Sunday, March 30, 2014

April President's Message

Character, Courage & Loyalty

This month I'd like to talk about LOYALTY. One of the three pillars of Little League, the virtue of LOYALTY can be a great life lesson for all of us. LOYALTY is defined as the state or quality of being loyal; faithfulness to commitments or obligations. Isn't that what we want our kids to learn is finish what we started.

In 2014, we want to recognize those LOYAL players who have played with our league from year to year faithfully. The board of directors recently met and agreed on several new awards to be awarded to some of our most faithful players. We call it the "Complete Game Award". In Little League, a complete game is 6 innings. In professional baseball a complete game is 9 innings. The two tiered award represents a players who has completed both 6 years with FCLL and 9 years with FCLL. That players next year with the league the award will be given to the player. Have you been LOYAL to the league? Then in 2014 be ready for your name to be called at opening day.

We are attempting to compile an accurate list of players who have played with the league for over 6 years. If you have not filled out the form, please click here and complete the longevity survey.

Our hope is that by awarding these "Complete Game Awards" others will be inspired to also be LOYAL to the league and strive to get their longevity award.

If you have any questions about the program, let me know.

Jim Gill
Four County LL

Thursday, January 30, 2014

February President's Message

Hi Folks,
Though it is winter and we find ourselves in the icy grips of a Polar Vortex with snow on the ground, the league's volunteers and board of directors are hard at work on the 2014 spring season. Opening day will be here before we know it...

As you have read in past newsletters or seen on our Facebook page, there has been many great change and improvement happening with Four County Little League.. Since we are turning TWENTY YEARS OLD in 2014, we have been dedicating a lot of time and resources strengthening the support of our mission statement to inspiring a stronger community through Little League baseball.

And because of FCLL's commitment to our community, we are proud to announce that our board of directors has created an annual scholarship prize that will be awarded annually to a player who exemplifies our league's support of the community, and the Little League International core values of Courage, Character, and Loyalty. The winner will be chosen by the league's scholarship committee, with the prize award intended to help fund former player's future higher academic endeavors.

Additionally, we are putting plans in place to honor and celebrate other players and volunteers who represent the best of FCLL Pride - Player of the Year, Hitter of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, Coach of the Year, etc. We are excited at the chance to reward the kids and folks in our community who are the best at what they do.

Stay tuned for more details on all of these new awards and other details that are set to make 2014 and EPIC season for Four County baseball!

Now, about that snow...

Monday, December 30, 2013

January 2014 President's Message

As we begin the new year and our 20th season of Little League baseball in the Four Counties area, I wanted to bring you up to date on some exciting new initiatives and programs for 2014. As you know, the membership met in October and ratified our mission statement. It reads:
Four County Little League is committed to sustaining a culture in which coaches, parents, fans, umpires, and athletes work together to aspire to be an outstanding educational-athletic, community-based organization by upholding the virtues of character, courage, loyalty & community. Our program is designed to develop superior citizens for a stronger community through the great sport of baseball.
Building on our mission, the board has been talking about adding new and exciting awards for 2014. These awards are designed to promote, not only our best players, but the players who represent PCA and Little League. What I mean to say is, you don't have to be the most talented player to win one of these awards. One award we are especially excited about is our longevity award. We have yet to name the award, but the thought it to recognize players who have continuously played for the league. Nothing is set in stone as of yet, but I wanted to give you a sneak peak of these awards.

One other program we are going to try to get off the ground is a player/coach program which will partner older players with younger teams to help mentor and motivate the younger players. Much like our Junior Umpire Program, we are looking to provide opportunities for older players to get involved in Four County in other ways other than as a player.

Starting in 2014, Managers and Coaches will be required to complete a positive Coaching Alliance training as well as concussion training. The training will be good for several years, but the bottom line is, Four County Coaches all will be on the same page when it comes to our general philosophy of coaching.

As stated many times, our mission is to help our kids and our community. Four County will continuously strive to provide a great baseball experience and opportunities for community involvement. Our programs and initiatives are a small example of what we are doing to improve our program. If you know anyone interested in playing with Four County Little League, please don't hesitate to pass this on to them. The idea is to spread the good news of our mission and our commitment to our kids and community. Involving more families will not only make it easier to fulfill our mission, but will make us a strong and vibrant organization.

If you have any questions about any of the above information, don't hesitate to email me at

Jim Gill
Four County LL

Friday, November 29, 2013

December President's Message

In 2014, Little League is celebrating 75 years of Little League Baseball. It is an exciting time for both Little League International and Four County Little League. Our league has been working behind the scenes to reevaluate, retool and ensure that we are continuing to represent Little League International properly. If you look back at the beginning of Little League in 1938 when Carl E. Stotz came up with the idea for organized youth baseball, you will find that even after 75 years Little League has stood the test of time. There is a reason that the organization has been so successful for so long. Its emphasis on community and volunteers make it a great social activity not only for the children playing, but also the adults and parents who are watching games, coaching teams and dedicating their time to enhancing the Little League experience. From a cost aspect, Little League strives to keep the fees associated with being an official Little League low. Through decades of research, our safety measures to protect our children on-field and off are unparalleled. The core values of leadership, citizenship, sportsmanship and teamwork are invaluable for our children, while enhancing the fabric of our community. Four County Little League is proud to be a Charter member of Little League and to represent the organization here in Mt. Airy, Maryland.
As President, I felt it was important to take a step back and look at our program and review our core values on the local level. A few key members got together to talk about what we thought was important at our local Little League. We then brought our thoughts to the most recent Annual Meeting. At the meeting, the general membership solidified our mission statement. 
Four County Little League is committed to sustaining a culture in which coaches, parents, fans, umpires, and athletes work together as we aspire to be an outstanding educational-athletic, community-based organization by upholding the virtues of character, courage, loyalty & community. Our program is designed to develop superior citizens for a stronger community through the great sport of baseball.
Part of evaluate the league, we felt it was time for a new website. By now, you may have seen the new website. On the site, you will find a section on Four County history. As I was doing research for the history of the league, I discovered Four County has also stayed true to its core values over the past 20 years. I spoke to the founder of the league, Vincent "Skip" Rusbosin, and he told me he started the league because he saw things happening in other organizations that he did not feel was right. He saw the same players sitting on the bench, he saw coaches acting inappropriately and the organization was very loosely operated. He felt there was a better way. He reached out to Little League and chartered the first Little League in the Four Counties in 1994. Since then the league has continued the tradition of being a family oriented, community based organization. We do indeed stand for and always have stood for Character, Courage, Loyalty & Community.

