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Arlington Little Leaguers Help the Nats Celebrate All-Star Week

With the MLB’s All-Star squads in town, some Arlington Little Leaguers got a chance to hit the field at Nats Park.

The MLB invited 10 members of the county’s “Challenger” squad, reserved for kids with special needs, to square off in a special game Friday (July 13) against other players from across the D.C. region.

Players from other Little League Challenger teams and similar “Miracle League” teams took the field alongside several former Nats players — Sean Burnett, Scott Hairston, Kevin Frandsen and John Lannan — not to mention Nats mascot Screech and “Racing President” Teddy Roosevelt.

Each player participating got their own at-bat and a chance to circle the bases. Parents and volunteers from the various teams, including five from Arlington’s squad, helped staff the event.

MLB will wrap up its All-Star Week festivities with its 89th annual All-Star game tonight (Tuesday) at Nats Park.

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Arlington Babe Ruth Baseball Team Clinches State Title

Arlington Babe Ruth Baseball’s eight-and-under travel team journeyed to Haymarket to compete for a state title last week, and they came home victorious.

The 8U team, Storm, clinched the championship in their age group with an undefeated run through the tournament, including a 13-12 victory over a Fluvanna County team in the final game.

The team will represent the state of Virginia in the Babe Ruth Southeast Regional Tournament, set to kick off in Ocala, Florida this coming Wednesday (July 18).

Three other Arlington Babe Ruth travel teams also participated in state tournaments last week in the 9U, 10U and 11U age groups.

Photo courtesy George Thompson

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Job of the Day: Youth Baseball Coach (Part-Time)

Arlington Travel Baseball (ATB) is a 501(c)3 non-profit youth baseball organization that provides an opportunity for players ages 9-12U to acquire superior skills through higher levels of competition. ATB is seeking head and assistant coaches who have a passion for the game and want to join a “winning” team. Ideally, we are in search of former college baseball players who want to teach the game they grew up playing

Coaches will be compensated a competitive wage and required to pass a background check. Coaching experience is a plus but not required and training is available as needed. Coaches will report to the Director of Player Development, who will set team goals and assist with practice plans and specific skills development.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Manage the day to day field activities of the team. Teaching relevant skills, tactics and techniques.
  • Arrive on time and have a practice plan for each practice.
  • Lead the team at all regular season, playoff and tournament games.
  • Coach in a positive manner. (Coaches will have coach of conduct form)
  • Communicate with Team General Manager with administrative needs of team.
  • Prepare the players for the physical and mental challenges of competitive baseball.
  • Identify player strengths and weaknesses and provide progress reports at end of summer season.
  • Attend annual tryouts in June and July

If you’re interested or know someone who might be please contact us at [email protected] or call 703-801-6297.

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Abingdon Elementary’s ‘Little Presidents’ Join Nats Park Presidents Race

The Washington Nationals’ fourth inning Presidents Race looked a little different on Saturday (June 9) — as Teddy, Abe and Tom rushed to catch up with George, they hit an obstacle in the form of six smaller presidents.

Arms outstretched, the little presidents — boys from Abingdon Elementary School — blocked the racers from passing, while a seventh student, dressed as Nats mascot Screech, waited to greet a victorious George at the finish line.

“The boys were just freaking out,” parent Catherine Ladd said. “They were like, ‘This is epic, this is amazing.'”

Their path to Nationals Park began last Halloween, when all seven boys attended a parade at their elementary school wearing paper mache George, Tom, Bill, Herbie, Teddy and Screech heads to go with Nationals jerseys and baseball gear.

Ladd spent five weeks crafting the costumes, and things escalated quickly from there. Parents at the parade tweeted pictures to the Nationals, a team representative called the next day and the racing presidents themselves were at Abingdon Elementary the following Monday (Nov. 6) to invite the boys to a race, Ladd said.

“I never thought that we’d ever get the invitation to go down to Nats [Park]… I was just hoping [the costumes] looked okay at the end,” Ladd said.

Given that it has been 13 years since their inaugural season, the Nationals are older than the “Little Presidents” themselves, making them part of “the first generation that’s die-hard Nats fans as kids,” Ladd said.

“Seeing the Nationals do this for them was such a special experience and such a treat and so kind of them,” she said.

Several of the boys participated in Arlington Little League playoff games Saturday morning before heading to the stadium.

“It was kind of cool to see [them] live out their major league dreams in a way,” Ladd said.

Before racing, the Little Presidents also got to spend some time with their bigger counterparts and collect autographs.

“The presidents and Screech [signed] a ball for each of the kids,” Ladd said. “For them, that’s just as cool as a major league baseball player.”

As for next Halloween, Ladd has a feeling the Little Presidents might make another appearance.

