Can you see it? That little boy whose face lights up when his mom’s car pulls into the parking lot of his local baseball field. If he could, he would jump out the back window to get onto that beautiful field to play with his friends. How about that big grin on the girl’s face when her name is called and she’s handed a shiny trophy even though her team lost more than it won?
These wonderful moments are all because of the many, many Babe Ruth League volunteers who give freely of their time, patience and enthusiasm for the good of all kids, not just their own. In a lot of cases, they no longer have a kid on a team. But they sure do care!
Babe Ruth League is proud to put the spotlight on Connie Fredericksen who has been involved with the Greater Richmond/Lakeside Babe Ruth League since 1997, taking off just one season in 2009 when her granddaughter was born.
Connie joined the league when her son Daniel began playing in 1997, and continued playing through the 2006 season. During this time, Connie served as League Secretary, Equipment Manager, Publicity Director, scorekeeper, grass cutter and just about every other position, including chief cook and bottle washer.
After her son left the Babe Ruth program, Connie stuck around serving as a coach and a scorekeeper.
This past summer, Connie was approached by the League Vice President and asked to return to the League’s Board. She knew what a commitment it was from her previous service as a Board Member. But she didn’t hesitate to accept the position as foremost in her heart, she wanted to continue to provide a safe and enjoyable outlet for the youth of her community to play ball.
There are many distinguished individuals who strive to make Babe Ruth League a great program. Unsung heroes who make a giant impact in quiet, unassuming ways. Connie Fredericksen is one of those unsung heroes who have given unselfishly of their time and resources.
Lakeside Youth Baseball was established in 1954. From 1954 to the present, there have been 27 hurricanes and countless tornadoes spotted in Virginia. In September 2003, the most devastating of hurricanes since the 1960s hit Virginia. Hurricane Isabel and a spotted 13 tornadoes caused millions in damage and destroyed the Lakeside baseball complex, along with much of the city and surrounding areas. With water reaching over 20 feet at the complex, there was nothing left.
Once Lakeside recovered from Isabel, another storm was brewing. In August 2004, Tropical Storm Gaston hit and delivered another devastating blow to Lakeside. With the fall season about to begin, the hearts of the children were crushed. The board members at that time had to come up with a plan. A deal was made with nearby competitor, the Glen Allen Babe Ruth League, who allowed Lakeside to continue their fall season at their complex. This goes to prove that rivalry is one thing, but the love for children and the game always comes first. It also goes to prove that Babe Ruth volunteers always go above and beyond for our youth.
The next time you encounter someone who volunteers for the Babe Ruth League program, tell them “thank you.” They deserve it for all of the hard work and dedication they devote to Babe Ruth League. Without Connie Fredericksen and all other volunteers, Babe Ruth League would cease to exist and the ones hurt the most would be the children.