Rutherford Little League News Archive

Volunteers of the Year | Boards of Directors | Memorials
Note: Tournament results are now located in the History section of the Web site.

New Baseball Local Rule for Heart Protection

Last revised 25-Sep-2015

At its Annual Meeting 24-Sep-2015, the membership of Rutherford Little League, Inc., passed the following Local Rule, effective for the 2016 season:

“10.02(c) All Major Baseball players must wear an approved form of heart protection during all practices, scrimmages, and games.”

Given the excessive speed at which balls fly off certain modern bats that have been approved by Little League, our League has taken this proactive step to enhance the safety of our players. There are several available products that provide suitable protection without impacting the fielder’s ability to play defense. These products also provide heart protection while players are batting, to defend against the impact of pitched or thrown balls.

Parents will be responsible for supplying heart protection for their children in Major Baseball. The League will provide assistance where necessary.

RLL, Borough Adopt Standing Agreement

Last revised 31-Dec-2014

On Monday 22-Dec-2014, the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Rutherford approved an agreement proposed by the Rutherford Little League to formalize and perpetuate cooperation between the parties regarding the operation of baseball and softball in Rutherford.

This agreement expands upon the successful operation by Rutherford Little League of the softball program that was begun by the Recreation Department in the 1960s. The League became its program coordinator in 2011 under a pilot program that continued through 2014.

Under the newly approved agreement, Rutherford Little League becomes the agent for all player registration, team assignments, etc., for baseball for players aged 5 through 12 and for softball for players aged 5 through 14 (ages as defined by Little League Baseball, Inc.). The Borough will continue to maintain fields, with the exception of Tom Mellody Field, and programs will be cross-promoted between the League and the Recreation Department. All league volunteers will be subject to the Borough’s Athletic Code of Conduct (in PDF format; requires Adobe Reader or equivalent).

Rutherford Little League will establish and collect the registration fee, to be the same for both baseball and softball, and will set a per-family cap on enrollment fees. The League will also coordinate the availability of travel programs.

The new agreement creates a more streamlined program and makes it easier to register players and have them assigned to teams, as the League uses online registration and will accept signups at any time, not just during the hours that borough offices are open.

The Rutherford Little League looks forward to continued cooperation with the Borough, as we follow our mission of serving the youth baseball and softball players who reside or attend school in Rutherford.

Infield Masks Now in Place in RLL Softball

Last revised 2-May-2014

At a recent Board of Directors meeting, the Rutherford Little League implemented the use of face masks for all pitchers and infielders in the Junior, Major, and Triple-A levels of Rutherford Recreation / Little League Softball, effective with the arrival of the masks. With the order having been received, the masks will be mandatory effective with the games of Friday 2-May-2014.

With the front of the pitcher’s circle less than 40 feet from home plate, and with infielders often playing as close or even closer to defend against the bunt, the League has taken this proactive step to help ensure the safety of its players and instill confidence when making plays. Masks are a common sight on pitchers and infielders in college and high school softball, so their use in our League will also get players accustomed to wearing them.

This is one of the many steps the League has taken to improve the quality of play in recent years. While the sight, and feel for the players, may be unusual at first, we are confident that the masks will become just another part of the uniform and players will feel good about having this added level of protection as the games go forward.

Little League Regulation Changes: Softball Pitching, Baseball League Age, Residence Eligibility

Last revised 16-Apr-2014

Little League Baseball, Inc., the organization that charters Little League baseball and softball programs worldwide, has announced significant changes to its regulations, some of which take effect in 2014, others in 2015 and beyond.

The immediate changes affect the softball pitching regulations. The International Board of Directors ratified and immediately implemented a new regulation approved by the recent Little League Congress in Minneapolis that relaxes most of the pitching restrictions that had been in place.

Under the new rule, there are no pitching restrictions at the Junior level. At the Major level, the limit on innings pitched in a week has been removed, and the day’s rest requirement is only applied if a player pitches in more than six innings in a week. The Minor Softball limit of six innings per week and a one-day rest period after pitching more than one inning remains in effect.

Please note that in its continued effort to encourage development of pitchers, the Rutherford Little League has retained its Major Softball restriction of pitching in eight innings over any two consecutive team games during the regular season. This limit will be removed during the playoffs.

Little League has also approved a change in the league age determination date for baseball, effective in 2015 with a three-year implementation period.

Effective in 2015, a baseball player’s league age will be the player’s age on December 31 of the playing year, rather than April 30. Accordingly, every player born in 2003 will be of league age 12 in 2015.

However, for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 seasons only, players who are league age 13 but would be of league age 12 under the rule in effect from 2006 through 2014 (that is, born in May through December) will be allowed to continue playing in the Major Baseball division. Thus, all current players of league age 9 will have three more seasons of Major eligibility.

Eligibility for Tee Ball and Minor League will follow the new guideline effective in 2015, so that players born as late as December 2010 will be eligible for Tee Ball in 2015.

Please note that the new rule sets a one-year difference between baseball and softball eligibility. The softball league age determination date is December 31 of the previous year, so that a player who is league age 12 for baseball is league age 11 for softball.

Back in November 2013, Little League announced a change in its residence eligibility regulation, effective with the 2014 season.

For decades, the rule stated that players must live within the boundaries of the local league charter, as detailed on a map. Exceptions were made for players who began their careers within a league but moved outside the boundaries before they were done playing.

Starting with the 2014 season, children who are enrolled in an elementary or secondary school located within the boundaries of the local league charter are eligible to play in the local league. The parent must provide proof of school enrollment as of the start of the academic year (that is, prior to 1-Oct of the year prior to the playing year).

For Rutherford Little League, the impact is to allow players who meet the age requirements and attend the Academy at St. Mary (located on Chestnut Street in Rutherford) to enroll in the League even though they may live outside the Borough of Rutherford. The League welcomes all players who are eligible as a result of this revised regulation.