“I think this is going to be the gift that keeps on giving,” she said.

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Morning Notes

DES Wants to Reunite Stuffed Bunny With Owner — The Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services is searching for the owner of a stuffed animal believed to have been accidentally thrown away during Taste of Arlington on Sunday. “Let us know if someone is missing a good friend,” DES tweeted. [Twitter]

APS to Keep German, Japanese Classes — “Superintendent Patrick Murphy on May 17 confirmed the decision to keep German I, II and III and Japanese I, II and III, which had been slated for elimination due to low enrollment. The turnaround came after students and parents complained.” [InsideNova]

Flanagan-Watson Get Promotion — “Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz has appointed Shannon Flanagan-Watson as deputy county manager, effective May 21, with oversight responsibility for Arlington Economic Development, Arlington Public Libraries, and a portion of the Department of Environmental Services, one of the County’s largest departments.” Flanagan-Watson has served as the county’s business ombudsman, working to help solve regulatory problems for Arlington businesses. [Arlington County]

Risk Warrant Bill Fails — A bill introduced by Del. Rip Sullivan (D-48) to create risk warrants — allowing law enforcement to confiscate the guns of troubled individuals if a court order is granted — failed in the Virginia legislature this session. [WVTF]

Patriots Win District Baseball Title — The Yorktown Patriots baseball team won the Liberty District high school tournament and title for the first time since 2012. [InsideNova]

Get Ready for Memorial Bridge Work — Major work to rehabilitate the aging Memorial Bridge is set to begin in September and will cause significant traffic impacts. The work “will require long-term lane closures and short-term detours, which will be disruptive to traffic and likely send vehicles to other Potomac River spans, tying those up more than usual, per the NPS. One of the sidewalks will also be closed ‘during much of the construction period.'” [Washington Business Journal]

Budget Limits May Limit New HS Amenities — “Those who descended on Saturday’s County Board meeting hoping to win support for more rather than fewer amenities in a potential fourth Arlington high school came away with no promises from board members. If anything, those elected officials who addressed the subject did so in an effort to – delicately – tamp down expectations.” [InsideNova]

Wrong-Way Crash in Pentagon City — A driver reportedly hopped a curb, drove the wrong way down Army Navy Drive and smashed into two vehicles in Pentagon City around noon yesterday. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Morning Notes

More on Art Truck — Arlington’s new art truck will bring “hands-on experiences to schools and public events.” The art truck’s offerings are curated by Cynthia Connolly, who was involved in Arlington’s punk music scene in the 80s and 90s. There is no direct cost to county taxpayers, since the art truck is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and other contributions. [WTOP, Twitter]

Pitch, Hit, Run Event in Arlington — Boys and girls ages 7-14 can participate in the Scotts MLB Pitch Hit & Run skills challenge at Barcroft Park Friday night. There is no registration fee and the first place overall champion in each age group will advance to the next round of competition. [Eventbrite]

Renovations at Culpepper Garden — A major renovation project will soon be getting underway at Culpepper Garden, a retirement home for low and very-low income seniors age 62 years and older. Built in the 70s, Culpepper Garden is undergoing renovations of its 204 original apartments and some of the building’s amenities. [Connection Newspapers]

Photo courtesy of our local tech guru, Alex Chamandy

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Morning Notes

Northam Talks Golf Course Bill — Speaking on WTOP’s “Ask the Governor” program, Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) addressed the country club tax bill that Arlington officials want him to veto. Northam said the taxation of Army Navy Country Club, which counts numerous veterans among its members, particularly “needs to be addressed” and that if negotiations are not successful he will “step in and take action,” though the exact action he would take is unclear. [WTOP]

How Arlington Almost Was Home to the Nationals — Boosters of baseball in Arlington almost succeeded in bringing a Major League Baseball team to the county. The Nationals, before landing near Navy Yard in D.C., were considering a stadium site in Pentagon City, but a series of unfortunate events nixed it. [Arlington Magazine]

ART Bus Turns into Sauna — From a Twitter user yesterday: “@ART_Alert my bus driver just begged me to contact you and ask to get his bus fixed. The heat is stuck on the bus and it must be 95 degrees inside.” [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Arlington Babe Ruth Baseball Spring Registration Open Through Feb. 1

Arlington Babe Ruth Baseball works with the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation to provide the county’s children — more than 1,300 boys and girls from age 4 to 12 — a high quality baseball program in the local area. With eight levels of play, ABR promotes equal competition, camaraderie, full participation, good sportsmanship and fun!

Teams are forming now for Spring 2018. Register by Feb. 1 on the ABR website: www.ArlingtonBabeRuth.com.

Neighborhood Teams

ABR endorses the neighborhood/school concept in youth sports. Where possible, ABR groups players on teams based on the neighborhood in which they live, or the school that they attend. Most likely players’ friends are on school teams which practice in their own neighborhoods.

