Peter Stuyvesant Little League Parade

Hundreds came out for the annual tradition, which, this time, featured a visit from former Yankees player Jeff Nelson.

Hundreds came out for the annual tradition, which, this time, featured a visit from former Yankees player Jeff Nelson. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Saturday morning, hundreds of young athletes and their families, mainly from Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, gathered for the annual Peter Stuyvesant Little League parade.

The parade, a decades-long tradition, is considered the official kickoff for a new season of local baseball, softball and teeball.

Led by a bagpiper, the PSLL procession snaked its way through Stuy Town, finally ending up at Con Ed Field on Avenue C. It was there where the kids were met by a former Major League Baseball player, Jeff Nelson.

Nelson, a relief pitcher who played for the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners before retiring in 2007, admired the turf field the PSLL uses.

“I never had this when I was growing up,” he said. The player, who grew up in Baltimore, added, “It all starts here when you want to be a Major League Baseball player. I remember I was seven when I started.”

He also thanked the league for inviting him and seemed impressed by the PSLL’s size. “It’s great to see the support from the kids and especially the parents,” he said.

Nelson then threw the first pitch of the season, which was caught by Cubs Minors player Blake Levine.

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Former Yankee Jeff Nelson will join the kids on PSLL opening day

Jeff Nelson (Photo via Wikipedia)

Jeff Nelson (Photo via Wikipedia)

By Sabina Mollot

Following a search for a former Major League Baseball player, the Peter Stuyvesant Little League announced Monday morning that Jeff Nelson, formerly of the Yankees, has been confirmed to join the kids on their opening day activities.

Nelson was the relief pitcher for the Yankees during the 1996-2000 championship seasons. He retired in 2007.

The opening day PSLL parade is scheduled for Saturday, April 18 in front of Hane restaurant at First Avenue and 20th Street at 8 a.m. From there the players will head into Stuyvesant Town, circle Stuyvesant Oval and then conclude the march at Con Ed field on Avenue C and 15th Street for a brief ceremony (around 9 a.m.).

This year, the PSLL had concerns it wouldn’t be able to have a retired pro player as a guest, which has been a tradition of the league, due to many players’ appearance fees going up.

Previous guests have included Dwight “Doc” Gooden, Keith Hernandez and Cecil Fielder.