Play Ball: Little League welcomes big changes

Local Sports

BROWNSVILLE (KVEO) – West Brownsville Little League (WBLL) registered over 700 baseball and softball players last March for the 2020 Spring season.

Shortly after, the season was canceled amid concerns related to COVID-19.

“The Little League said ‘stop.’ Our city said ‘stop.’ Our government said ‘stop,'” WBLL President Dino Chavez explained. “It was heartbreaking.”

The move was significant.

In 2018, WBLL began a renovation project, receiving over $1.1 million in donations to update the park.

“It started with a conversation about batting cages,” Chavez said with a smile.

WBLL added turf infields, a new basketball court, updated dugouts and a brand new field with help from Noble Charities, private donors, the City of Brownsville and countless others. The renovations had an immediate impact.

“Because of the renovations that we’ve had, we’ve about doubled our registration,” Chavez said. “We are at full capacity.”

The result of that impact was put on hold due to safety concerns, but Spring of 2021 has welcomed Little League baseball and softball back to Brownsville. It’s a sight board members, players, coaches and parents love to see.

“It was a pretty rough thing knowing that my son wanted to play some sports and there was nothing out there,” Baseball Mom Jocelyn Longoria said. “This year, with baseball back, it’s made a lot of change.”

With an increase in player registration, Chavez split the spring season into two schedules for different age groups.

Despite the delayed start, he expects WBLL to complete all required games in order to qualify for all-star participation. With the introduction of a new field, Chavez also hopes to bring an “adaptive” baseball league to Brownsville, which he hopes to start in July.

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