WPPA Families,

We hope everyone is enjoying their Fall.  For those playing Fall Ball, it is hard to believe we will be wrapping up in the next couple of weeks.  Make the most of the remaining time out there with your friends and developing your skills!

There are quite a few important updates in this email, so with the goal of making it easier to digest all of them – you can scroll down in this email to see a section for each of the following topics:

  • Registration for Spring 2023 for Returning Spring Players
  • “Light the Diamonds” update
  • Field Improvements and Investments by WPPA
  • Fall Ball wrap-up
  • Updates to our Rookie Baseball Division for 2023
  • CPD ARCS Program for Financial Assistance

Finally, on December 1, a number of long-time board members will be rolling off.  A huge thank you to John Kelly, Mark Kromkowski, and Ronnie Minc for their service on the board, including helping us navigate our COVID and grub-infestation seasons.

As always, reach out with any questions or concerns.

Have a great weekend and thanks for being a part of our amazing community,

-Ross Kerr

WPPA President

Registration for Spring 2023

On November 1, 2022, we will open registration for Returning Spring Players and their siblings.  Returning Players constitute families that participated in the WPPA House League in the Spring of 2022.  Players playing only Fall Ball at WPPA do not count as Returning Players.  Registration for all non-Returning Players will open on January 3, 2023.

League Fees for 2023 are being finalized and will be published soon.

“Light the Diamonds” – Update

Thank you to the WPPA friends and families who have contributed to the “Light the Diamonds” effort.  Over the past several years we have worked closely with the Chicago Park District, the local Alderman’s office, and other community groups to evaluate the possibility of adding lights to the Welles Park Diamonds.  We have made amazing strides over that time frame and, based on recent canvassing of the neighborhood, we are confident we have the support to make this a reality.

Thanks to your generosity, we believe that fundraising is complete, and are now working with the Park District on next steps. Information regarding the current plan can be found in this Light The Diamonds FAQ.

Field Improvements and Investments by WPPA

Over the last year, WPPA has turned your registration fees into significant improvements at the parks:

  • New backstops and side wing fences were installed at 4 of the Mather fields.
  • “Laser Grading” and new dirt installations have taken place at the Welles and Legion fields.  We even got rid of that infamous ‘lip’ between the infield and outfield at Legion South.
  • New backstops and side-wing fences will be installed at all Welles fields in the coming weeks.

More projects are being evaluated for the future to continue to improve the experience and safety at WPPA for our players, coaches, and fans.

Fall Ball Wrap-up

A huge thanks to our coaches, our commissioners, our board, and our families for making Fall Ball a huge success this year.  We have a couple of weeks left until we wrap up the 2022 season.

We would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions for improvements or additions to the program.  Please email us at Fall Softball or Fall Baseball.

Rookie Baseball 2023

The Rookie Division is evolving!  A lot of thought has gone into the our Rookie division, and how we enhance player development among our newest players while engendering a love for the game. Some exciting changes are being planned for our 2023 season.

While the overall league size will remain the same, we are aiming for smaller teams.  If we can get enough volunteer coaches, our goal is to reduce the team size to 10-12 players to provide the players with more opportunities and repetitions in each game and practice. 

The season will start with teams practicing twice a week, but no games. After several weeks, the schedule will transition to one practice a week and one or two games a weekend.  We are also evaluating shortening games so that we can play as many games as we have historically even with this new format. We are excited and think this new format will allow coaches to focus on skill development more than ever before.

CPD ARCS Program Support

Our partnership and relationship with the Chicago Park District is pivotal to the success of WPPA.  Therefore we wanted to raise awareness of the CPD ARCS Program.

Providing affordable and enriching recreation opportunities for all Chicago families remains an important part of Chicago Park District’s mission.  The Financial Assistance Fund provides aid to low-income Chicago families who qualify so that all youth can access our out-of-school time programs regardless of their families’ ability to pay.  To learn more and contribute – click here.