Carnival Closing Day: St. James – Smithtown Little League ends season...

Carnival Closing Day: St. James – Smithtown Little League ends season with a Bang

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The smoke cleared from the skies just in time, and the St. James-Smithtown Little League concluded its regular season and playoffs with a gala, daylong championship Saturday, June 10, at Gaynor Park in St. James.

Due to the poor air quality from the Canadian wildfires earlier in the week, the weekend was jam-packed from sun-up to sundown with baseball and softball games from all age groups. In addition to the exciting action, players, parents, and fans enjoyed music, face painting, a bouncy house and the smell of smoke of a much more pleasing nature wafting from the east parking lot — free hot dogs and hamburgers all day long. There were also churros, cotton candy and big, salty pretzels.

“It was the best ceremony and festival we’ve ever had for the league,” said S.J.S.L.L. President Richard Tomitz. “We were able to raise a lot of money for (former New York Jet and current radio voice) Marty Lyons’ foundation and Legislator Rob Trotta’s donation to our league is much appreciated.”

Lyons, whose construction company LandTek helped build the league’s new turf fields, also runs a foundation that works with children from ages 3 to 18 with terminal illnesses and grants them wishes. His foundation has raised $43,000,000 since its inception four decades ago.

“Never take anyone or anything for granted in this world,” Lyons told the crowd. “What we have today, we might not have tomorrow, and we should give thanks to God for the opportunities that he’s allowed us to have. I do this every day of my life.”

Through the sale of raffle tickets and individual donations, Tomitz raised several thousand dollars for the foundation. Suffolk  County Legislator Rob Trotta also spoke to the crowd and presented Tomitz with a check for $2,500 as Trotta’s office, S.J.S.L.L. and BusPatrol America — an organization devoted to creating a system to sustain the safety of children as they travel to and from school — have partnered to help the Suffolk County Police Department to issue tickets and enforce critical law to change driver behavior.

“We want to bring the number of school bus accidents and violations to zero in Suffolk County,” said Trotta in his remarks to the crowd.

When the microphone and podium were removed from the field, it was time for baseball. In the first game, the 11 and under minor league championship game pitted Trophy Hut v Smithtown Ninja, with Trophy Hut winning 15-9. The 12U Championship was played next and Armor Fence defeated Memas Little Italian 12-7. Armor Fence capped off an undefeated season with the win.

 In Majors Softball, La Familia won the Championship 9-2 in finals vs. Team Sciortino.

For the smaller players, Tee Ball and Coach-Pitch leagues for kids 4-7 also played their finales on a colorful, balloon-filled, and sun-splashed morning, afternoon into early evening. The eight-year-old All-Star game kicked off the activities early in the morning.

Although the 2023 S.J.S.L.L. intraleague season is in the books, the action is just heating up for baseball and softball in Smithtown.  Six different age groups have qualified for participation in Williamsport tryouts, which is where the Little League World Series is held each August.  In July, Smithtown will host the New York State Softball tournament, which will send the winner of the 12 and under group to North Carolina to compete on a national level.  The Smithtown girls who played on the 11 and under team last year, won their State Bracket. Many of them are the 12U team this year and have a real chance of playing in the national championship.  Tomitz is one of the coaches on that team.

“Everyone is really excited about the softball tournament coming here,” Tomitz said. “We can’t wait to host and hopefully win again. It’s going to be awesome.”