Volunteer coaches, managers and those who fill a slew of other roles are what keeps Brick Township’s Little League organization running – and they are now being forever recognized for their efforts.
After a very successful year of youth baseball in 2023, Brick Little League ended its season with a bang, celebrating the organization’s accomplishments during the year, honoring one of its departing coaches and received a brand-new address of “One Volunteer Way” as part of a street naming dedication ceremony by the mayor.
Brick Little League, the only official Little League-affiliated youth baseball program in Brick Township, celebrated more than 40 years of baseball at their complex Edmund Hibbard Park (located on Tiller Lane), District Tournament Championships for their 11-year-old and Senior League All-Star teams, and accomplishing their largest total registration of 990 players for the league’s spring and fall seasons – the largest player registration they have had in their modern history since 2014.
A span of great baseball came to a close – or at least a pause until spring – recently as the season ended with the ceremonial street renaming, according to Mike Desmond, who serves as president of the Brick Little League organization.
During the ceremony last Saturday, Oct. 28, the league received a new dedicated street address “One Volunteer Way,” and the entrance of the complex and the thruway of the complex will now be known as “Volunteer Way” which will serve as a tribute to “all Little League Baseball Volunteers past, present and future,” Desmond said.
The ceremony was attended by Mayor Lisa Crate and Council President Heather deJong.
A Fond Farewell
During the ceremony, Brick Little League also bid farewell to one of its coaches, Kevin Baran Jr.
“Coach Kevin” has been a coach at Brick Little League for eight years, but was also a dedicated volunteer and board member who gave his time to make Brick Little League the best youth baseball program it could be, Desmond said.
With Baran and his family planning to relocate to North Carolina this year, members of his family, fellow coaches, and players he coached were on the field for the ceremony.
“Kevin did a lot for the League over the past eight years, in addition to coaching every spring and fall Season since his son started playing in the League, but also organized division age groups, did game scheduling, put rosters together, ordered uniforms and equipment and ran the League’s Umpire Program,” said Desmond.
“I woke up sad this morning because my time at the League is over, but feel blessed with the ability to walk out on the fields and coach the best group of kids in the state,” Baran said in his farewell speech. “It is not all about me, it is about Brick Little League; if I could have inspired one volunteer here then I did my job.”
Crate was on hand to deliver a proclamation for Baran and formally dedicated the Brick Little League Complex as “One Volunteer Way.”
“There is a stadium at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. that is named Volunteer Stadium that honors Little League volunteers across the world, and we are very happy to be able to honor Little League volunteers in our own special way here in Brick with the dedication of our complex now known as One Volunteer Way,” Desmond said during the ceremony. “The Volunteer Way sign will be displayed at the complex and will act as a moral compass to guide volunteers into and through the organization to help keep volunteers focused on creating the best experiences for the players.”
Those same volunteers are already gearing up for the 2024 Little League season. Registration for the Brick Little League 2024 Spring action is now open online at www.bricklittleleague.com.