By Nidhi Mathson
Somerville’s Little League team, Boston Closet, won the championship playoffs Sunday afternoon at Conway Park, making them winners for the fourth year in a row. According to one parent, it’s all due to Coach Sean Sullivan.
“Every moment he’s with the kids, whether during the game or in practice, is a moment of enlightenment,” said John Sanbonmatsu, parent of Boston Closet player, Emmanuel Sanbonmatsu, the day before the final game. “Some of these kids had never played baseball before in their lives. They had never thrown a ball, or tried to hit one, or catch one. Yet here they are, in the championships!”
Boston Closet played the final game against Eat at Jumbo’s after beating them 12-10 on Saturday. According to Coach Sullivan, the team’s only two losses this year have both been in the playoffs and both by just one run. Boston Closet won the first series of the playoffs two games to zero, and the second series of the playoffs two games to one, with just a 4-3 loss, and the team was tied one game to one in the final Championship series, which they took home on Sunday.
“I have a motto in life which is to try hard, learn a lot and have fun. Usually if the kids on the team try hard, learn a lot and have fun, then the byproduct is that you win games,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan also explained that as the games went on through the season and the team kept trying hard, learning at practices and having fun, they kept winning and got to the point where they became a strong team. Then the Wednesday before the final championship game, one of the top players, Linus Hansen played his last game, which they won 14-0. Hansen had to move to New York with his parents and missed the final series. Though it was a major blow to the team, they went on regardless with a tremendous year behind them, and exceeded expectations.
A post on the Somerville Little League’s Facebook page said drastic cuts to the Somerville Recreation Department’s operating budget are being proposed by several Aldermen, which has upset Sanbonmatsu and likely other parents of players in the Little League.
“We need more sports and more arts for our young people, not less,” said Sanbonmatsu.
Coach Sullivan whose sons have played Little League, soccer, hockey and Pop Warner said, “The city of Somerville does a great job with their programs for the youth. It would be a shame if cuts affected these leagues chances of operating and denying my sons and other kids in the city a chance to play these organized sports because the leagues couldn’t exist if cuts are made. I have coached Little League and soccer for the City of Somerville for many years and I currently sit on the board of Somerville Youth hockey as the rules director and I can tell you first-hand how much these youth sports positively affect the youth in the city, from learning life lessons, to what it means to be part of a team and about hard work and dedication.”
The League’s board of directors urges parents and others to voice their concerns, if any, via email or by calling their aldermen directly.