Rutherford LL Hosts Softball Tournaments, 2013

Last revised 29-Jul-2013

Rutherford Little League proudly hosted softball tournament games at Tom Mellody Field for the first time since 1990. Here are the schedules and results:
Section 2 12-Year-Old Softball Tournament
Game 1 Tues 2-Jul Little Ferry 12, Washington Park 1, 4 inn.
Game 2 Tues 2-Jul Jersey City Clemente 12, Lodi 4
Game 3 Wed 3-Jul Washington Park 6, Lodi 5 (elim.)
Game 4 Wed 3-Jul Little Ferry 18, Jersey City Clemente 0, 4 inn.
Game 5 Fri 5-Jul Jersey City Clemente 4, Washington Park 0 (elim.)
Game 6 Sat 6-Jul Little Ferry 8, Jersey City Clemente 0 (TITLE)
Section 2 10-Year-Old Softball Tournament
Game 1 Mon 8-Jul Washington Park 13, Teaneck Southern 12, 7 inn.
Game 2 Mon 8-Jul Lodi 23, Bayonne 13, 4 inn.
Game 3 Tues 9-Jul Teaneck Southern 23, Bayonne 10 (elim.)
Game 4 Tues 9-Jul Lodi 14, Washington Park 4, 4 inn.
Game 5 Thurs 11-Jul Teaneck Southern 11, Washington Park 6 (elim.)
Game 6 Fri 12-Jul Lodi 17, Teaneck Southern 7, 4 inn. (TITLE)
Section 2 14-Year-Old Softball Tournament
Game 1 Wed 17-Jul Rutherford 5, Bayonne 0
Game 2 Wed 17-Jul Washington Park 10, Little Ferry 4
Game 3 Thurs 18-Jul Bayonne 7, Little Ferry 5 (elim.)
Game 4 Thurs 18-Jul Rutherford 26, Washington Park 2, 5 inn.
Game 5 Fri 19-Jul Bayonne 18, Washington Park 10 (elim.)
Game 6 Sun 21-Jul Rutherford 7, Bayonne 5 (TITLE)
New Jersey 14-Year-Old Softball Finals
Game 1 Fri 26-Jul Lincroft 5, Dover-Wharton 2
Game 2 Fri 26-Jul West Cumberland 15, Rutherford 0, 5 inn.
Game 3 Sat 27-Jul Rutherford 13, Dover-Wharton 3, 5 inn. (elim.)
Game 4 Sat 27-Jul West Cumberland 12, Lincroft 0, 5 inn.
Game 5 Sun 28-Jul Lincroft 6, Rutherford 4, 10 inn. (elim.)
Game 6 Mon 29-Jul West Cumberland 13, Lincroft 3, 6 inn. (TITLE)

RLL Revamps Tee Ball Program for 2013

Originally posted 1-Apr-2013

The Rutherford Little League is proud to announce its newly upgraded Tee Ball program, going into effect for both baseball and softball in the 2013 season.

The League is adopting a new program created for Little League Baseball, Inc., by Baseball Factory in conjunction with the Positive Coaching Alliance. The program uses training modules that Tee Ball managers download from the Little League Coaches’ Resource Center. It consists of ten practices using the lesson plans from the program, along with six games interspersed through the season. Each lesson plan focuses on specific skills that can be learned by first-time players, with attention also being paid to reinforcing the importance of sportsmanship among our players and coaches.

In 2013, the season for our three Tee Ball softball teams will run from Monday 8-Apr to Tuesday 4-Jun, while our four Tee Ball Baseball teams will have a season that lasts from Wednesday 10-Apr to Saturday 8-Jun. Some teams will have different opening and closing dates.

We look forward to implementing this new initial experience for our youngest players, as well as introducing our managers to the Coaches’ Resource Center.

Weekend Drive for Rutherford Food Pantry

Originally posted 2-Jun-2011

The Rutherford Little League is collecting donations of food for the Rutherford Community Food Pantry this weekend, through Sunday 5-Jun.

The Pantry needs most all items, including pet food, baby food/items, cereal, condiments, spices, laundry detergents, personal products, soup, tuna, canned meat, school snacks, snacks, juice, bottled water, etc.

Drop off donations at the field through Sunday and they will be delivered to the Pantry first thing Monday morning. Please limit donations to non-perishable items or items with a long shelf life. The people of the Borough thank you!

Little League Imposes Moratorium on Composite Bats

Originally posted 31-Dec-2010, updated 13-Dec-2011

Little League Baseball, Inc., has announced that it has imposed a moratorium on the use of composite barreled baseball bats at the Major (12-and-under) level and below.

Bats used in the Major level and younger must have a barrel width of no more than 2¼ inches and a length of no more than 33 inches, and must be made of wood or of a material tested and found acceptable under Little League standards. Little League became a partner in a research effort with the University of Massachusetts (Lowell campus) to assess the safety of certain types of bats.

The result of the research, announced 30-Dec-2010, is that no composite barreled baseball bat is permissible in Little League Baseball. Manufacturers may seek waivers. An updated list of bats that have received waivers is located on the Little League Web site. The composite bat moratorium does not apply to any level of softball.

Umpires will be instructed to remove any composite bat from a game prior to its start or if noticed when a player comes to bat. Under a new rule introduced for the 2012 season, if an illegal bat is discovered to have been used after a player has batted but prior to the next pitch or play, the result of the play is nullified and the batter is out.

Note: The moratorium on composite bats only applies to composite-barreled bats. Bats that have only a metal/alloy in the barrel (and no other material, unless it is in the end cap of the bat) are not subject to the moratorium, regardless of the composition of the handle.

Note: The following links are to the Little League Baseball Inc. Web site.