We use the neighborhood principle at every level except the oldest–Majors 70′ (our intermediate size field league, 50/70) for 11 and 12-year-olds, where a modified draft creates a more competitive playing experience.

Commitment to Coach Training

ABR is committed to providing each player with an enjoyable and valuable baseball experience, helping kids learn the game while developing life skills and an appreciation for baseball. We provide each coach in the league with coach training clinics and coaching manuals covering safety, skills, teaching the game, and managing the ups and downs of competition.

Outstanding Travel Baseball

For those ABR players seeking a highly-competitive experience in addition to recreational baseball, ABR Travel Baseball is a nationally-competitive youth baseball organization for players ages 8-12. ABR Travel teams participate in the Cal Ripken all-star tournaments and regularly advance into the Virginia State Cal Ripken Tournament. ABR Travel’s 2017 8YO, 9YO and 10YO Storm teams won their District Championships and after winning their State tourney, the 10YO Storm team represented Virginia in the Southeast Regional Tournament last summer.

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Abingdon Elementary’s ‘Little Presidents’ Get a Visit From Nationals’ Racing Presidents

Abingdon Elementary School’s own version of the Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents got a visit from the real thing at school today (Monday).

The seven students and Little League friends, who wore the custom-made costumes for Halloween, were surprised by the four Racing Presidents, who race around Nationals Park during every home game. It took parent Catherine Ladd five weeks to custom-make the costumes.

The Presidents came into an assembly at the school in Fairlington and gave the boys signed bobbleheads and tickets for them and their families to the team’s Winterfest in December.

“The final surprise was that the Nats presidents invited the Petite Presidents to race them at Nats Stadium in the spring,” Kathleen Branch, a parent at the school, said. “The boys were shocked, as they were told that they had to wear their uniforms to school to pose for more photos. They had no idea that the assembly was for the surprise announcement. Catherine Ladd, the creator of the Petite Presidents, was presented with a signed Bryce Harper jersey.

“The parents and families thank the Washington Nationals for their recognition of a school that loves the Washington Nationals.”

Photos via Catherine Ladd

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Photos: Fairlington Halloween Parade

The Arlington neighborhood tradition of Halloween parades continued today on a picture-perfect fall day.

Among the neighborhoods and schools hosting parades was Abingdon Elementary in Fairlington. Led by the Wakefield High School marching band, with rolling road closures courtesy of the Arlington County Police Department, hundreds of students and teachers marched down local streets as parents and residents snapped smartphone photos and cheered them on.

Among the crowd were ghouls, goblins and even raccoons.

One costume standout were small, paper mache versions of the Washington Nationals racing presidents. It took parent Catherine Ladd five weeks to custom-make the costumes for her sons and their Little League friends.

“It required the coordination of other parents… and taking over her first floor for over a month with the multiple figures in various stages of the design process,” Ladd said of the effort.

Dressed as George, Tom, Abe, Bill, Herbie and Teddy, the “petite” presidents batted cleanup near the end of the parade.

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Heads Up: Military Flyovers Planned This Weekend

It’s going to be an active weekend for military flyovers.

According to an advisory for the National Capital Region, the following flyovers will be conducted over or around Arlington.

  • Friday at 2:04 p.m. — “Four (4) F-15E aircraft will be conducting a flyover of Arlington National Cemetery.”
  • Saturday at 5:38 p.m. — “Four (4) E-2C aircraft will conduct a flyover of Washington Nationals Park (NLDS Game 2).”
  • Sunday at 7:40 a.m. — “U.S. Army Golden Knights will be conducting a planned parachute jump at the Pentagon in support of the Army 10 miler race.”
  • Sunday at 7:40 a.m. — “Four (4) UH-60 aircraft will be conducting a flyover of the Pentagon for the Army 10 Miler Race following the parachute jump.”

The advisory also lists a flyover planned for next week.

  • Friday, October 13 at 9:45 a.m. — “Four (4) A-10 aircraft will be conducting a flyover of Arlington National Cemetery.”
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Job of the Day: Youth Baseball Coach (Part-Time)

Arlington Travel Baseball (ATB) is a 501(c)3 non-profit youth baseball organization that provides an opportunity for players ages 9-12U to acquire superior skills through higher levels of competition. ATB is seeking head and assistant coaches who have a passion for the game and want to join a “winning” team. Ideally, we are in search of former college baseball players who want to teach the game they grew up playing

Coaches will be compensated a competitive wage and required to pass a background check. Coaching experience is a plus but not required and training is available as needed. Coaches will report to the Director of Player Development, who will set team goals and assist with practice plans and specific skills development.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Manage the day to day field activities of the team. Teaching relevant skills, tactics and techniques.
  • Arrive on time and have a practice plan for each practice.
  • Lead the team at all regular season, playoff and tournament games.
  • Coach in a positive manner. (Coaches will have coach of conduct form)
  • Communicate with Team General Manager with administrative needs of team.
  • Prepare the players for the physical and mental challenges of competitive baseball.
  • Identify player strengths and weaknesses and provide progress reports at end of summer season.
  • Attend annual tryouts in June and July

If you’re interested or know someone who might be please contact us at [email protected] or call 703-801-6297.

