Friday Nights Under the Lights for Little Leaguers
The thrill of big league ball, with the fun of youth games for Watchung and Green Brook teams.
Many boys dream of standing under the field lights at a ballpark, hearing their name called and maybe, just maybe, making the big play to win the game.
And for some of the players in the Watchung and Green Brook Little Leagues, that dream comes true during the leagues' Friday night games.
"You can't underestimate the value of getting your name called out and playing under the lights," Watchung Coach Rob Lister said, after Friday's game. He said for most Little League players, it's the first time they've ever played at night, under lights—just like their heroes in the big leagues.
For the last seven years, the two leagues have celebrated baseball by holding games every Friday night at Roth Brown Kelly Construction Field at Green Brook's Martin Walsh Little League complex. The games aren't league-sanctioned, and there's no official scorekeeping. Watchung sends the league's traveling teams, while Green Brook puts together teams with several players tapped from a few teams to play.
"Nobody keeps a record, it's basically for fun," Green Brook's Little League Tom Tsivgas said.
It's fun, but watch the players and you'll see some focused ballplayers. "There's a lot of pride on the line—nobody wants to lose to the neighboring town," Green Brook Coach Jerry Montecalvo said.
Friday's game ended with a sharp double play by Green Brook, after a Watchung batter drove a beautiful hit to center field. And for another Little League player, the dream came true, again.