Great weather, a slew of activities boosts opening of La Grange Park Little League season

Aidan McBride tries a swing at the Toss Boss competition. (Jesse Wright / Pioneer Press)

Hundreds of families packed into Hanesworth Park Sunday for the annual La Grange Park Little League’s Family Day.

Geoff Nordmeyer, the league’s player agent, said this year’s event was special due to its ambitious offerings. Usually, the event is a day for area teams to take photos and hang out in the park. At the start of the event last year, Nordmeyer noticed something.

 “Nobody was here,” he said. “We played the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ and very few people were here.”

So, the league made an effort to offer more for families, so parents, players and siblings who aren’t in Little League could spend the day together. This year, families were invited to picnic, there were bounce houses, the league scheduled games and skill competitions and vendors sold pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers and smoothies.

The event also kicked off with a parade of T-ball players who marched through the park followed by a dedication ceremony for the league’s newly improved north field.

The plan worked. There are 500 families in the league and it appeared as they all were in attendance.

“I’m looking around at my food vendors and now I’m thinking those lines are too long,” Nordmeyer said. “Last year we had one, this year we have three. People are staying long and I’ve never seen crowds this big any time in previous years.”

Mia Sarkesian, a mother of a new Little League player, said this was her first Family Day, and her two kids were enjoying it.

“This is great,” she said, as her kids made buttons at a La Grange Park Library stand.

Michael Davidow with the Rangers takes a swing during one of the games. (Jesse Wright / Pioneer Press)


Lia Mullick makes a La Grange Park Library button while her brother, Devin, looks on. (Jesse Wright / Pioneer Press)


Sarkesian and her family had only just arrived in time for pictures, but she said they would be staying a while.

“They’re both excited to check out everything,” she said.

Besides the crowd, Nordmeyer also added he’s happy with the field improvements. The north field now boosts brick dugouts and a brick backstop.

Rachel Malone, a Little League mom of four years, said she thinks the new field is one of the best in the area.

“We were excited to see the new field dedication,” she said. “It’s a beautiful day, and we’re going to spend the whole day here.”

Nordmeyer conceded the best news might have been the weather. With temperatures hovering in the low 70s, the day remained bright and sunny.

“Between the snow and the rain, we got this beautiful day,” he said.

Chuck Hitzeman, a member of the La Grange Park Lions Club, serves up a hot dog while hungry families wait in line. (Jesse Wright / Pioneer Press)

Jesse Wright is a freelance reporter.