Dozens of the 38 baseball and softball teams from Richmond Hill and Woodhaven chanted their team’s calls, held signs and prepared for the first games of the year as they took the turn up 98th Street to Forest Park’s George Seuffert Sr. Bandshell.
Terry Flanagan, president of WORKS Little League, met the teams at P.S. 90 Horace Mann, located at 86-50 109th St., to organize before they began the legendary march.
He has participated every year since 1971 when he was just six years old.
“This year I am very happy, because my father coached when I played here and my oldest son, who’s a college student, has now asked me to come back and coach this year,” Flanagan said. “I have three generations of my family who have coached in this league, so I am very proud of that.”
This year Flanagan is coaching girl’s softball.
Brooklyn Cyclone’s mascot Sandy the Seagull joined the parade for the WORKS League raffle for a chance to win a night out with the Cyclones.
Kai Halim, a resident of Woodhaven, was out at P.S. 90 to support his son.
“The benefits of having your child in this league and in organized sports is the camaraderie, and being able to have them engage with other children, share experiences with other children, have fun and just be a kid,” Halim said.
“I think it’s important today for children to just be children, because there’s not as many outlets for them to have for them to just be kids,” he added.
Ralph Veras, coach of the Cardinals, marched in the parade to start his first year with the league in Woodhaven.
“It’s exciting for particularly the younger guys, but as they get older they get a little lazier, they don’t want to do the parade,” Veras said, marching with his team of 14 and 15 year olds.
Veras has coached baseball for around 12 years, and this year he says he is confident he has a good team on hand.
“I just want to see the kids progress,” Veras said. “The great thing about coaching is to watch where they start, up to where they finish.”