|Pittsfield Firefighters Give Fire Department Little League Team Jackets|
|By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff|
05:34PM / Monday, November 14, 2022
|During the gathering at the fire department, the coaches and firefighters distributed Little League jackets to the team, recognizing their win last spring.|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield firefighters held a pizza party Sunday to recognize the players and volunteers that led the department-sponsored team to win the National Division of the Pittsfield Little League.
During the gathering at the fire department, the coaches and firefighters distributed Little League jackets to the team, recognizing their win last spring.
"I'd like to thank the coaches. They have so much dedication into this. Years of putting their time into this. Some of them don't even have kids involved in it, which shows you their passion for the game, their drive to get the kids off the streets, and get things done," National Division President Steve Kotski said. "I appreciate the parents that volunteer their time. And I just like to thank everybody for everything involved. The sponsors, fire departments, police departments, just everything it takes to get this going."
Every year Little League leaves money aside to cover part of the cost of jackets for the teams. The parents pay the remaining cost.
This year, the league covered $600 for the jackets, and the Pittsfield Fire Department Association donated $300 so the parents did not have to cover the remainder.
The association has donated approximately $1,000, including the jackets, to sponsor the Fire Department Little League.
Fire Chief Tom Sammons said supporting youth sports has become a tradition in the department.
"They [the firefighters] have taken it and built on it and made it a little nicer. This is a really nice thing these guys did," Sammons said.
Sammons added that it is also nice to have the team in the station in person.
"Maybe some of the youth want to be a fireman someday," Sammons said. "With this, they can see the fire trucks. It's exciting for young kids to see the inside of a station. They see the trucks driving by, but it's different when you're here and you see all the stuff and you meet these guys."
Firefighter Matthew Mazzeo said normally firefighters see people when they are living their worst day whether it be a fire, car accident, or medical situation. The community programming allows them to have a positive experience with the community.
Sunday was one of the last times the team will be together with some players moving on to the Babe Ruth League in the coming season. Jason Fields has been on the team since he was 9 years old and will be moving on to Babe Ruth next year. He said playing in the league provided him the opportunity to learn how to play on a team and although he is looking forward to playing on a bigger field, he is going to miss all the coaches.
Coach Glenn Decker will also be leaving for Florida.
Decker reflected on the importance of youth sports in Pittsfield.
"It just gives a chance to come to play sports," Decker said. "Sports teaches kids a lot of life lessons and it gives these kids a safe environment to come to and get proper coaching from these managers that put in a lot of time for these volunteers and it's better for them further in their lives in their maturity and development."