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John Habib's City Sports: Pleasant surprises abound for Manchester Central L.L.
"We only received one," said Kirkland.
"I submitted a $500 bid just to get the ball moving," said Dreckmann. "Not only am I happy we're hosting the state tournament, but we got it at a relatively low price. Usually the bidding for the state tournament gets as high as $1,500 and even $2,000."
Weeks after the meeting in March, Kirkland said other leagues around his district started submitting bids to host the state tournament.
Kirkland, a Derry resident, has a working Little League relationship with Dreckmann of 20 years.
"I was totally surprised because I don't do this for awards," said Dreckmann. Her service to the Central Little League spans 18 total years, the last 14 as president. Her league provides baseball for 300 youngsters, many of them inner city kids who can't afford the registration fee to join the league.
In April, Dreckmann invited Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to kick off the league's 64th season.
"They told me I needed to move my games from the major field for two weeks (June 11-24)," said Dreckmann. "They told me they needed two weeks to renovate the field for the state tournament. I didn't go to them. They came to me and I suspect Mayor Gatsas made that phone call."
The trees around the outfield were trimmed. Workers re-painted the foul pole in right field and replaced the left field foul pole with a new one. The baseball lines were widened to four feet and the infield was re-cut, re-seeded and fertilized — something Dreckmann said was never done once in her 18 years in the league.
The beauty of it all is that Central Little League would not have received its facelift had it not been for Dreckmann's lone bid at the Little League meeting in March.
Kirkland said the best-of-five series between West and Pelham will begin Tuesday in Manchester. West will host Game 2 on July 11 before the series shifts to Pelham for Game 3 on July 12 and a possible Game 4 on July 14. The fifth and deciding game would be played in Manchester on July 16.
The 15-year-old Manchester Tom Woodlock All-Stars. coached by Lenny Pappas, will be hosting Londonderry in a best-of-three District II series beginning today at 11 a.m. at Livingston Park. Game 2 is slated for Sunday at 11 a.m. and if needed, Game 3 will follow around 2 p.m.
Goffstown, Concord and Bow are the 13-year-old tournament teams. Laconia, Lamprey River and Goffstown are the 14-year-old tournament teams. Game times today at Allard Park are 10 a.m. in the 14-year-old tournament and 1 p.m. in the 13-year-old tournament.
"City Sports" is published Saturdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email staff sports reporter John Habib at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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