viewed at Founders Field in the spectator’s area along the 1st base line.
The Plaque’s inscription reads
Disbrow Park, City of Rye, NY
Honoring those as named on the original March 1959 Rye Little League Charter
Harry Adams John Gunn
Robert Albrecht James McCullough
Pat Amendola Arthur Murphy
Leonard Butler Walter Uhle
And other Rye residents who offered their time and support
Other important League officials in 1959 were:
Ted Parmelee – Chief of Umpires and Ed Grainger- Legal Counsel
Representing the 1959 Founders of Rye Little League are:
- Margaret Amendola, Patrick Amendola, Rick Amendola, and Cathy Amendola -Culyer, and their family members.
- Lori Uhle
- John Gunn, Bill Gunn, Cindy Gunn-Welch, and Jackie Gunn-Delgrosso
To throw out the first pitch and speak on behalf of the Founders please welcome Pat Amendola, the starting pitcher for the Riots in the first ever Rye Little League game.