It will be hats off to the late Alice O’Neil as Lynn Little League baseball and softball players will pay tribute to the long-time District 16 administrator by wearing her initials “AO” on their caps this season.
The news of the local Little League organizations’ decision to honor O’Neil through this thoughtful season-long observance was a big topic at the citywide registration clinic Sunday at the Lynn Housing Authority hall.
“We’re going to be embroidering Alice O’Neil’s initials on all of our hats, players and coaches,” said Chad Wilkins, president of Wyoma Little League. “I think it’s a great tribute to Alice.”
Joe Baglieri, District 16 administrator, was the originator of the hat tribute to Mrs. O’Neil.
Craig Whitcomb, president of West Lynn American Little League, said his organization will also place a banner on the concession stand building honoring Mrs. O’Neil’s dedication to youth baseball.
Dave Dorgan, president of Lynn Shore Little League said his organization will join the other leagues in the city in offering a moment of silence at the opening day ceremonies in memory of Mrs. O’Neil.
“We’ll absolutely have a tribute to Alice O’Neil on opening day and throughout the season,” said Dorgan.
Ryan Boisselle, president of East Lynn Little League, said his league “will be doing something special for Alice” this season. The clubhouse at Volunteer Field is named in honor of Ed and Alice O’Neil while the East Lynn softball field is named in honor of Alice O’Neil.
“I played baseball for Alice’s husband when I was 13 years old,” recalled Boisselle. “When I signed my oldest boy up when he was five, Alice called me and said, ‘You’re coaching, right?’’’ “I said, sure I’m coaching and here I am now sitting in this seat [as president.] Alice O’Neil was an awesome lady.”
Mike Pickering, director of District 16 softball, also lauded the tributes being paid to Mrs. O’Neil for the 2011 season.
“By putting her initials on every hat, we can pay tribute to a wonderful woman who did a lot for these kids over the years,” said Pickering. “Alice was a tireless person who did so much for this community and this is just a small token of what we can give back.”