General Information ... Approved Composite Bats ... All Licensed Bats

RLL, Rutherford Recreation Form Partnership for Softball

Originally posted 14-Dec-2010

At its regular business meeting of Tuesday 14-Dec-2010, the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Rutherford gave their approval to a new partnership that is being formed by the Rutherford Little League and the Rutherford Recreation Department for the operation of girls’ softball in the Borough effective with the 2011 season.

Under the partnership, girls’ softball will remain a Recreation Department program, but the Rutherford Little League will essentially act as the program coordinator and will charter the teams as Little League Softball teams. Players will continue to register through the Recreation Department, which will also recommend the coaches and allocate fields. Rutherford Little League will prepare the practice and game schedules, organize tryouts, and set the rules for each level in accordance with Little League regulations.

A separate softball committee is being formed to organize the softball program, consisting of Rutherford Little League board members and existing Recreation coaches and parents. Watch for continuing announcements regarding the new partnership and the start of the new season in the coming weeks.

Former RLLer Mazzaro Traded to Royals

Originally posted 10-Nov-2010

Former Rutherford Little Leaguer Vin Mazzaro (Lions 1999) was traded Wednesday 10-Nov-2010 from the Oakland Athletics to the Kansas City Royals, along with another pitcher, for outfielder David DeJesus.

Mazzaro, 24, finished the 2010 season with a 6-8 record and a 4.27 earned-run average, but ended the season by making six appearances out of the Athletics’ bullpen. He struck out 79 and walked 50 in 122⅓ innings, and the league hit .267 off him. All these numbers were improvements over his rookie season of 2009, which began with a bang as he came up to the Athletics in June and started off with two victories and a streak of 17⅔ scoreless innings.

The League has three other former players in professional baseball. Frank Herrmann (Rotary 1996) is a relief pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, while Jack Egbert (Kurgan 1995) spent the season on the disabled list with the New York Mets following Tommy John surgery and expects to return in 2011. Additionally, Isaac Pavlik (Tommy’s 1992) is a pitcher-coach for the independent New Jersey Jackals.

New Sportsmanship Award Introduced

Originally posted 29-Sep-2010

At its 2010 closing awards ceremonies, the Rutherford Little League announced a new award to honor Andrew Ortega, a Rutherford Little Leaguer and tournament player who died suddenly Saturday 28-Aug-2010 at age 13.

Beginning with the 2011 season, the Andrew J. Ortega Sportsmanship Award will be presented to the player who show the best qualities that Andrew demonstrated to us during his time in youth sports in Rutherford. This is the League’s way of keeping Andrew’s spirit alive in the years to come.

The award is seen as an extension of Little League Baseball’s Good Sport Award, which was introduced in 1989 but which the League stopped awarding after the 2006 season.

Rutherford LL Hosts 2010 District, State Finals

Last revised 28-Jul-2010

The Rutherford Little League is proud to have hosted three levels of New Jersey District 5 final-round competition in 2010, as well as the 9- and 10-year-old New Jersey state finals.

A total of 26 games were played at Tom Mellody Field in a three-week span, 7-Jul through 28-Jul. The district eliminations for the 9-10, Major (11-12), and 10-11 divisions were contested in Rutherford during the first two weeks of play. Then New Jersey’s four 10-year-old sectional champions converged on the field to play for the right to advance to the first-ever regional for that division, held in Cranston, Rhode Island, starting at the end of July. The tournament went to a winner-take-all game, with Ramsey emerging victorious.

Thanks to all the League volunteers who helped prepare the field for games, police the grounds, work the concession and souvenir stands, and help out in myriad other ways during these tournaments, especially the state finals.

Here are the championship round game results for each level.

District 5 10-Year-Old Finals
Game 1 Wed 7-Jul Lyndhurst National 8, Saddle Brook 4
Game 2 Wed 7-Jul Rutherford American 12, Lyndhurst American 2, 4 inn.
Game 3 Thurs 8-Jul Lyndhurst American 13, Saddle Brook 10 (elim.)
Game 4 Thurs 8-Jul Rutherford American 5, Lyndhurst National 4
Game 5 Fri 9-Jul Lyndhurst National 13, Lyndhurst American 1 (elim.)
Game 6 Sat 10-Jul Rutherford American 2, Lyndhurst National 0 (TITLE)
District 5 12-Year-Old Finals
Game 1 Mon 12-Jul Lyndhurst American 2, Garfield 0
Game 2 Mon 12-Jul Saddle Brook 13, Wood-Ridge/Moonachie 4
Game 3 Tues 13-Jul Garfield 2, Wood-Ridge/Moonachie 1 (elim.)
Game 4 Tues 13-Jul Lyndhurst American 12, Saddle Brook 2, 5 inn.
Game 5 Thurs 15-Jul   Saddle Brook 13, Garfield 1, 5 inn. (elim.)
Game 6   Fri 16-Jul Saddle Brook 7, Lyndhurst American 1
Game 7 Sat 17-Jul Lyndhurst American 5, Saddle Brook 2 (TITLE)
District 5 11-Year-Old Finals
Game 1 Sat 17-Jul Wood-Ridge/Moonachie 15, North Arlington 3, 4 inn.
Game 2 Sat 17-Jul Saddle Brook 10, Hasbrouck Heights 7
Game 3 Sun 18-Jul Hasbrouck Heights 4, North Arlington 3, 7 inn. (elim.)
Game 4 Sun 18-Jul Wood-Ridge/Moonachie 6, Saddle Brook 5
Game 5 Mon 19-Jul Hasbrouck Heights 10, Saddle Brook 7 (elim.)
Game 6 Tues 20-Jul Wood-Ridge/Moonachie 6, Hasbrouck Heights 2 (TITLE)
New Jersey 10-Year-Old State Finals
Game 1 Fri 23-Jul Ramsey 10, Toms River American 3, 5 inn., rain
Game 2 Sat 24-Jul Monroe Township 8, Teaneck Southern 5
Game 3 Sun 25-Jul Toms River American 11, Teaneck Southern 2 (elim.)
Game 4 Sun 25-Jul Ramsey 3, Monroe Township 1
Game 5 Mon 26-Jul Toms River American 11, Monroe Township 1, 4 inn. (elim.)
Game 6 Tues 27-Jul Toms River American 11, Ramsey 7
Game 7 Wed 28-Jul Ramsey 6, Toms River American 2 (TITLE)

Rutherford American 10s Win District 5 Title

Originally posted 12-Jul-2010

The Rutherford Little League has completed another successful tournament season.

