Friday, April 20
(Check the News/Recaps links for game recaps sent in by coaches) 
North Reading Little League's 2018 spring season started off with a bang on the April 19-21 weekend. Sunny – but a bit chilly – weather couldn't stop the youngsters and fans from having a great time. Good luck to all the teams this spring!
(A bat needs to have a "USA Baseball" sticker on it to be legal)  
A complete list of premissible bats: https://usabat.com
Have your questions answered: https://usabat.com/faq/ 
Little League information on the new bat standards: LittleLeague.org/BatInfo
SAVE THE DATE: Diamond Club Golf Tournament

Friday, Aug. 24, 2018  •  Hillview Country Club  •  8 a.m. Shotgun Start

More Information at: https://birdeasepro.com/NRDCGolf

Tuesday, April 17
NRLL Challenger Division Ready For 2018


North Reading Little League is proud to announce that its Challenger Division will return for the fifth straight year.

Challenger is most easily described as adaptive baseball for kids with special needs. It was established in 1989 as a separate division of Little League to enable boys and girls with physical and intellectual challenges, ages 4-18 (or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school), to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in the sport worldwide. Today, more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.

Since its inception in 2014, the NRLL Challenger Division has grown to include nearly four dozen players, serving families in North Reading and attracting youngsters from area communities that include Reading, Peabody, and Lynnfield. Coaches and volunteers – known as “buddies” – take a clinic-style approach that combines skills and drills, followed by modified games for the players. The emphasis is on fun and learning in a safe environment.

Sessions will run on Sundays from 9-10:30 a.m. starting April 29 at Benevento Fields, with a “road game” or two mixed in against some of the Challenger Divisions in surrounding communities. The program runs through mid-June, ending with a Jamboree hosted by Weston Little League, which is always a big hit with families and volunteers. 

NRLL President Eddie Madden has seen the impact of the Challenger Division firsthand.

“It’s wonderful to see so many kids out on the field having fun and being able to enjoy the great game of baseball,” he said.

“Challenger is one of the best things we do as a league because of how it positively affects lives, and that goes beyond the players,” added Madden, who thanked Braga Landscaping for sponsoring team jerseys and equipment for this year’s program. “The volunteers, many of them Little League players or parents themselves, find it an incredibly rewarding experience.”

Those interested in learning more about the program may contact NRLL Challenger Division director Chris Hanson at chrishanson2925@gmail.com or by calling (781) 439-9031.

Sunday, November 19

Effective on January 1, 2018, Little League Baseball® will adhere to the new USABat standard. No bats previously approved for use in Little League Play (Junior League Baseball and below) will be permitted to be used in any Little League game or practice, or other Little League function, event, or activity.

For more information on the USABat standard and a complete list of bats approved through the USABat Standard, visit usabat.com. What this means for local Little Leagues, and Little League baseball players in the Tee Ball through Junior League Divisions, as well as Little League Challenger Division®, is that all current Little League-approved bats can be used during the 2017 Little League regular season and throughout tournament play, but can no longer be used starting in 2018.

 Please use this link for full explantion of the 2018 bat rules. Always look for the USA Baseball sticker on any bat you may buy:



Wednesday, July 12
Congrats to Our 2017 Scholarship Recipients

Jack Schille (left) and Dan Madden (right) with NRLL's Rich Giannattasio

North Reading Little League is proud to announce that Jack Schille and Daniel Madden are the recipeints of the two scholarships presented annually to graduating high school seniors to aid them in pursuing higher education opportunities.

Schille, who will enroll at the University of Massachusetts in Sepetember, won the Phil Dardeno President's Award This is a $500 scholarship given to that boy or girl who has selflessly contributed to the NRLL as a player, umpire, coach, volunteer, or employee.

Madden, who is headed to the University of Alabama, earned the Harold B. Reynolds Memorial Scholarship. This is a $500 scholarship given to that boy or girl who exemplifies all of the qualities inherent in Little League as embodied by the Little League motto of “Character, Courage, and Loyalty.”

The Phil Dardeno President's Award is named after the former NRLL president who has served the town of North Reading in several capacities, including selectman, and continues to be involved in youth baseball in our town. Harold Reynolds was deeply involved in Little League and youth athletics in North Reading.


All high school seniors residing in North Reading were eligible. The awards are voted upon by the NRLL Board of Directors, with the written essay a major factor in the decision.

