Home > Community, Recommendations, Sports and Extracurricular Activities > Baseball season is here! Special Needs baseball in Riverside Park

Baseball season is here! Special Needs baseball in Riverside Park

The email below has tons of good information about the Challengers division of baseball, which starts in Riverside Park on April 17th. This is our 3rd year and we love to bring the family and a picnic for afterward, or stop at the Boat Basin cafe for a bite. My husband Ryan usually helps out on the field and I bring the babies to the playground nearby. FYI, there are bathrooms on site too, which have come in handy on more than one occasion considering I have had babies or been pregnant every season ūüôā

Email from the Head of the Challengers Division, Jim Karpe:

Challenger division will start playing on Sunday April 17, assuming the weather cooperates.
Will be giving out uniforms that day. If you will not make it to that first day, please let me know your child’s size so we can set aside an appropriate¬†uniform.
We will be on the fields in Riverside Park just below the Boat Basin (79th street).
For returning parents, the same fields as in past years.
For new parents, if you enter the park from 79th street, you wind up inside the Boat Basin Cafe.
Walk all the way through it, and head downtown (left, down-river, south).  You will almost immediately come upon a set of two baseball fields.  This is where we play.
You can also enter from 72nd street and walk up (north, up-town, up-river) through the park.  In that case, we are the fields just after the playground.
I will send out team assignments next week, based on my faulty memory of your child’s age, experience, ability.
If you feel that your child has been placed in the wrong group, please let me know.  Even if you do not reach me, you can feel free to show up at the time which you think is the appropriate one for your child.
The¬†middle group of children, our returning Minors (team names Tigers and Mustangs), will play from 1:00 to 2:30 on both fields.¬† There are a couple of changes this year.¬† First, we have enough returning players to divide each¬†team in two¬†and occupy both fields.¬† On one field, for the Minors who are ready for it, we¬†will move closer to the standard rules of the game, with strikes and outs.¬† On the other field we will continue to play the “swing-til-you-hit” version as in past years.¬† The coaches on the strikes&outs field will make adjustments on the fly as needed– perhaps starting with five or six strikes at the start of¬†the season.
The least experienced players, equivalent to the Rising Stars of Basketball and Soccer (team names Cubs and Colts), will practice and play from 2:30 to 4:00.  We have both fields for that time as well, will use the South field for children who need a little extra TLC.
Our Majors, generally age 15 and up (tean name Riverside Yankees per last year’s request), will play from 4 ‚Äď 6 PM on the North field only– we give up the South field at 4 PM.
Last year there was a thirty minute gap between groups.  This year, the Rising Stars start as soon as the Minors finishРwhich on some Sundays will mean that the Minors have to finish earlier than they want to, or that the Rising Stars have to wait around for a few minutes to finish up a final at-bat.  I am confident we can make this work.
Any Major player who is capable of helping out with the Rising Stars is welcome to show up early and lend a hand.
We have enough uniforms and space for more participants in each sub-division, so please continue to spread the word.
The Majors especially are light this year, with only 11 signed up.  Former majors who are too old to be participants in the league are welcome to come back as buddies (but will not get Riverside Yankee uniform).
Important dates
Sunday April 17:  Challenger season start.
Sunday May 1:  Picture Day.
Sunday May 29:  Memorial Day weekend, league will be playing.
Sunday June 19: Trophy Day and pot-luck picnic.  (Father’s Day)
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