In 2010, the American League’s 10-year-old tournament team went unbeaten through the entire district tournament, sweeping through pool play with a 6-0 record and then winning all three games in the double-elimination finals to win the District 5 championship. The team then traveled to the sectional tournament held at Livingston American and won its first two games there before dropping two contests to eventual sectional champion Teaneck Southern.

The National League’s 10-year-old entry finished with a 3-2 record, falling just short of advancement to the district eliminations. Both 12-year-old teams also played well. The Nationals went 4-2, missing out on a berth in the district finals by virtue of the second tie-breaker, while the Americans finished 3-3, scoring three shutout victories and losing three games by a combined total of four runs.

The complete 2010 tournament record is here.

Former RLLer Herrmann Debuts for Cleveland Indians

Originally posted 4-Jun-2010

The Cleveland Indians have placed former Rutherford Little Leaguer Frank Herrmann (Rotary 1996) on their 40-man roster and activated the relief pitcher following an outstanding start to the season in Triple-A. He became the seventh former Rutherford Little Leaguer to appear in Major League Baseball Friday 4-Jun-2010, when he entered the Indians’ contest at U.S. Cellular Field against the Chicago White Sox and retired Gordon Beckham for the final out of the sixth inning. He then retired the side in order in the seventh, striking out Omar Vizquel along the way, as his fastball was clocked as fast as 96 mph.

Herrmann, who moved up to the Columbus Clippers a month into the 2009 season, allowed a run on opening day 8-Apr-2010 but had pitched 27⅔ scoreless innings over 18 appearances since then. He notched 22 strikeouts and allowed just 15 hits in 28⅔ innings. The Indians called up their right-handed prospect after a 12-6 loss to Detroit in which five Tribe pitchers allowed 17 hits.

In Little League, Herrmann was best known as a hitter, recording 95 hits in his four seasons, a league record at the time. But as a 12-year-old, he went 6-1 with a 1.42 ERA, striking out 71 in 38 innings, in leading Rotary to the National League championship.

Herrmann went on to star in three sports at The Montclair Kimberley Academy before committing to baseball at Harvard University. He signed with the Indians as an undrafted free agent following his junior year in 2005, after being scouted at a college summer league in Hawaii, and he worked his way up through the Indians system – Lake County in 2006, Kinston in 2007, Akron in 2008 – before spending most of 2009 and the first part of 2010 at Columbus.

The Rutherford Little League congratulates Frank Herrmann on his Major League Baseball debut.

Former RLLer Wootton Selected in NFL Draft

Originally posted 24-Apr-2010

The Rutherford Little League congratulates Corey Wootton (Fire 1999), a defensive end from Northwestern who was selected by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the 2010 National Football League Draft.

Wootton, a graduate of Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, was an all-Big Ten Conference selection in 2008, leading the Wildcats in sacks and tackles for loss.

As a Rutherford Little Leaguer, Wootton established a league record in 1999 by hitting .725 (29/40). At the same time, he set a career mark with a four-year batting average of .500. His career slugging and on-base percentages are also records. In 1997, he won eight games as a pitcher, the most by a 10-year-old in 30 seasons of record-keeping.

The League wishes all the best to Corey Wootton as he begins his professional football career.

Major League Format Adjusted for 2010

Originally posted 11-Nov-2009

At a special meeting held Tuesday 10-Nov, the Board of Directors of Rutherford Little League acted to consolidate its Major League level by eliminating two teams, one in each league.

The Board took this action in response to recent declines in player enrollment which have affected not only Rutherford, but surrounding towns and other Little League programs nationwide. Many leagues have reduced the number of teams and/or combined schedules with nearby leagues.

While the Rutherford Little League had proudly maintained 12 Major teams since 1963 (six in each of our leagues, American and National), the League has also observed the dilution of talent in recent years, which has resulted in more lopsided scores and a greater imbalance among our teams. Additionally, the League became more and more aware of safety issues involving players of disparate talent levels.

This action does not affect the status of any player in the League. All players on the two teams that are being removed – Elks in the American League, A.W. Van Winkle & Co. in the National – will be included in a dispersal draft. Each of these players who properly registers for the 2010 season will be chosen by a team from his or her league prior to the selection of new players. (A player on Elks will be selected by an American League team; a Van Winkle player will be picked up by a National League team.)

The Board believes that this was a necessary step, one that will help ensure the strength and competitive balance in our program in the years to come. The League will continue to monitor this issue in future seasons.

Jack Egbert Called Up to White Sox

Originally posted 21-Apr-2009

Former Rutherford Little Leaguer Jack Egbert was called up to the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday 21-Apr, and he made his debut against the Baltimore Orioles that evening.

Pitching the eighth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Egbert got three ground outs but also walked a batter and surrendered a home run to Aubrey Huff, his second of the game, which extended the Orioles’ lead in the rain-delayed contest to 10-3.

The long-time starting pitcher was sent to the bullpen at Triple-A Charlotte at the start of the 2009 season in order to prepare for an early appearance with the big club. In five appearances with the Knights, he pitched seven innings, allowed nine hits and two walks, and struck out six. He earned a victory in a game against Durham on Saturday 18-Apr.

