By Sabina Mollot
When the Peter Stuyvesant Little League celebrates its season opening day, this year on April 1, former Mets outfielder and coach Mookie Wilson will join the players at Con Ed Field, and along their march through the neighborhood.
Wilson, whose real first name is William, played for the Mets for over a decade starting in 1980, then later played for the Toronto Blue Jays. In his post-playing career, he served as first base coach to the Mets first from 1996-2002, then again in 2011 for one season and has also managed other teams.
It’s a PSLL tradition to have a former pro baseball player give a pep talk to the kids and throw the first pitch of the season. Previous MLB guests have included Dwight “Doc” Gooden, former Mets player Keith Hernandez and last year, former Mets manager Bobby Valentine.
This year, players from the PSLL’s new division for kids with disabilities, The Challengers, will lead the annual parade, alongside Wilson.
The parade begins on Saturday, April 1 at 8:30 a.m. on First Avenue and 20th Street and from there will proceed around the Oval and then onto Con Ed Field for a brief ceremony.
In related PSLL news, it’s been a good year for the local league. Last season, the boys’ minors and majors’ division teams won the Manhattan championship. The league also scored a city championship and advanced to the state level of the Little League World Series, where its juniors’ division softball team won one game against a western New York team.
Additionally, following the closure of the seasonal sports tent in Stuy Town after last winter, the league found a new spot to hold indoor practice clinics, Xavier High School.
The Peter Stuyvesant Little League, now 61 years old, has over 700 players and its president is Jeff Ourvan.