EYL History 1974

    2018 is our 45th Season

Elizabeth, NJ

Founded 1974

Little League Chartered
since 1999

Elmora Youth Little League is a nonprofit organization based in Elizabeth, New Jerse and a chartered member of the Little League Organization of Williamsport, Pa.  The league organizes recreation baseball and softball for the youth of the Elmora/Elizabeth area.  The league is staffed by volunteer parents.  EYL forms travel baseball and softball teams that participate in local summer tournaments. 
Summer team participants are selected from registered participants in the Spring season.

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The Beginning

The First Opening Day was April 27, 1974
The Dodgers(Fred Froelich) and Pirates(Richard  Butter) played the first Majors League  game at 10:00 AM.  Yankees (Nick Chopey) and Athletics(Healy/Murphey) played the first minor league game at 12:00 PM.  The games were played at Kawameeh Park in Union.  Weekday games started at 5:30 OM.  The last scheduled game was June 25.

Plaque1974_740

Pictured above is a plaque and the game ball from the 1974 Opening Day.

Click for the rosters of the first 11 teams of the EYBL..Elmora Youth Baseball League as it was called in 1974

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The original Executive Board and Commitee members. (As published in the 1974 League Book)

From Gene Ahearn (League Founder)
July 30, 2015

The league started with circulars being passed out to all the schools in the Elmora area. Approximately 30 people attended. After all being informed of the purpose of the meeting, all were asked to participate as this project needed a great deal of help. After a few comments that this was tried in the past and failed and I being informed that I was a LITTLE CRAZY.
The first one to jopin in was Jimmy Dembeck (who later got all the sponsors and was our first financial officer) Next was Tony Saluchio (great guy and big help) who was going to take care of the fields. They following is a list of the folks who started the league .
1.E. Ahern
2.Pat Olear VP
3.Jim Dembeck Finance
4.Carmen Liotta (legal)
5.Robert Brojanowski (Ahern's helper)
6.Elizabeth Bellomo Spelling might be off) all around help
7. A great lady (secretary-you can get her name from Dembeck-sorry about that ??JANE COSTINE??
8 Tony Saluccio

Union's rec dept was asked if we could use the field off McGee Ave (Cray), We gained permission to use the field. Upan attempting to hold  our first tryouts the Union PD arrived and demanded we leave. They were informed that we had permission, but to no avail they made us leave, after  threatening arrest if we didn't.   Union's rec dept was notified and they allowed us to use another field in Union.

Some time later I asked C. Liotta to contact the Keans and ask if we could use the Property next to the college for our field. This was the start of having the  field close by.   Funny story- Demberk went to the County and borrowed a bulldozer to clear Kean Field. I receive a call at work from Tony and his complaint was that Dembeck  would not let him drive the bulldozer. Thought that was funny

The first ball at Kean was thrown out by Judge Milt Feller (County Judge-very active in the Union County baseball league and  he was a coach in that league). Joe Colling, former NY Yankee outfielder also was on hand and sign balls for the kids.

I have a few photos, if I can find them since I have moved. If and when I'll mail them to you.

Thank you Gene for taking the time to write the above and we look forward to receiving the photos for our web page.

From Mary Ahern
Daughter of founder Gene Ahearn
July 29, 2015
My Dad is alive and well and living down in North Carolina.  He was the founder of the league  The first meeting was held at school 21 and the first to volunteer to my Dad was Jimmy Dembek, who raised a hell of a lot of cash to finance the start. These men and women worked so hard to start this league with nothing but drive and a love of there kids and the game. It is amazing 41 years later it still is going strong.

I threw the first pitch ever in the Pony League. We played at Kiawameh because the field on North Ave was not ready yet. I played for the Celtics, who were the worst team in the league. We were coached by Jay Price who lived on Wyoming Ave. Jay was and I think still is a sports writer for a newspaper on Staten Island (Staten Island Advance?) Also on the team was my brother Mike, Brian Brennan, Mike Lyons, Jim Clutter, and Al Mondel. Unfortunately no one took pictures back then. Jay wrote an article which appeared in his newspaper about Brian Brennan's exploits patrolling the outfield. I know Brian, who Benny knows and lives in Westfield, stil has the article. I wish I had something more substantial for you.

Jim Heals

From Mike Kelly,
Original 1974 EYL player
February 7, 2005.

I HAVE SPOKEN WITH MY DAD, BILL KELLY, WHO WAS ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF THE ELMORA YOUTH LEAGUE. HE WAS ALSO THE FIRST HEAD UMPIRE. THE LEAGUE WAS STARTED BY A GROUP OF FATHERS FROM ELMORA IN 1974. THE GROUP WOULD MEET IN CARMEN LIOTTA'S OFFICE AT 27 PRINCE ST. CARMEN LIOTTA WAS AN ATTORNEY IN TOWN. THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE WERE THERE FROM THE BEGINNING; GENE AHERN, JOE BREENAN, TONY SALUCHIO, GUY Mastroianni, JIM DEMBECK, BOB HEALY, CARMEN LIOTTA, BILL LEAR AND BILL KELLY. THIS LIST MIGHT NOT BE COMPLETE. THE GROUP STARTED SMALL BUT GREW VERY QUICKLY, ALL THE PARENTS WANTED TO BE INVOLVED IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER.

IT IS TRUE THAT THE BEGINNING GAMES WERE PLAYED AT KIAWAMEH FIELD IN UNION. WE ALSO PLAYED ONE OR TWO GAMES AT CRAY PARK IN UNION. THAT IS THE PARK BEHIND THE BUY RITE ON MAGIE AVE. THAT PARK HAD A BASEBALL FIELD. WE ONLY PLAYED ONE OR TWO GAMES THERE BECAUSE THE RESIDENTS DIDN'T LIKE THE CROWDS AND THE UNION POLICE ASKED US TO LEAVE AND NEVER RETURN. I THINK THEY HAD TO DO MORE THAN ASK...BUT ANYWAY WE DIDN'T RETURN.

THEN THE KEAN FAMILY LEASED THE ELMORA YOUTH LEAGUE THE PROPERTY AT NORTH AVE, AND MORRIS AVE FOR $1.00 A YEAR BUT NO PERMANENT STRUCTURES COULD BE PUT ON THE LAND. I CAN REMEMBER GOING TO THE PROPERTY AND HELPING PREPARE THE LAND FOR BALL FIELDS. THERE WERE MANY DADS WHO PUT IN COUNTLESS HOURS TO TURN THAT AREA INTO PLAYABLE BALL FIELDS. THE ONE PERSON I CAN REMEMBER WHO REALLY PUT IN A TREMENDOUS AMOUT OF TIME TO PREPARE AND MAKE BALL FIELDS THERE WAS MR. Saluccio

ALSO THE ELMORA YOUTH LEAGUE STARTED A SOCCER LEAGUE IN THE LATE 70'S, WE PLAYED AT THE MORRIS AVE AND NORTH AVE LOCATION. I DON'T KNOW WHEN THE SOCCER LEAGUE STOPPED.

IF I CAN REMEMBER ANYTHING ELSE I'LL LET YOU KNOW,

MIKE KELLY

Questions, please e-mail

info@ElmoraYouth.com