CLINTON — As time progresses, change happens. For the first time in 45 summers, someone other than Larry May will run the Clinton Pony League.
The Clinton Junior Baseball organization will take the helm, and tryouts for the league will be held at 10 a.m. today on Lueders Pony League Field at Riverview Park.
After the tryouts have been completed, a draft of the players will be held, and players will be notified starting Monday.
John Mulholland, a member of the Clinton Junior Baseball board of directors, said the organization took over control of the Pony League just two weeks ago, and the transition has been fast.
“There was quite a bit of stress, but we know in the long run it’s an important thing that the city needs in terms of a baseball program,” Mulholland said.
“We’re a bit behind, but we’ll catch up. It’s a great opportunity for the other kids in Clinton, and it bridges the gap going from major level baseball to Pony. People weren’t quite sure where to go, but now it’s a seamless thing to stay in one program.”
Mulholland said now that the system was in one program, the quality of youth baseball will grow in Clinton.
“We want a good sports program for the community,” he said. “You’ll see it in the next couple of years; it’ll really grow. We’re going to get with the high school coaches, and we’re going to work from the ground up like they do in the cities, like at North Scott.”
Mulholland and crew will take over for May, who walks away after overseeing the Pony program for the past 44 years. May has developed bone cancer.
“It was hard to let go; there were lots of good memories,” May said. “It’s in good hands.”
May helped develop the league in its inception without any city assistance.
“There was no sewer, and there was no lighting, and we put that all in at no cost to the city,” May said. “We built the field by ourselves, the building, and I had Bruce Johansen come down every night for 10 years and help me. Finally, we decided we had less and less people helping us, and we were going to turn it over to the city, but that was a long time ago.”
For now, Mulholland has been pleased with the interest shown, and he hopes it will continue to peak interest.
“We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls,” Mulholland said. “Anyone with questions can contact any member of the Clinton Junior Baseball board.”