Pioneer City youngsters return to the diamond
The Carbondale Little League and Carbondale Miss C Softball League have been a part of youth spring-summer activities in the Carbondale area for more than five decades.
The Carbondale Little League has been anchored at its present location more than 50 years with extensive improvements, upgrades and maintenance performed at the site.
The facility hosted the Pennsylvania Little League State Tournament about 25 years ago where Pottsville claimed the title and went on to play at Williamsport in the Little League World Series.
The Carbondale Miss C League started as an affiliate of Miss E Softball and played on makeshift fields in the outfield at Russell Park and played some early games at East Side Field.
They’ve played many seasons at the Carbondale West Side Field and in recent seasons have played at Simpson’s softball facility.
Through the years, the Carbondale Little League has offered play at many levels, from T-Ball, Coach-pitch, to B-Ball and A-Ball (Little League) Division.
While Miss C has youngsters from 8U to 18U over the years.
Many years ago, the season started in April and lasted most of the summer with regular season ending mid-July. District All-Star action would temporarily halt league play.
Recently, season’s start late April and conclude mid-June with District play and All-Star Tourneys held late June. By July 4, most action is completed.
This year, approximately 250 kids participate in the Carbondale boys and girls’ leagues. Years ago, participation was such that league’s were self-contained with enough teams to fill a schedule.
Today, schedules include playing teams in neighboring leagues to fill schedules.
All-stars have also undergone a change. Years ago, All-Star teams were selected by either coaches and/or players after much of the schedule was played.
Today, in many leagues (moreso in larger leagues and cities) “All-Star” teams are a squad that have been practicing for quite some time as a travel group then earn the All-Star slots come Little League tournament time.
Little League and Miss C Softball have given many youngsters great memories. Memories of games played, time spent with their Dad or Mom and friendships made.
It’s an important part of childhood and today, kids continue to make those memories on the diamond.