Egbert’s debut appearance for the Pale Hose makes him the fifth former Rutherford Little Leaguer to play in Major League Baseball, and the fourth pitcher, joining Bill Hands, Pat Pacillo, and Bobby M. Jones. The only former Rutherford Little Leaguer to make it to The Show as a position player was Brant Alyea.

Rutherford Little League still has two pitchers working in the high minor leagues. Vin Mazzaro is starting at Triple-A Sacramento, in the Oakland Athletics organization, while Frank Herrmann is a starter for Double-A Akron, a Cleveland Indians farm club.

The Rutherford Little League congratulates Jack Egbert on his debut in Major League Baseball.

RLL, RHS Team Up for Clinic

Originally posted 5-Apr-2009

The Rutherford Little League and Rutherford High School teamed up for their second annual Little League clinic Sunday 5-Apr.

Head coach Carmen Spina and fourteen Bulldog varsity players conducted the clinic, which was open to all Rutherford Little Leaguers aged 8 through 12. Photos are available.

The Bulldog roster is composed almost entirely of former Rutherford Little Leaguers, and they were eager to give back to the program where they began their baseball careers. Our thanks to coach Spina and the players for their assistance.

New Safety Rules Approved at Annual Meeting

Originally posted 29-Sep-2008

At its Annual Meeting 25-Sep-2008, the Rutherford Little League took two steps to improve the safety of players in its program.

The League decided that, effective with the 2009 season, all players newly selected to Major level teams must wear a batting helmet with a face guard while batting, running the bases, or coaching the bases.

Helmets with face guards have been a part of the League since 1987, when they were mandated for all Minor League and Tee Ball players. Parents of players in Major League have been able to sign a waiver allowing their children to wear a helmet without a face guard. Henceforth, the waiver will only be available for players who were in Major League in 2008 or earlier.

“The early model face guards were made of plastic, and while they protected players’ faces, they could also impede vision, and players were reluctant to wear them,” said league president Walt Mager. “The new wire guards offer the same protection with improved visibility.”

The League phased in the wire guards at its Minor and Tee Ball levels over the last several seasons.

The League also passed a resolution authorizing the board of directors to research and implement a form of heart protection for all pitchers in Rutherford Little League.

“With older and stronger players in the league now, we are just one line drive away from a devastating injury,” said Jeff Cassella, a manager and board member for over 30 years. “The cost to the League would be minimal, knowing we may have avoided a tragedy.”

Suitable protective devices have been developed in recent years which do not impede the pitching motion. The intent is for heart protection to be in place for all pitchers in the 2009 season.

Separately, the League resolved to allow players of league age 7 to pitch in the Double-A league, for 6- and 7-year-olds. From 2004 to 2008, this level was restricted to coach pitching.

Managers will be encouraged to develop 7-year-olds as pitchers, as Little League Baseball’s pitch count regulations make it necessary for more players to be able to pitch. The regulations limit 7- and 8-year-olds to 50 pitches in a game, and a pitcher who throws more than 40 pitches in a game may not take the mound for the team’s next game.

No score or standing is kept in Double-A, so managers will be able to develop pitchers without worrying about winning or losing the game.

RLL, Rutherford HS Team for Coaching, Skills Clinic

Originally posted 18-May-2008

The Rutherford Little League thanks head coach Carmen Spina and the Rutherford High School baseball team for the coaching and skills clinic they conducted at Memorial Park Sunday 18-May. Photos of the event are available.

Coach Spina and his assistants will be conducting a baseball camp this summer. Contact the Rutherford Recreation Department for more details.

Rutherford LL Featured on

Originally posted 12-May-2008, the video arm of Parents magazine, has featured the Rutherford Little League in a video called “Batter Up!”

The video, shot in part at the Rutherford Little League field in March, shows parents of prospective young players how to get involved in baseball, particularly Tee Ball. Several members of the League are featured, as well as a number of Tee Ball players participating in a practice on the field.

Follow this link to view the video (you will leave the RLL Web site): Batter Up!

Rutherford Trading Pins Now Available

Originally posted 8-Dec-2007

Rutherford Little League’s new trading pins were designed by Rutherford’s own baseball players after visiting tournaments throughout the State and the Little League World Series in Williamsport. Pins can be traded, worn and collected just like kids do all over the country. They are great as gifts to players, coaches, parents and to hand out to opposing teams during Tournament play.

Our pins feature six blue and six red stars representing each team in our American and National Leagues with a distinctive “R” baseball logo in the middle.

These pins are specially priced so everyone can buy enough to keep some and to trade for other league pins from other teams.

Set of three (3) pins- $10.00
Individual pin- $4.00

To order, download the order form (in Word document format or Adobe PDF format). Be sure to submit your order quickly, as supplies are very limited.

New Scoreboard for 2007 Season

Originally posted 30-Mar-2007

The Rutherford Little League announces that for the 2007 season, a new scoreboard is in place on its Major League field at Memorial Park.

Boiling Springs Savings Bank has donated a board with 7-inning line score and run total. The installed board, seen here shortly after its installation 30-Mar, is a product of the Spectrum Corporation.

The bank previously donated scoreboards to the League in 1966, 1981, and 1996. Those boards, manufactured by Electro-Mech Corporation, only displayed the score, inning, and count.

Pavlik Joins Chicago Cubs Organization

Originally posted 27-Jul-2006, updated 5-Sep-2006

Former Rutherford Little Leaguer Isaac Pavlik (Tommy’s 1992), who opened the season with the New Jersey Jackals of the independent Can-Am League and was selected to play in the league’s All-Star Game, had his contract purchased by the Chicago Cubs Tuesday 25-Jul.