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Morning Notes

Robbery Foiled By Lack of Cash — An attempted armed robbery in Arlington’s Columbia Heights neighborhood was foiled when the would-be victims told the knife-wielding robber that they did not have any money. “When the victims advised they did not have any cash, the suspect fled the scene,” said a crime report. [Arlington County]

Average Home Price Exceeds $1 Million — The average sale price of a single-family home in Arlington in June rose 2.7 percent to $1,007,044. Condo and townhouse prices, however, fell. [InsideNova]

Texas Lawmaker Wants Flight from DCA — A Texas Congressman has proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would permit direct flights from Reagan National Airport to San Antonio, which is outside DCA’s federally-set perimeter. [Washington Post]

Arlington Hosting Youth Baseball Tourney — Arlington will host the Babe Ruth state baseball tournament for 13-year-olds this weekend, at Barcroft Park and Wakefield High School, and a local team is in the tournament. Reports the Sun Gazette: “The opening ceremony will take place just before the host Arlington All-Stars take the field against Augusta at 7 p.m. on July 13 at Barcroft Park.” [InsideNova]

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Bluemont Park Baseball Field Reopens After Renovation

Controversial renovations to a baseball field at Bluemont Park are now over, as that area of the park reopened last week and is set to celebrate Saturday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The project at the 601 N. Manchester Street park brought a full replacement of one of its baseball fields, as well as the installation of a connector on the Four Mile Run Trail to N. Manchester Street and Ashlawn Elementary School.

The renovated field got new sod, irrigation, site circulation, fencing, backstops, bleachers, furniture, signage, ADA accessibility improvements and drainage. It officially reopened for use on Friday, June 30.

Neighbors fought against the plan to renovate the baseball field, and met with youth baseball and softball boosters last year for a county-organized “listening session” so each side could have its say. Those in favor of the plan said it would make the field more playable and help keep up with demand as the number of children playing youth baseball continues to rise.

Residents raised concerns about the field being fenced in, and a compromise was reached as the county agreed to remove about 20 percent of the fencing. County Manager Mark Schwartz added at the time that Arlington must reconsider its public outreach on such projects, after opponents said that they were blindsided by the plan.

Saturday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony will include a presentation of colors by the Arlington County Joint Honor Guard and the singing of the National Anthem as well as remarks by County Board members and the community. It begins at 11 a.m.

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Upgrades Coming to Barcroft Park With Renewed GW Partnership

More improvements are coming to Tucker Field at Barcroft Park after the Arlington County Board approved a 10-year extension to its partnership with George Washington University.

Under the agreement, unanimously approved by the Board at its meeting Tuesday, GW will fully fund the construction of a new clubhouse as well as indoor and outdoor batting cages, which are also available for community use. Earlier this year, the university received an anonymous $2 million gift to fund the new clubhouse.

GW’s baseball team has played home games at Tucker Field in the park at 4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive since 1992. It also contributes funding each year for the field’s ongoing maintenance and repairs.

“This public-private partnership with GW is a good deal for county taxpayers, for baseball and softball in Arlington, and for GW,” said County Board chair Jay Fisette in a statement. “The university’s home field has been vastly improved, and the community has access to a top-quality field. These new amenities will make Tucker Field even more useful — and fun — for all who play there.”

The two parties last signed an agreement in 2011, with GW upgrading the field and nearby facilities in time for the following year. It has invested more than $3 million in upgrades, including the county’s first synthetic turf diamond field, expanded seating, covered dugouts, bullpens, batting cages, expanded parking and more.

The field also hosts five camps in five weeks each summer, as well as tournaments for the county’s All-Star Babe Ruth League and the 2015 Atlantic-10 Conference baseball tournament.

“Our partnership with Arlington County has been mutually beneficial, and we are excited to extend our agreement with the county,” GW athletic director Patrick Nero said in a statement. “It has allowed us to provide an excellent home ballpark for our student-athletes, a ballpark that will be even better with the new clubhouse and enclosed batting cages. We look forward to hosting the Atlantic-10 Championship at Tucker Field in 2018. At the same time, Arlington county youth have the opportunity to play at a premier venue as they learn and grow through sports.”

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