Letter: Baseball, barbecue and community

Howard Neilsen

A few weekends ago on June 26, the Pittsford Panthers youth baseball organization hired Sticky Lips BBQ to cook a barbecue dinner for its fundraiser. The owner and staff were excited to get our fundraising business back up and running, as the COVID-19 pretty much crippled us along with other businesses last year.  

Our crew worked very hard in planning and prepping the all made-from-scratch food menu for the over 1,000 presold dinners. The hard-working father, son and wife team of Pittsford Dairy were so kind to let us bring our chicken pit grills onto their property as the pleasant smell and smoke of chicken on the grill took over this old dairy farm. 

It was a very warm, sun-filled afternoon as long lines of people formed from start to finish. The people of the community couldn't have been more patient or polite! Families young and old supported this town organization in record fashion. In a time when civil obedience seems to be an old-fashioned idea, the citizens of Pittsford have it right. 

A storefront-filled Main Street, clean of liter and peaceful, brings us back to a time when this scene was commonplace in all communities. 

The Pittsford youth baseball organization started off the morning with its traditional parade of teams and volunteer coaches marching down a tree-lined street that led to the legendary well-groomed baseball fields at the Bob Ford complex.  

Some years ago, one of my sons had the opportunity to play on that field with his all-star team. I couldn't help myself as to reminisce back to a time when my two sons played in the city of Rochester's 40 & 1 youth baseball league, which started back in the late 1950s. The youth baseball program also had a parade that started at Aquinas High School on Dewey Avenue, then onto Ridgeway Avenue to end at the 40 & 1 baseball fields. Unfortunately, the league folded some years ago as the neighborhood changed and it became hard to find parents to help coach and run the league.  

So, I say to the citizens of Pittsford, be very proud of your beautiful town. Be thankful that you have dedicated parents who volunteer their time. To the past and present people who have participated in helping to build the first-class Bob Ford complex and the Pittsford Panthers youth baseball organization for making your town so wonderful! 

Howard Nielsen 

Owner, Sticky Lips BBQ