Pavlik, who was last in Minor League Baseball with the Colorado Rockies organization in 2004, was leading the Jackals in wins (6) and strikeouts (65) when the Cubs came calling. He has been assigned to the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (Jackson, Tenn.) of the Southern League (Class AA).

Rutherford Little League completed the 2006 season with six former players pitching in the minors. The others are Bobby M. Jones (Park 1984), Erie SeaWolves (AA - Detroit Tigers); Jack Egbert (Kurgan 1995), Birmingham Barons (AA - Chicago White Sox); Frank Herrmann (Rotary 1996), Lake County Captains (A - Cleveland Indians); Jim Wladyka (Sports 1995), Hagerstown Suns (A - New York Mets); and Vinny Mazzaro (Lions 1999), Kane County Cougars (A - Oakland Athletics).

New Bat Rules in Effect for 2009 Season

Originally posted 25-Jun-2006

Due to the increasing number of injuries sustained nationwide as the result of the use of high-performance non-wood bats, Little League Baseball has joined with other organizations in mandating modified bats.

Effective with the 2009 season, all non-wood bats used in Little League regular season and tournament play must carry a factory-imprinted certification that they have been tested and comply with a Bat Performance Factor standard of 1.15 or below. This will be displayed as “BPF 1.15”.

The BPF is a ratio that compares the rebound of a ball off an aluminum bat with that of a ball struck by a wood bat. Most wood bats will test to a BPF of 1.00, so a bat with a BPF of 1.15 “performs” 15 percent better than an average wood bat. By introducing a BPF limit, Little League hopes to reduce the danger to pitchers and infielders from hard-hit balls.

Persons looking to buy new bats for their children to use should be aware that existing non-wood bats without the BPF imprint, or printed with a BPF above 1.15, will be illegal in 2009. Wood bats remain legal so long as they meet the restrictions of 33 inches maximum length and 2¼ inches maximum barrel width.

Two Former RLL Players Face Each Other in Minors

Originally posted 23-Apr-2006

In what may be a first for Rutherford Little Leaguers in professional baseball, two former players were briefly the opposing pitchers in a South Atlantic League game in Hagerstown, Md., Saturday 22-Apr.

Frank Herrmann (Rotary 1996) was the starting pitcher for the Lake County Captains against the Hagerstown Suns, giving up two runs, one earned, in 3 1/3 innings. In the top of the fourth, Jim Wladyka (Sports 1995) took the mound for the Suns, a New York Mets affiliate, in relief of Jonathan Niese. Wladyka gave up two runs, one earned, in two innings and wound up taking the loss as the Captains, a Cleveland Indians farm club, won the game 5-4.

Rutherford Little League has three other pitchers in Minor League Baseball, all in different leagues. Bobby M. Jones (Park 1984) is with the Erie SeaWolves (Detroit Tigers) of the Eastern League; Jack Egbert (Kurgan 1995) is with the Winston-Salem Warthogs (Chicago White Sox) of the Carolina League; and Vinny Mazzaro (Lions 1999) is with the Kane County Cougars (Oakland Athletics) of the Midwest League.

League Age Determination Date Changes

Originally posted 12-Sep-2005

Effective with the 2006 season, the United States Amateur Baseball Federation (USA Baseball) has changed the league age determination date from 31-Jul to 30-Apr.

USA Baseball, of which Little League Baseball is an affiliate member, made the change so that more players would be playing baseball at their chronological age during a given season. Prior to the change, a player who turns 12 in July would play his entire 12-year-old season – his last season of Major eligibility – before his 12th birthday. Under the new rule, that season would be his 11-year-old season.

Rutherford Little League will comply with the new league age determination date. No player will be accepted into the League who does not turn 5 by 30-Apr of the playing season. However, a significant group of players in the League in 2005 will gain an extra year of eligibility. Players born from 1-May through 31-Jul who are already in the League will “repeat” a season in 2006; for instance, a player born 15-May-1993 was league age 12 in 2005 and will be league age 12 again in 2006.

In order to accommodate the development of younger players already in Tee Ball and Minor League, Rutherford Little League has adopted the following practices.

A player who participated in Tee Ball at league age 5 in 2005 will be assigned to the coach-pitch Double-A league in 2006 even though that player may once again be at league age 5. The parent reserves the right to elect to retain the player in Tee Ball.

A player who has participated in two seasons of coach-pitch Double-A through 2005, 2006, or 2007 will be assigned to the player-pitch Triple-A league in the following season even though the player may only be at league age 7. The parent reserves the right to elect to retain the player in Double-A.

A player who is not at least league age 9 will not be eligible for selection to the Major League. A player must turn 9 years old by 30-Apr of the current playing year in order to be evaluated and selected.

Mazzaro Drafted by Oakland Athletics

Originally posted 7-Jun-2005; updated 14-Sep-2005

Former Rutherford Little Leaguer Vin Mazzaro (Lions 1999) was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the third round of the 2005 Major League Baseball First-Year Draft.

Mazzaro, the 101st selection overall, is a right-handed pitcher at Rutherford High School. The Bulldogs (25-3) advanced to the NJSIAA Group 2 championship game Tuesday 7-Jun by defeating Wallkill Valley, 2-1, at Wightman Field at William Paterson University. Mazzaro struck out 12 and walked none in going the distance. The Bulldogs won the championship game against Seneca the following Saturday in Toms River, also behind Mazzaro’s arm.

Prior to the draft, Mazzaro signed a National Letter of Intent to attend and play baseball for St. John's University in Jamaica, N.Y. However, he signed a contract 7-Sep and instead reports to Athletics training camp in Arizona 18-Sep.

The Rutherford Little League congratulates Vinny Mazzaro and wishes him well in his future baseball endeavors.

