“It has been an amazing success” said Lou Ciaramella the General Manager of East Haven’s American Legion program on commenting about the .
“We have been overwhelmed with inquiries and with players wanting to play for their town,” said Ciaramella, “There was obviously a need out there for what we offer. We are very pleased with the response so far.”
The East Haven American Legion Baseball program, after lying dormant for 20 years, was revived by Coach Lou Zullo in 1985, and is currently enjoying unprecedented growth and success, according to Ciaramella.
The Senior team, Ciaramella said, fielding perhaps the most talented Legion Squad ever, won the their State Championship this fall, two other Legion teams made the Fall Post-season.
Now, for first time, the 2012 season will field teams and compete with players 13 and Under and 12 and Under.
'Wealth of Talent'
“Immediately upon announcing our expansion, we had more players than we had teams for them,” said Ciaramella, “So we added more teams to accommodate everyone who expressed interest."
The coach added that because East Haven "a wealth of baseball talent," it is good to be able to "let these kids play with pride for our program and our town.”
“We were lucky to have a core group of excellent baseball people as advisors to assist us in a smooth expansion. These people, who are part of the fabric of East Haven Baseball in town, include 89er President Joe Pleccia, High School Coach Butch Johnson, Freshman Coach Gary Brasile, Legion Coaches Ed Poulin, Chuck Hinckley and Nick Savalli and numerous former and current East Haven players.
Add to that the addition of quality newcomers in Brian Duryea and Mike Smith, the expansion "has been fantastic," Ciaramella said.
"In fact, we believe we can now accommodate additional clinics and players and would encourage anyone who wants to play to contact me," he said.
The 89ers baseball club administers the Legion Program and has expanded to include players of almost any age in town, the 12U program will not conflict with Little League, so any player that wishes to continue Little League is encouraged to continue playing in their respective leagues, program leaders said.
The 12U program involves games played after the Little League season and also includes clinical training and classroom work for players to teach the game of baseball beyond just playing on the diamond.
The 13U teams will be playing immediately and has options to also include classroom time to add depth to the players baseball knowledge and the rules of the game.
Likely to Double in Size
The East Haven program is likely to double in size this season, according to Ciaramella, as more people discover the level of talent in our town.
He added that the other factor that benefits the program is that the costs involved are "pleasantly affordable" and about Ten (10%) Percent of what the Private “Pay to Play” AAU teams charge.
Any baseball parents or baseball players between the ages of 9 and 18 are encouraged to call Lou Ciaramella at (203)-467-4811, and inquire about the program or to attend an informational meeting about the East Haven American Legion Baseball.