So, where do we go from here? Well, we are headed in the right direction with our 2014 Board of Directors. We have great volunteers who are willing to go the extra mile to make Four County the best it can be. Our families are sure to have a great season. But the one thing you can do is recruit new families. Get the word out. Talk to the folks on your block and in your neighborhood. Today, parents have so many choices when it comes to youth sports. They even have choices for baseball. Some would have us believe that "Travel" baseball or "Select" baseball is the key to a great future. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some Travel/Select teams are full of coaches and players who have defected from their home town leagues. The minute they are not happy with a season, team or game, they leave. It happens every year. If you don't believe me, read this article (Put the Breaks on Travel Ball) published recently, this article entitled Elite or Bust Mentality not good for players or this article by Steven Keener (Too much baseball is not a good thing). Little League is community and the community is Little League. We have what our kids need and the more families we have involved in the mission, the better. Spread the word about our mission and our upcoming season.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A reinforced vision (November President's Message)

creating superior citizens
I can't tell you how excited I am about the future of Four County LL.  Over the past few months, we have seen new energy with energetic and enthusiastic volunteers.  As your re-elected President, I am tasked with guiding this great organization to new heights and with these new enthusiastic volunteers, I have never been more excited about the outlook of our Little League.  With that said, I have met with many of these new volunteers and we solidified a new mission statement which was proposed and accepted at the Annual meeting held in October.  The new mission reads:

Four County Little League is committed to creating a culture in which coaches, parents, fans, umpires and athletes work together as we aspire to be an outstanding educational-athletic, community-based organization by upholding the virtues of character, courage, loyalty & community. Our program is designed to develop superior citizens for a stronger community through the great sport of baseball.
So with a new mission in hand, we move forward with the planning of the 2014 season.  I want every member to know we are committed to "developing superior citizens for a stronger community..." and decisions we make in the future will have this mission at the heart of the decision making process.  We are looking a some changes to accommodate this new mission.  I can't tell you about any of these changes because they have not been approved by the board.  This is why I invite you to come to the next Board of Directors meeting to get the inside scoop.  I also invite anyone interested in being part of this new movement to volunteer where you can.  We have directors positions, committee chairs and other volunteer positions so please don't hesitate to ask how you can help.

Superior citizens & superior athletes
I look forward to working with this great group and hope that you are part of it.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me (

Jim Gill
Four County LL

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September President's message

This month I thought I would reflect and talk a bit about "Why Little League"?

To understand Little League is to appreciate why Little League is a cornerstone of
different and diverse communities throughout the world.

Parents believe in Little League because they expect a fair opportunity for their child to play baseball or softball and have fun with friends.

The mission of the Little League program is not to develop exceptional ball players. In the guise of the game, the essence of Little League teaches children how to accept success and deal with failure, while learning about sportsmanship, competition and accountability.

Moms and dads can look to Little League as a vehicle to expose their children to new experiences, and allow them to build a broad foundation with compassion and respect
for others as its cornerstones.

Little League would not be the largest youth sports organization in the world without
parents trusting the ideals of Little League and themselves being willing to contribute as

Whether supporting your child by getting him or her to practice and games, or
volunteering as a coach, umpire, board member, or in other volunteer capacity, parents,
grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends give of themselves and lead by example.
This is a call to action, and one that will serve your children now, while preparing them
for the challenges that lie ahead of them as they live their lives.

Remember, Little League is about perspective, not wins and losses, because today’s 
Little Leaguers are tomorrow’s leaders.

Jim Gill
Four County LL

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

August President's Message

Four County LL has been busy since the end of the regular season.  Some folks don't realize, but we have events through the summer and the entire year.  For this months President's message, I thought I would highlight some "goings ons".

  • The Majors Orioles competed in the 2013 Maryland District 2 Tournament of Champions.
  • The 10/11 All Star team competed in Little League International Tournament and finished 3rd in District 2.
  • Our very first Intermediate Division Team earned the District 2 Title and went on to compete in the inaugural Maryland State Intermediate Tournament.  The team finished 2nd in the state.
  • The league hosted the aforementioned Maryland State Tournament at Summit Ridge and by all accounts it was a huge success.  We heard nothing by compliments from the teams involved.
  • The 11/12 team competed in the Little League International Tournament.
  • The Minors All Star Team competed in the 2nd Annual Frederick American LL Minors tournament and finished 3rd.
  • The league had a "Night at the Key's" where they were recognized for attending.
  • The league participated in the Mt. Airy Fireman's Carnival Dunk Tank.  The league operated the booth and got some great exposure.
  • The league participated in the Mt. Airy Fireman's parade and took 2nd place for "Best appearing float".


So as you can see, we have been very busy this summer.  The fall will be no less busy.  We will have a full schedule of games as well as the annual meeting and elections.  Finally, we will participate in the Mt. Airy Fall Festival the first weekend in October.  If you want to stay up to date with everything going on, log on to our website at