Tuesday, July 18
N.R. Players Shine at Northeast All-Star Game


Three North Reading players helped propel the South All-Stars to victory over their North counterparts in the Northeast Baseball Conference All-Star Game last Saturday (July 15) at Carey Park. Pictured are (left to right) Matt Debenedetto, Joe Wallace, and Marco Vittozzi, along with coach Marco Vittozzi.

Debenedetto lined a pair of doubles and threw out a runner from his catcher position; Wallace fired an inning of shutout relief, slammed a triple, and made several impressive plays in center field; and Vittozzi had four hits and four RBI while playing a flawless second base. Vittozzi was named the game’s MVP for his efforts, becoming the third North Reading player so honored, joining Ryan McAuliffe, who recently signed a contract with the New York Mets, and Paul Vittozzi.

The Northeast Baseball Conference is a nine-team league for high school-aged ballplayers. Through Monday’s games, North Reading held a 7-3-1 record and was in second place in the South Division. The league playoffs start on Friday at Carey Park (6 p.m.) with a quarterfinal contest vs. Dracut.

Monday, July 10
Jimmy Fund Jamboree a Big Hit at Benevento


There were two big winners last weekend at Benevento Park: youth baseball and the Jimmy Fund.

Sixteen teams from six area towns descended upon the North Reading Little League complex last Saturday and Sunday for the annual Jimmy Fund jamboree to kick off the league’s summer season. More than 400 ballplayers ages 7-12 from Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Wilmington, and Woburn joined their North Reading counterparts for the action.

            In addition to the exciting baseball that was played, ESPN was on hand to produce a short feature on the Jimmy Fund program that will air during the network’s Red Sox-Yankees broadcast this Sunday night from Fenway Park. ESPN filmed the games, the players, and 10-year-old Abby Roxo of Shrewsbury, this year’s Jimmy Fund League “designated hitter,” who sang the national anthem on Sunday with her 12-year-old sister Lily. Abby, diagnosed with brain cancer last summer, has been traveling throughout the area to help bring awareness to childhood cancer and to raise money for the Jimmy Fund.

Jimmy Fund Little League was co-founded in 1987 by the late George Berardi and Red Sox standouts Rico Petrocelli and Mike Andrews. As a result of the dedication of its co-founders and the hard work and winning spirit of coaches, parents, and most importantly, players, the program has raised nearly $5 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. 

The program provides more than 5,000 Little League baseball and softball players throughout New England the opportunity to continue playing after their regular season ends. Off the field, these young heroes take to their communities to raise vital funds for the Jimmy Fund, while learning the importance of philanthropy and volunteerism, and that they, too, can make a difference in the fight against cancer. In 2016, they raised more than $260,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through neighborhood canister collections, home run derbies, car washes, bake sales, and business sponsorships. 

            North Reading Little League has long supported this cause and, in addition to hosting the jamboree for the seventh straight year, makes a donation to the Jimmy Fund as part of its participation. This summer, NRLL is fielding five teams in three divisions: ages 8/9, 9/10, and 10-12. The nine-game season runs through early August with home games at the Benevento complex.

There are two Jimmy Fund divisions within Massachusetts’ District 13. The West Division is comprised of Assabet Valley (Maynard & Stow), Weston, Lincoln-Sudbury, Wayland, and Concord-Carlisle, while the East has North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Wilmington, and Woburn. 

To learn more about Jimmy Fund Baseball or to make a donation to the Jimmy Fund, go to jimmyfundlittleleague.org.

Monday, May 29
12-Year-Old Appreciation Game Set For June 18


North Reading Little League is proud to announce that the 5th Annual NRLL/Tim Chaloux 12-Year-Old Appreciation Game will take place on Fathers Day, Sunday, June 18, at Benevento Memorial Fields.

NRLL introduced this event in 2013 as a way to thank our 12-year-old players as they complete their small diamond careers and prepare to move on to the big diamond. It is also a day to honor the memory of Tim Chaloux, a former NRLL player who was a senior at the Pingree School when he tragically died five years ago.

The day has quickly become one of the most highly anticipated on the NRLL calendar, and ALL of the league’s 12-year-olds are invited to play.

