Welcome to Milton National Little League, A ball! My name is Mark Gaffney, and I'll be your kids' head coach this season. Your child is on the Reds.
A little background on me. My wife, Bridget, and I have been living in Milton for 13 years with our three kids (Avery (11), Oscar (9) and Cora (6)), and their four-legged friend (Blaze (5)). Bridget coaches soccer and I coach both flag football and baseball, so you may have seen us on rosters in the past.
My goal for the kids this year is 3-fold:
1. Have fun and look back on this year with good memories and new friends.
2. Learn about the fundamentals of baseball.
3. Learn how to be a great teammate.
With your help, I am confident that it will be a great season and we can meet all of these goals.
For now, just a few housekeeping items:
1. Structure - for those new to A-ball, this is coach-pitch. All kids bat and play in the field each inning, there are no outs or strike outs, there isn't an official scorecard, and we will pull out the T as needed so every kid can feel the joy of cracking the ball with a bat.
2. Practice and games - our full schedule is posted on the Milton National webpage under A-> Reds. All of our practices and games will be at Shields Park. Please let me know if your child won't be able to make these times, and I can work with the league to get your child re-assigned to a team with a different schedule. As best you can, please get your child to practices on time and to games 5-10 minutes before the start time so that we can get ourselves organized.
3. Gear - I will have baseballs, catcher gear, some batting helmets, bats and a T. Your child will need his or her own glove, and consider getting some baseball pants and even sliding shorts. 6-7 year olds love to slide in the dirt, and the infield at Shields is rocky - I've seen more than one skinned knee.
4. Masks / social distancing – we are still in a pandemic, so the kids will be expected to wear masks at all times. More to follow on this once the season gets underway.
5. MOST IMPORTANTLY - Volunteers! if one or two of you are willing to help out, I would greatly appreciate it. 2-3 adults per team is the ideal number to cover the pitching, helping in the field, keeping the batting order, and containing the chaos while we are at bat. If you're interested, shoot me a note.
That's all I have for now, but don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
Otherwise, I look forward to meeting all of you at our first practice on Wednesday, 4/14 at 4:45pm at Shields.