Updated 11/02/2011 08:07 PM
ValleyCats pitch in with little league cleanup
A Penn League team pitches in to help a little league field in Schoharie that was slugged hard by Tropical Storm Irene. Megan Cruz has more on The Tri-City Valleycats' efforts.
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SCHOHARIE, N.Y. -- "A lot of kids are very hurt, disappointed," said
The Schoharie Little League's fall season was a wash this year, not because of poor performance, but because of Tropical Storm Irene.
"We lost everything we had," said Steven Alesio, the Schoharie Little League Vice President. "The water level was 15 feet above our heads."
As if Mother Nature hadn't already dealt them a blow, she also delayed their cleanup. First, there was Thursday's snow, then the snow over the weekend made the ground too wet on Tuesday. Thankfully, third time's a charm.
"We're putting in a foundation of clay and then we'll put a layer of infield mix."
That's the Assistant General Manager for the Tri-City ValleyCats, the only professional baseball team in the Capital Region. He and seven others from the organization are getting dirt stains, not from sliding into home base, but from rebuilding it.
"When there is a need like there is here after the hurricane and the storms, to come out and lend a hand and give back to the communities that have supported us for many years," said Matt Callahan, the Assistant General Manager for the ValleyCats.
"Words cannot say how I feel. It's unbelievable. Just tons of thanks. They are unbelievable," said Alesio. "Without these guys, I don't think we'd be able to do this at all."
Alesio says it wasn't just the extra hands that made it possible, but also the supplies they brought, everything from heavy machinery to 1,200 square feet of sod and 24 tons of dirt.
"When we have our opening ceremonies, we'll have every volunteer come and recognize them," said Alesio.
Because without them, the kids might not have a place to play come May.
"The greatest thing I've seen the disaster is the volunteer spirit," said Phil Polley from Esperance, whose kids play in the Little League. "And if it wasn't for the volunteers, we'd be standing in mud right now.”