Little league baseball is a part of growing up for many that teaches teamwork, responsibilities and sportsmanship while playing a sport that shares the Americana stage with hot dogs and apple pie.
A group of little leaguers from Fort Hunt went to the Alexandria Aces game in late June as a team activity to see college-aged players take the next step to the minor league and maybe onto Major League Baseball. The little leaguers wore their uniforms and interacted as a team while watching a live game on a hot summer night.
"It was great to see the Fort Hunt Little Leaguers in attendance, as we continue to grow the franchise it’s important that we continue to engage with all of the youth groups in Alexandria," Alexandrian Frank Fannon, the Principle Owner of the team.
The Alexandria Aces won the Cal Ripken collegiate baseball league championship last year so the demand for attendance has increased, Fannon noted. They've brought in additional seating to accommodate 250 more fans at the Alexandria ballfield.
Local baseball aficionado Jamie Sara started out in Fort Hunt Little League and played the sport for years before landing a spot on the coaching staff at West Potomac High School in Mount Vernon. When he graduated from West Potomac in 2015, Sara was drafted by the San Diego Padres but opted to go to college at William and Mary where he played college baseball before going on to the Alexandria Aces. He valued his time in the Fort Hunt Little League.
“Playing little league was really, really beneficial for developing athletic skills as well,” he said. A bonding activity like going to the Ace’s game “is a great opportunity for bringing the team together,” he said.
The Alexandria Aces are a collegiate summer league baseball team entering their 15th season as members of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, which began in 2005 to promote the sport in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. They have 18 regular season home games at Frank E. Mann Field at Four Mile Run Park.
A non-profit organization, the main goal of the Aces is to give back to the community and strengthen the presence of baseball in Alexandria, the Ace’s information said. Having a night out with the Fort Hunt little leaguers is a good example of that.
On Friday, July 7 the Aces are playing the Bethesda Big Train at home, Frank Mann Field on 3700 Commonwealth Avenue in Alexandria, followed by another game Saturday evening against Cropdusters Baseball which is a team out of Olney, Maryland.