Play Ball! BCAC Baseball/Softball Celebrates Opening Day

 Play Ball! BCAC Baseball/Softball Celebrates Opening Day

By Kami-Leigh Agard

Despite chances of rain in the forecast, the Broad Channel Athletic Club scored a win as the sky cleared this past Saturday, April 22 for their baseball and softball opening day festivities.

In the parade—led by the American Legion Color Guard, followed by local pols, Councilwoman Joann Ariola, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards—hundreds of boys and girls in full uniform marched down Cross Bay Boulevard, cheered on by family members and Broad Channel residents. Plus, the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department added to the excitement with their fire truck leading paraders to the BCAC Memorial Field.

After everyone was assembled on the field, players removed their caps and faced the American flag as the “Star Spangled Banner” boomed over the speakers, then recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Next, BCAC President Jack Allen welcomed everyone and spoke about the BCAC’s baseball and softball program’s beginnings. 

He shared, “In 1999, some leaders of the club realized that we needed to start our own baseball program and put some structure to it. So, they applied and were granted a Little League charter. So, our in-house program, the Jamaica Bay Little League, is an official Little League chartered program. Now, we’re in our twenty-fourth year,” to which the crowd at the field applauded.

Allen continued, “This is a big accomplishment for the Broad Channel community. The way little leagues are starting to go to the wayside, it’s important that our little league stays in the forefront because every kid should play baseball in my opinion.”

The BCAC was established in 1961 as a football program. In 1999, the athletic club kicked off the Jamaica Bay Little League. Fast forward to today, the BCAC runs a plethora of sports programs, including football, baseball, softball, soccer, swimming and basketball. The baseball teams are registered with the National Little League sports program, and also host an in-house league, and participate in the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). The football league plays in the Nassau and Suffolk Football League. Soccer is completely run by the BCAC and participates in the CYO. The swimming team participates in both the Police Athletic League of New York City and CYO. The basketball league also participates in CYO. According to Allen, the baseball program has approximately 450 children and the BCAC overall, through all the sports programs, has about 800 children.

Saturday’s opening day ceremonial first pitches were delivered by Broad Channel Civic Association President Dan Mundy Jr., and local pols, Councilwoman Ariola, Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato and Queen Borough President Donovan Richards.

Soon after, children of all ages raced across the field towards the bouncy house and to line up for their respective games.  

According to sixth-grade besties, Kira, Mackenzie, Sophia, Caden and Dylan—all residents of Broad Channel playing softball since they were two years old, the BCAC has been instrumental in cultivating their love for playing sports. Dylan said, “I like playing with the BCAC because it’s a good way to hang out with friends, and it keeps us active. It keeps us motivated to accomplish something together.” Mackenzie added, “As a team we have a common goal that keeps us focused.”

Hayden’s mom, Floralba Cardoza, agreed. When asked why she enrolled her daughter in the BCAC sports program she said, “I appreciate how it keeps the kids involved, plus, it’s good for them to be active and actually have something to do. Playing sports shows them the importance of teamwork and being responsible. Once you commit to something, you stick with it.”

For parents interested in registering their children in the BCAC, according to Allen, for some of the sports programs, there’s still time. He said, “For some of the baseball programs, some of the teams are capped, but with the in-house programs, they can still get in. Some of the older kids play in different leagues that started already, so it would be a little difficult to get them onto a team. However, for the in-house programs, the eight-year-olds and under can still get in.”

For more information about the Broad Channel Athletic Club, including their seasonal game calendar, visit:

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