Everett Little League was supposed to begin its 2020 season this Saturday but the COVID-19 global pandemic has put Opening Day on hold just as the crisis has affected every other sports league in the U.S.A. and beyond.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria would have been throwing out the first ball after teams had marched in to Sacramone Park for the festivities. And new Everett Little League President Oscar Vega, a man who loves baseball very much, would have been smiling while welcoming upwards of 300 boys and girls to the youth baseball organization.
Vega was elected president in October, succeeding highly respected and long-time Everett youth sports official George Castiello.
Vega was set to confer with the District 12 league presidents Tuesday night to discuss ideas and review the latest directive from the Little League International organization that is headquartered in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Vega will meet via zoom teleconference with his own board of directors Sunday.
The 41-year-old Vega remains hopeful that ELL will get at least a portion of the season played this summer. Vega said any decision would depend on Mayor DeMaria reopening the fields in the city.
Vega has been a coach in ELL since 2010 and has two sons, Enrico and Santino, who play baseball. Enrico is an ELL graduate and plays in the Premier League for the Everett Show team. He will enter Everett High School in the fall. Santino, 11, plays on the ELL Major League Red Sox.
Vega said he’s happy to have such youth sports stalwarts as Mike Vitukevich on his leadership team. Vega said he has been building a relationship between the league and new Everett High baseball coach Joel Levine.
“We had been talking with Coach Levine to see if there was anything we could do during the year. such as instructional clinics, so we could try to build baseball and bring it back to the city,” said Vega, who coaches his son Enrico’s AAU 14-under team.
Vega, who is originally from Brighton, said he maintains a simple philosophy as a coach: teach the game well and make it a fun experience.
“I look at success not as a winning record, but having the kids come back to play every year and continuing to play baseball – that’s my goal,” said Vega. “Little League is to educate these kids how to play. Of course, winning is fun, but that’s not always the end result.”