IMG_0559 After five weeks of practice, the Englewood Police/Youth Baseball League (EPYBL) kicked off its baseball season on Wednesday, June 24th at Hamilton Park.  The six teams started the afternoon with a parade around the fields, dressed to the nines in full uniforms donated by Mesirow Financial and CVS.  A press conference highlighted the combined effort of all partners and included inspiring words from Dr. Toni Irving of Get IN Chicago, Commander Larry Watson of the 7th District, Alderman Roderick Sawyer, Elder Willard Payton, Perry Gunn of Teamwork Englewood, and Marco Johnson of the Chicago Police Athletic League.

DJs from WKKC 89.3 at Kennedy King College kept the crowd pumped, and volunteers distributed peanuts, cherries, burgers, and kebabs to everyone in attendance.  Before the first pitch, each team lined up, removed their hats, and stood at attention for a rousing National Anthem by Mae Ya Ryan Carter.
IMG_0359The games themselves did not disappoint!  On field 1, the Monarchs defeated the Barons in a suspenseful match.  On field 2, the Sawyers put up a good fight but fell short to the Washingtons. On field 3, the DuSables and the Tigers met up for a tight game that was only decided in the bottom of the last inning, when the Tigers emerged victorious.

Each team is led by a group of coaches from the Chicago Police Department and the community, and the league has been coordinated with fantastic leadership from Andrea NaTay from Forever Fitness Chicago and Glen Brooks from Chicago CAPS.  Teams will continue to play on Wednesdays this summer, culminating in an All-Star game on Tuesday, August 4th.  Players will also continue weekly mentoring sessions on Tuesdays at Hamilton Park.  We look forward to cheering the teams on for the rest of the summer!