Pavlik Comes “Home” to Jackals

Originally posted 24-May-2005

Former Rutherford Little Leaguer Isaac Pavlik, who played for Tommy’s Towing through 1992, has been signed by the New Jersey Jackals of the independent Canadian-American League.

Pavlik, who made a name for himself as a pitcher at Passaic Collegiate High School and became the closer for Seton Hall University, was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2002. He reached the high Class A level with the Visalia (Calif.) Oaks before the Rockies released him in early 2004. After his release, Pavlik hooked on with the Bangor Lumberjacks of the Northeast League, the Can-Am League’s predecessor.

After the Lumberjacks’ season ended, Pavlik was signed by the San Diego Padres, but he was released early in the season. Signing with the Jackals gives him the opportunity to pitch close to home.

Pavlik becomes the second former Rutherford Little Leaguer to appear for the Jackals. Henry Manning (Flash 1980) was a coach for the Jackals from 1998 to 2000, and he caught in several games in 1998. Manning is now the head coach at Pace University.

The Jackals, who have won four league championships in their seven years of existence, play at Yogi Berra Stadium on the Montclair State University campus in Little Falls. They are scheduled for 54 home games between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.

Local Link: Rutherford Little Leaguers in the Pros
External Link: (New Jersey Jackals official site)

Van Winkle Is Newest Major League Sponsor

Originally posted 28-Feb-2005

A.W. Van Winkle & Co. joins the list of Major League sponsors in Rutherford Little League for the 2005 season. The company is a real estate firm whose current office on Station Square opened in 1867 and which has roots in Rutherford dating to the 17th century.

Van Winkle first sponsored a Rutherford Little League team in 1992 but was also a sponsor in the Rutherford Baseball Council prior to 1987.

The new sponsor assumes the National League slot occupied by the Rutherford/East Rutherford Kiwanis Club since the League’s founding in 1951. The local chapter of the service organization was unable to continue its sponsorship due to declining membership. We thank Kiwanis for their 54 years of support to the League.

Egbert Drafted by Chicago White Sox

Originally posted 8-Jun-2004

Former Rutherford Little Leaguer Jack Egbert was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 13th round of the 2004 Major League Baseball First-Year Draft Monday 7-Jun. He has signed with the White Sox and has been assigned to Great Falls in the Pioneer League.

Egbert, a 2001 Rutherford High School graduate, just completed his junior season at Rutgers University. He won 18 games in three seasons for the Scarlet Knights, and finished 7-4 in 2004, including a 2-1 victory against Old Dominion in which he outdueled Justin Verlander, the second player chosen in this season's draft.

As a Rutherford Little Leaguer, Egbert compiled a 5-2 record for Kurgan-Bergen Realtors from 1992 to 1995, pitching mostly in relief. In his 12-year-old season, he struck out 88 batters in 37 1/3 innings, and he was second in the National League with a 1.61 earned-run average.

Walton Concludes Successful Season at Oral Roberts

Originally posted 7-Jun-2004

Former Rutherford Little Leaguer Rob Walton concluded his first season as head coach of Oral Roberts University with an NCAA tournament appearance.

Walton led the school, located in Tulsa, Okla., to the Austin, Texas, region, where the Golden Eagles were eliminated by host Texas, 7-3, in the regional final Sunday 6-Jun. Under Walton's direction, Oral Roberts finished with a 50-11 record and captured the Mid-Continent Conference championship for the seventh consecutive year. For his efforts, Walton was named conference Coach of the Year.

From 1973 to 1975, Walton played for B. Altman & Co., a National League team in Rutherford Little League. In 1975, Altman (9-6) finished one game behind Critchley Candy in what remains one of the tightest pennant races in league history.

In 1981, Walton was named Most Valuable Player of the Babe Ruth Baseball 18-and-under tournament, in which Rutherford's entry won the national championship. The next spring, he pitched Rutherford High School into the NJSIAA Group 2 state championship game.

After high school, he passed on an offer from the Texas Rangers and went on to play for Oklahoma State University, appearing in the NCAA College World Series at Omaha with the Cowboys in 1986. From there, he played in the Baltimore Orioles organization from 1986 to 1988.

Walton joined the Oral Roberts coaching staff for the 1999 season as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator under head coach Sunny Golloway, who moved on to the University of Oklahoma when the 2003 season ended.

Urbanovich Honored as Top Fielder

Originally posted 8-Sep-2003

Nick Urbanovich, a senior second baseman at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., and a former Rutherford Little Leaguer, has been honored as the best defensive player in NCAA Division 3 baseball for 2003 by Collegiate Baseball magazine.

Urbanovich played shortstop for Boiling Springs Savings from 1992-95, and he went on to play the position at St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City through 2000. He moved to second base upon his arrival at Rowan.

During his junior season of 2003, Urbanovich committed just five errors at second base, none of which involved fielding a ground ball. He posted a fielding average of .975 and was a part of 31 double plays in 41 games. That, combined with his .373 batting average, helped lead the Profs into the NCAA Division 3 tournament.

In recent seasons, Rutherford Little League has placed numerous players onto college and professional rosters. Three former players are currently pitching in the Big East, Joe Reid and Jim Wladyka at St. John’s and Jack Egbert at Rutgers. In the pro ranks, pitcher Bobby M. Jones spent the season with the Richmond Braves of the International League; pitcher Isaac Pavlik was with the Visalia Oaks (Rockies) of the California League; and third baseman Jason Kane toiled for the Washington (Pa.) Wild Things of the independent Frontier League.

Pavlik Drafted by Colorado Rockies

Originally posted 7-Jun-2002

Former Rutherford Little Leaguer Isaac Pavlik, a pitcher at Seton Hall University, was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the tenth round of the 2002 Major League Baseball amateur draft Tuesday 4-Jun. He has signed with the club and expects to be assigned to the Tri-City Dust Devils (Pasco, Wash.) of the short-season Class A Northwest League.

