MILTON -- Under a bluebird sky Saturday morning, a group of Milton families came together at the ball field to engage in some friendly competition.

At the end of July, Milton residents David Howard and Lauren Fielden saw a problem -- with the cancellation of little league this year, their kids had no way of playing the sport they love. 

To fill that void and find a solution, they put a call out on Facebook asking if other parents had kids who might be interested in joining a spur-of-the-moment sand lot baseball league. Almost immediately, they had ten positive responses.

"We called it a sandlot league because it's just a group of friends coming together to have fun," Howard said. 

The co-ed league currently has 19 players, aged 10 to 16. Practices take place on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and games on Saturday mornings at Bombardier Park.

Fielden is a nurse, Howard said, and so she knows what health protocols need to be followed in the dugout and on the field in order to keep everyone safe. 

The league has four coaches, who volunteer their time at practices and at games. Howard and Fielden are joined by Kyle Fielden and George Gregory Foss. 

John Fitzgerald, a member of the Milton selectboard, has been the acting umpire at the last few games. 

"We heard from parents who were excited to get their kids off their phones and our of their beds," Howard said. "This is a great way for them to get outside, be active and see friends."

At the Aug. 15 game, parents and grandparents sat spaced-out behind home plate in folding chairs. Teams were chosen by two captains, who will change every week. 

Howard and Fielden initially planned the league to last for eight weeks, but Howard said he'll continue to coach as long as the kids are interested. 

"I'll be out in here in the snow if they want," he said. 

Written By

Staff Writer

Bridget Higdon is a Staff Writer. She was previously the editor-in-chief of The Vermont Cynic, UVM's independent newspaper. She’s been published in Seven Days, Editor & Publisher and Vermont Vacation Guide. She likes to cook and explore Vermont by bike.

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