By Sabina Mollot
On Saturday, April 18, the Peter Stuyvesant Little League will hold its annual parade from Stuyvesant Town to Con Ed Field, a longstanding community tradition which also usually includes a visit from a well-known former baseball player.
Previous guests of honor to throw the first pitch of the season have included Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez and Cecil Fielder.
However, this year the PSLL may or may not have a pro player since, as one league parent has told T&V, many players’ appearance fees have gone through the roof, starting at twice the fees paid in recent years, plus the cost of flying them in and hotel stays. The parent noted the league has been and would continue to be willing to pay for a player’s time, but is hoping to find one willing to reduce his fee for the kiddos.
The PSLL, a nonprofit organization, has 750 members, many of whom live in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.
Jeff Ourvan, the PSLL’s new president, said he wasn’t too worried yet though as it’s actually not uncommon for plans for a speaker to be finalized at the eleventh hour.
“It’s sometimes a last minute thing,” he said. “A lot of it is negotiation.”
He added, ‘We’re talking about a half hour or 45 minutes.”
Typically, former or retired ball players who’ve come as guests will throw the first pitch to the Little Leaguers and give a pep talk about how to make it in the sport. Sometimes they also march in the parade.
Ourvan added that the league isn’t trying to raise the money for a fee through sponsors, because the league has already gotten support from sponsors.
At this time, it’s just a question of how to spend the funds the league now has.
“If we’re going to allocate thousands of dollars on something, there are other things that we can use,” Ourvan said. “If we can have a pitching machine, we’d rather have that.”
If something isn’t worked out with a player, the event will still take place just the same with the league departing on April 18 from a meeting place in front of Hane restaurant at First Avenue and 20th Street at 8 a.m. From there the players will head into Stuy Town, circle Stuyvesant Oval and then conclude the march at the field on Avenue C and 15th Street for a brief ceremony (around 9 a.m.).
Elected officials who have confirmed they’ll be attending are Council Member Dan Garodnick and State Senator Brad Hoylman.
Ourvan, a literary agent who’s written a book on how to coach kids in youth sports, became the PSLL president last year.