Activities start at 10:30 am with registration and the opportunity for players and their families to have a game of catch on the Benevento fields. That will be followed by team warm-ups, player introductions, dedications, and a six-inning game starting at 12 noon. At the game’s conclusion, NRLL and Stan Chaloux (Tim’s father) will present the Tim Chaloux Spirit Award to the player who best exhibits the hustle, passion, and effort that defined Tim on the field.

Hot dogs, potato chips, and ice cold tonic will be provided free of charge throughout the day to players, parents, and fans.

SIGN UP YOUR SON/DAUGHTER: All you need to do to sign up for this event is send an email to info@nrll.org. Please include your son/daughter’s name, Majors team, best email address(es) to receive updates, and the number of family members who will be attending. Please respond ASAP and no later than Friday, June 9, so that we can get the best headcount possible and produce a program that includes the names of all participants.

Thank you and we hope to see you on Father's Day for what’s become another great NRLL tradition! 

Saturday, May 13
NRHS Baseball Team's Varsity Day Draws Dozens of Little Leaguers


More than three dozen North Reading Little Leaguers took part in high school team's "Varsity Day" at Carey Park on Saturday afternoon, May 13. The event drew players from the NRLL Majors, Minors, and Farm divisions.

The event included contests and competitions allowed the NRLL players to learn from and interact with the North Reading varsity. Lunch was provided for each player in attendance.

Monday, July 17


Massachusetts State Finals Take Place Next Week at Benevento Park

Playing in the Little League World Series is the dream of every youngster who puts on a baseball cap and glove, and winning the Massachusetts State Tournament is another step toward that dream coming true.

North Reading’s Benevento Park will host the 2017 State Finals on July 27-30, bringing together the top four teams in the Commonwealth. They’ll be vying for the right to advance to the New England Regional Tournament in Bristol, Conn., to face the champions from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The regional winner will then represent New England in the Little League World Series, scheduled for Aug. 17-27 in South Williamsport, Pa.

In preparation for the State Finals, North Reading Little League has performed a host of renovations to the Benevento Complex, including new lights, new dugouts, field improvements, a 20’ x 40’ pavilion, and an expanded snack shack. The goal is not only for NRLL to be able to put its best foot forward next week, but that the improvements will benefit the program and the town’s youth ball players for many years to come.

“We’re on target and ready to go,” said North Reading Little League president Eddie Madden, who keyed North Reading’s successful bid to host the Finals and has overseen the preparations for the past 18 months. “The new lights were completed last week and they alone make a huge difference, but they’re just one of many projects we’ve undertaken.”

The games begin next Thursday, July 27, at 3:30 p.m. when the champions from Section 1 and Section 2 meet. Opening ceremonies take place after that game, starting at 6:30 p.m., and the nightcap features Section 3 vs. Section 4 at 7:30 p.m. Pool play continues Friday, July 28 (4 p.m. and 7 p.m.), and Saturday, July 29 (12 noon and 3 p.m.), with the championship game on Sunday, July 30 (1 p.m.). Admission is free.

In addition to the games, the Red Sox Showcase will be on display at Benevento Park on July 29. The Showcase is a transportable Fenway Park featuring an interactive baseball program so that kids and families can experience baseball like the pros. The centerpiece is a 15-foot panel truck with interactive games and activities, allowing fans to test their baseball skills, all under the backdrop of a replica Green Monster scoreboard. The truck also includes a batting cage, a Red Sox virtual reality experience, pitching accuracy stations, “Steal 2nd Base” challenge, a Green Monster selfie station, and a Giant Jenga.

While the Showcase will be fun for the fans, the players will be focused on the games – and the dream of reaching the Little League World Series. A total of 16 teams – eight from the United States and eight International – will compete in this year’s World Series. In addition to New England, the U.S. teams will come from the following regions: Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and West. The International field comprises Asia-Pacific/Middle East, Australia, Canada, Caribbean, Europe/Africa, Japan, Latin America, and Mexico.

Overall, 10 Massachusetts teams have participated in the Little League World Series, most recently Peabody Western in 2009. Other Massachusetts teams to win the New England Regional include Jesse Burkett (Worcester) in 2002, Saugus American in 2003, and Walpole American in 2007.

At the World Series, attendance is normally well over 20,000, with crowds of 30,000 or more for the championship game. Millions more see the games on the ESPN Family of Networks and ABC. There is never any admission charge to attend a Little League Baseball World Series game and all team expenses – from food to travel to lodging – are covered.

