Dear Shaler Area Little League Members,
I would like to take the time to give you a ‘State of the Union’ of the league after the 2021 season. Be assured, our community little league continues to put out a product that you, as members, want…quality baseball and softball at an affordable price. The fruit we produced this past season was a direct result of OUR labors whether it was coaching a team, helping a coach, volunteering in the concession stand, helping clean facilities and field care (especially after rain), fundraising and running your kids back and forth to practices and games. I would also like to add that many of our board members and commissioners do double if not triple duties of all the things I have previously mentioned. All in all, I extend a giant “Thank you” to all of you for your efforts as we continue to make our Shaler Area Little League a great place to play ball!
From a capital improvement standpoint, we continue to improve our grounds and the equipment accessible to players and coaches. The scoreboards at Kiwanis were re-surfaced and the upper scoreboard was fixed. Break-away bases were purchased for safer play when sliding. We also invested in a nail drag, rakes and other material for better field care. Farrell Field had turf installed in one batting cage this past September and will have a hitting net installed in the spring. We also confirmed the scoreboard works and would be great to run especially when most spectators are on the hillside. Stoneridge, a field that hasn’t had any love in a few years, was upgraded with a sprinkler system, batting cage turf, hitting L screen, field drags, equipment shed and tractor. The Richter complex also got new cage turf as well. We also now have functional Slushie machines at both the Richter and Burchfield concession stands and are back to selling food.
Our membership was strong this year as we had 397 spring players, the highest enrollment since 2016 and a 20% growth from the last 2 seasons. We introduced a 6u slow pitch softball offering and got 29 members and had 3 teams. We carried the membership momentum into the fall with 293 players, our highest fall enrollment ever! We had a 15u softball team this fall for the 1st time in 3 years and will likely field 2 teams next spring.
From a training perspective, we held our winter clinics for the 2nd consecutive year from January to March for both softball and baseball. We accomplished this without charging anything extra in registration fees.
Our baseball and softball divisions continue to offer competitive recreation teams as well as summer tournament teams. Our Farm and Little League division teams won the Northern Regional Baseball Association championships while the Shaler Thunderbolts (10u fast pitch) won the Greater Pittsburgh Girls Softball League championship. Both baseball and softball 12u teams participated in the Little League World Series as we hosted the district and sectional playoffs at Kiwanis and Richter Parks. The 12u girls were the District 4 and Section 2 Champions and represented Shaler Area LL in the PA state playoffs. Our summer baseball and softball tournament teams took championships at several age levels in neighboring community tournaments. Finally, we hosted our 2nd annual Little League Homerun Derby at Richter Park and 12-year-old Olivia Gieraltowski advanced to the Eastern Regional playoff held at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
From a financial standpoint, we met our fundraising goals due to generous business sponsorships, concession stand revenue, SALL hosted tournaments, our annual summer raffle and our 11th annual golf outing. This allowed us to do the capital improvements listed earlier without raising registration fees for 2022! We continue to have a successful partnership with the school district and township that allow us access to the fields. The township is very generous in assisting us with our capital improvements and we could not be so successful without such a good working relationship.
In summary, we have been blessed with a successful 2021 season, and we hope to continue such success in 2022. Remember, we are all members of this league, and its success is a result of so many contributing hands. An operation at this level cannot be run by 10 people, it requires hundreds of volunteers. We’re always looking for new faces to help as we are never short of work whether on or off the field. Please frequently visit our website www.shalerareall.com, follow us on Facebook, and READ the e-mails from the league to stay up-to-date on what is going on. Thank you for being a member of Shaler Area Little League and I do hope you continue your membership in 2022.
Shaler Area LL President