Pavlik, who played for Tommy's Towing from 1990 to 1992, did not take up pitching until his 12-year-old season, when he went 3-3 with a 3.96 earned-run average and 52 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings.

The left-hander went on to hone his craft at Passaic Collegiate High School before going on to Seton Hall, where he was used primarily as a reliever. He set the Pirates' records for career pitching appearances, with 84, and for saves, with 22. In 2001, he was named Most Outstanding Player of the Big East tournament, which Seton Hall won.

The last Rutherford Little Leaguer to play in the Colorado organization was Bobby M. Jones (Park Exxon 1982-84), who was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers but made his major league debut for the Rockies in 1997. He is currently with the New York Mets.

Congratulations to Isaac Pavlik on his imminent debut in professional baseball.

New Major League Sponsors

Originally posted 15-Feb-1999

For the 1999 season, the 49th year of Little League Baseball in Rutherford, the League has added two new Major level sponsors.

DiNoto Fuel Oil and P.B.A. Local 300 move into the Major ranks, replacing Naborhood Pharmacy and Rotary.

In the American League, DiNoto Fuel Oil, a supplier of heating oil sales and service since the 1950s, moves into the Major League lineup. DiNoto has sponsored teams in the Rutherford Baseball Council and the Rutherford Little League for four decades.

The new National League sponsor is P.B.A. Local 300, the Rutherford chapter of the state Police Benevolent Association, which provides benefits to police officers and their families and sponsors local community programs. The local P.B.A. has been involved with the League since the 1980s.

The League welcomes its two newest Major League sponsors, and thanks Naborhood Pharmacy and Rotary for their many years of support.

Former Players Win National Title

Originally posted 30-May-1996

On Wednesday 29-May-1996, the Pioneers of William Paterson College (Wayne, N.J.) won their second NCAA Division 3 baseball championship in five years.

The Pioneers (39-5-1) rallied for five runs in the eighth inning to defeat California Lutheran, 6-5, in the showdown game.

Among the players on the WPC roster are pitcher Bob Slomkowski, catcher Dan Egbert, and utility man Steve Cook. All three are Rutherford residents and former Rutherford Little Leaguers.

Slomkowski played for Kurgan through 1987, and he holds the league record with 100 career runs scored. His Kurgan team won the National League title in 1984 and 1985, and the division crown in 1987, when he went 7-1 on the mound.

Egbert was on Tommy's Towing through 1987, as his team won the town championship in his 12-year-old season. Egbert finished the year with a .465 average and a 5-0 pitching mark.

Cook played for Kiwanis through 1987, hitting .426 in his 12-year-old season to help his club to a 12-4 record, one game behind Kurgan in the final standings.

Sean Rooney, another former Rutherford Little Leaguer, was one of the assistant coaches for William Paterson. Rooney won the National League pitching title in 1983, as a member of town champion B. Altman & Co.

Congratulations to the William Paterson College baseball team on a job well done.

Web Site Changes

Originally posted 5-Apr-1996

The Board of Directors of Rutherford Little League has opted to comply with a directive by Little League Baseball regarding Web sites on the Internet. As a result, many of the planned site upgrades, which would have enhanced the site's usefulness, have been scuttled.

Little League's directive says, in part:

Never place the name of any Little Leaguer on the Internet (including individual stats). With a child's name and a phone book, it is not difficult to ascertain a child's address.

As a result, the team rosters which were placed on the Web site in late March have been deleted, leaving only the names of the teams, the names of the managers, and the team schedules. Plans to give complete game-by-game results of Major League games, including scoring summaries and box scores, have likewise been scratched, although the line scores will continue to be posted.

We have also deleted the Birthday List, as it contains both former players and current players. Also coming down, regretfully, are the Stat Server and the Record Book, since current and recent players are listed.

We apologize for these late changes in plans, but the Board of Directors believes the potential value of the information to the local community is outweighed by the potential harm that may come to our players by the widespread dissemination of the information.

At our Tips for Starting a Web Site, you will find both our original guidelines for Web sites and the memo from Little League headquarters.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

New Scoreboard

Originally posted 12-Feb-1996

Boiling Springs Savings Bank, a community presence in Rutherford for over 50 years and a Rutherford Little League sponsor since 1957, has agreed to donate a new scoreboard to the League for the 1996 season.

The new board, manufactured by Electro-Mech Scoreboard Corp. of Wrightsville, Ga., features solid-state electronic control, as well as the ability to display up to 99 runs per side and 19 innings. Like the League's previous boards, also made by Electro-Mech, the board will have numeric display of balls, strikes, and outs, as well as indicator bulbs for hits and errors.

The board, which will be in place for opening day 13-Apr, weather permitting, will also feature a plate above the team score reading "Donated by Boiling Springs Savings Bank".

Through the mid-1960s, players posted inning scores manually on a board in right center field. Electric bull's-eyes showed the count and number of outs. Boiling Springs Savings donated the first all-electric board for the League, the "Dial-O-Magic" model, in 1966. The bank also funded its replacement, the "Scorebrain", in 1981.

New League Sponsor

Originally posted 12-Feb-1996

Rutherford Little League welcomes the Wallington franchise of Inline Skating Clubs of America to its roster of Major League sponsors.

Inline Skating takes over the sponsorship previously held by Rutherford Sports. Mike Formisano, who for over a decade was the principal owner of Rutherford Sports and its predecessor, Rutherford Sporting Goods, has an interest in the new venture.

Inline Skating is located on Main Avenue in Wallington, across the street from Farmland Dairies near the Erie tracks at the Wood-Ridge and South Hackensack line.

Additional sponsors will be welcomed for Tee Ball teams or outfield advertising. See below for more details.

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