Optimist League of Dreams deadline is May 21
May 15, 2021 | Angela Jordan
The Optimist League of Dreams baseball program at Prospect Meadows is exactly that: A league where baseball dreams can come true.
It’s free. It’s fun. And it’s for all boys and girls who live in Linn County.
The program is aimed at kids who are currently in the 2nd grade through 5th grade. The registration deadline is Friday, May 21 and can be handled at ProspectMeadows.com/LOD or by contacting program director Tim Brecht.
The League of Dreams program began more than a decade ago under the leadership of Perfect Game, the Cedar Rapids Kernels, Minor League Baseball, Rawlings and the Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department.
The Optimist League of Dreams program is aimed at youngsters who might not have an opportunity to play ball on an organized team. It is a coach-pitch instructional league with an emphasis on instruction, fundamentals and having fun.
Brecht grew up in Norway and played on a state championship team under Hall of Fame Coach Jim Van Scoyoc. He played college baseball at Vanderbilt University in the Southeastern Conference and has enjoyed a lifelong passion for the game.
Brecht sees sports as a metaphor for life, offering important lessons for kids as they grow and mature.
“I really believe in that,” he said. “I grew up that way and I believe in it. This is an opportunity to get these kids out here to play ball.
“Once the kids come out here and see this place, they’re just going to go ‘Wow!,’ and it’s going to motivate them.”
The players will be given jerseys and caps, thanks to Minor League Baseball Charities. Equipment will be available courtesy of Perfect Game and Rawlings. Perfect Game and Prospect Meadows will provide the instructors.
The practices and games will be played on the Optimist Field at Prospect Meadows, which is located at the southeast corner of Highway 13 and County Home Road just north of Marion.
Practices will be held May 24 and May 26, with 10 games scheduled in June and early July, with the first game each night at 5:30.
There will be a League of Dreams All-Star game for all the players at Veterans Memorial Stadium in southwest Cedar Rapids on Monday, July 5. The Kernels will provide a free dinner for the players and their families at the All-Star game. Prospect Meadows, Perfect Game, Fleet Farm and the Cedar Rapids Tuesday Noon Optimist Club are the presenting sponsors.