Little League was founded in 1938 by Carl E. Stotz and play began the following season. In 1947, Stotz and the first local Little League Board of Directors brought together all Little League programs (there were just 17) and called it the National Little League Tournament. The champion was the Maynard Midget League of Williamsport, who defeated the Lock Haven All-Stars, 16-7. 

 Aided by the publicity from that first tournament, a rush of excitement suddenly surrounded Little League, both across the country and even pouring over our national borders. By 1950, the first international Little Leagues had been established at either end of the Panama Canal and in Canada, prompting the National Tournament to be renamed the Little League Baseball World Series.

Before the 20th century was complete, the brainchild of Stotz had grown to include nearly 7,500 leagues in more than 100 countries with nearly three million children playing Little League Baseball or Little League Softball.

To serve the public interest, Little League has added several divisions of play through the years. Teenage baseball divisions (Intermediate 50/70, Junior, Senior, and Big League) and Challenger Division for physically and developmentally challenged children have extended the program’s outreach even further. There are now seven Little League World Series tournaments played every year.


Thursday, July 13
Red Sox Showcase Part of State Championships at Benevento


Reprinted from the North Reading Patch

By Bob Holmes, Patch Staff

Great baseball isn't the only thing coming to North Reading for the Little League state finals on Saturday, July 29. 

Back again for the 2017 season, The Red Sox Showcase will be hitting the road this summer bringing a free Fenway Park and Red Sox baseball experience to fans throughout New England. And from 3-6 p.m. on July 29, the Showcase will be at Benevento Complex on Central Street in North Reading for the Massachusetts Little League state finals. (The state finals take place July 27-30 at Benevento. Admission to the games and the Red Sox Showcase is free of charge.)

The Red Sox Showcase is a transportable Fenway Park featuring an interactive baseball program that will let kids and families get into the game, and experience baseball like the pros. The centerpiece of the Showcase is a customized 15-foot panel truck that transforms into a massive Red Sox experience with interactive games and activities, allowing fans to test their baseball skills, all under the backdrop of a replica Green Monster scoreboard, Fenway Park’s iconic left field wall. The truck includes a batting cage, the Red Sox virtual reality experience, pitching accuracy stations, steal 2nd base challenge, Green Monster selfie station and a Giant Jenga.

The Red Sox Showcase, powered by T-Mobile is a part of the Red Sox Calling All Kids initiative, which aims to provide greater access to Red Sox games, enhance kids experiences at Fenway Park, and celebrate and strengthen the game of baseball in the community.

The Red Sox Showcase will be touring New England all summer long featuring fun games and challenges that bring Fenway Park to your local community! A special truck opens to feauture pitching accuracy stations, a Green Monster selfie station, Giant Jenga and the Red Sox Virtual Reality. 

Monday, July 10
State Championship Tournament Schedule Set


Preparations continue for the 2017 State Little League Championships, which will bring Massachusetts’ top four 12-year-old baseball teams to North Reading’s Benevento Park to determine who will take the next step toward the Little League World Series. The seven-game tournament will be held July 27-30, and admission is free to all games.

The Tournament schedule has been set. On Thursday, July 27, games will be played at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The Opening Ceremonies are set for 6:30 p.m. that night and will include former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield and Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster.

Games on Friday, July 28, will be played at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., and the games on Saturday, July 29, are scheduled for 12 noon and 3 p.m. The championship game will be held Sunday, July 30, at 1 p.m.

“We still have some work to do, but we’re excited for the tournament and we’ll be ready,” said North Reading Little League president Eddie Madden. “I’ve been so impressed by how the community has come together – our volunteers, local businesses, the great people at Parks & Rec and Town Hall, and so many others – to see that this is a success.

“When all is said and done, we want this to be remembered as the best State Championship ever held.”

Massachusetts Little League is divided into 16 districts, which each crowning a champion that then plays in one of the four sectional tournaments. These sectional champions then compete for the state title.

While North Reading has hosted numerous District and Sectional tournaments in recent years (including the 2015 12-year-old Sectional Championships), this is the first time it has hosted the State Championships. The state champion will advance to the New England Regional in Bristol, Conn., with that winner earning one of eight U.S. bids to the Little League World Series, scheduled for Aug. 17-27 in Williamsport, Pa.

In addition to the games at Benevento Park, there will be several activities for fans and an opportunity to see the Red Sox World Series trophies from 2004, 2007, and 2013 on display.

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