From a ball field at the southernmost end of South Michigan Avenue, the Roseland Little League baseball team has served as a fun outlet for kids and a source of entertainment for families on the Far Southeast side since 1952.
Rick Bolin is the current administrative head of the program, and has been affiliated with the team for the past nineteen years. Bolin himself was a Little League player for the South East team, where his father was his first coach, until he reached high school. And like his father, Bolin acted as his childrens’ first coach when he signed his two sons up for tee ball with the Roseland Team in the early 2000s.
Though his sons have long since aged out of youth baseball, Bolin has maintained a steadfast commitment to serving his community by curating an environment where local kids can release their energy in positive ways. Each year, between 100-150 kids participate in Roseland Little League’s seasonal programs. The children are grouped by age: four- to six-year-olds play T-Ball, seven- to ten-year-olds are in the intermediate level, and eleven- and twelve-year-olds are the most advanced players. Roseland Little League’s regular season, when the games kick off, begins in late May and runs until early August, adjusted from a typical baseball schedule to account for the school year. Their pre-season practices run from late February through the end of April, and take place indoors at the newly opened Pullman Community Center, which boasts three turf fields and four batting cages.
However, the games don’t have to end when summer does: Roseland Little League also hosts additional programs at PCC in the fall. The Fall Ball League is an instructional unit that runs from September through the end of October and focuses on fine-tuning baseball skills.
The winter and fall training programs are $25 each per child. The cost for the main season varies by age, but never exceeds over $100 for the two-month program.
Additionally, no child is turned away for lack of funds. Bolin is cognizant of the financial pressures that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has placed on local families, and strives to make the programs affordable for all. This is why Roseland Little League offers grants for families who are struggling financially, ensuring that fees do not stand in the way of any child’s enrichment.
As the summer comes to an end, Roseland Little League has a lot to celebrate. The intermediate team did not lose a game all season, and continued their winning streak when they claimed the championship title in the Chicago Youth Baseball Alliance playoffs. The advanced team placed second for their division. Bolin, and the six coaches who currently oversee the team, are always looking for more volunteers to lend their time and support the effort to provide a safe and fun activity for children of the South Side. If you are interested, please sign up to become a volunteer through the Pullman Community Center website during the off season.
Roseland Little League, 12483 S. Michigan Ave. (games) and 10355 S. Woodlawn Ave. (training). pccindoorsports.com/roseland/