Blog: Frank Miceli and the Kids Who Play Hard to Win

You don't realize how easy this game is until you get up in that broadcasting booth. — Mickey Mantle

It is rare that to know a person that has had an impact on generations of families that never stops giving. Miceli's Restaurant is synonymous with great Italian food both in the Valley and Hollywood  stores. Frank Miceli is known for helping non-profits - albeit quietly and with humility - and primarily for helping create fields of dreams - for over 27 years - allowing kids to play baseball (male and female). He is our community friend, a mentor and certainly a man to admire with a simple request - not for himself - but for his kids in baseball and he needs your help. For a man who has given so much it is little to ask in return so I am posting this beautiful letter with his dry sense of humor intact - that he sent to me:

Well, it's that time of year, so here I go again.  The 2013 edition of the East Valley Baseball Eagles, managed this year by Juan Monreal and the 2013 Steve Aiello Stars, Managed by Anthony Aiello, will be heading to Cooperstown, New York.  Since 1998, I've reached out to all my family and friends and asked for your assistance in helping teams and players raise the necessary funds for this tournament. Due to all of you, and your generosity all these years, you’ve all been a part of making it possible for over 350 kids from all walks of life to attend this once in a life time tournament. Thank you for all of your past support and thank you for your future support. Now, on to the letter.......  

Dear Family and Friends, 

I am writing to tell you about my good news and bad news. First off, most of you know about my background in youth baseball. I'm entering my 28th consecutive year being a volunteer for youth baseball. It has been a passion of mine since 1986 when I was first conned into coaching a team at Toluca Senior Little League. 

In 2004, I started a new baseball program, East Valley Baseball, in the East San Fernando Valley for a community that was lacking youth baseball fields that they could call their own. In 2009, the East Valley Baseball took their first team to Cooperstown.  That team was coached by a very good friend, Steve Aiello.  One week after returning from their trip, Steve was taken from us much too early. The head of the Cooperstown Dreams Park facility called and offered a spot in Steve's name.  The Steve Aiello Community Stars were born and 15 more kids were given the opportunity to experience Dreams Park.

With all that said, the good news:  This year, The East Valley Eagles and The Steve Aiello Stars will have the opportunity to play in a national tournament from July 27th to August 1st, 2013, to be held at the Cooperstown Dreams Park Youth Baseball Complex.

The teams will be participating in one of the best youth baseball tournaments in the country! One that most 12 year old kids only DREAM about. This tournament will be held in Cooperstown, NY, just a few miles from where baseball originated in 1839! This will be the fifth year East Valley Baseball and the third year that The Steve Aiello Stars have sent a team, and last year's teams are still talking about their experience. I’ve been 3 times as a coach (1998, 2000 & 2012) and only wished I could be 12 again.  Dreams Park has erected 22 youth baseball fields with sunken dugouts, grass infields, padded fences, scoreboards and more. The team stays in one of the 80 military-style barracks (think of Gomer Pyle) that are on the facility. No parents are allowed in the barracks.  

Besides memories to last lifetime, all players will receive home and away jerseys, a world series- type ring, team photo, team jacket and cap, and our team photo will be put into the American Youth Baseball Hall of fame. The Eagles and Stars will play between 7 - 13 games during the 5 day tournament.   

If you’d like to see some of the things Cooperstown Dreams Park is all about, my friend, Mark Hovater, has put together a wonderful video you can view by going to: http://exposureroom.com/members/MarkHovater.aspx/assets/0a416d5cd7914823838bdd6cb893fc9d/  Now

Now for the bad news: Another thing about teams that travel is they need to raise funds. This means the team must be self supported. Our teams have plans to spend a lot of time fundraising by selling candy, garage sales, car washes, bake sales and more. The total cost of the trip is close to $2,400 per player.  The Eagles and Stars need help reaching that goal. Since the plane departs towards the end of July, 2013, time is quickly approaching and I need to ask for assistance from my family and friends to help the Eagles and Stars get to Cooperstown. I know that money is tight for everyone in today’s economy. So, anything you can send will be greatly appreciated. If you are unable to help at this time, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my letter and ask that you wish the Eagles GOOD LUCK in Cooperstown. You can track their progress on the live webcams they have set up at www.cooperstowndreamspark.com

Please make all checks payable to:  East Valley BaseballMail to: 

PO Box 15683 North Hollywood, CA 91615. East Valley Baseball is a non-profit 501(c3) corporations and all contributions are tax deductible. 

Our Federal Tax ID# is: 35-2236508. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 818-720-4015 or email me:  FMPizza49@aol.com. 

Thank you and Play Ball!! 

Frank S. Miceli -President, East Valley Baseball

Please pass this around, FB, twitter, email it. Get the word out - these kids need our help.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

E.M. Fredric November 11, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Frank Miceli needs our help - please help these kids knock one outta the park!


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