Balls, bats, bases, kids and Al Duratti. These things have been constants since began its first season back in 1954.
A teenager named Al Duratti began his Yankees coaching career when the league was born some 55 years ago. The Yankees coach will be on the bench when the Little League opens the 2011 season in April. There have been a lot of games, a lot of wins and a lot of Swampscott youths playing for Coach Al.
“We started out on Phillips Park, moved to Jackson (the site of the new Swampscott High School) now we’re at a great facility on Forest Avenue,” Duratti said.
Players that Duratti coached in the 1950’s and 1960’s have had sons that suited up in Yankees pinstripes, and now third generation ballplayers are playing Little League in town.
In 1949 won the State Class B baseball championship, the back-up catcher on that team was Al Duratti. Al and his Big Blue teammates will be honored on March 26, when they are inducted into the Swampscott High School Athletics Hall of Fame. The 2011 induction ceremony will be held at the Oceanview in Nahant
“We try to make it fun for the kids, that’s what we tried to do in the beginning and that’s what we try to do now, “ Duratti said.
The Blue Jays are the defending champions in the majors; the Phillies took the minor league title last season.
“It’s rewarding to see the kids I’ve had come back as men, and comment on the positive experiences they’ve had in Little League.”