Garfield Ridge native Ryan Aderman, the new president of Clear-Ridge Little League. --Photo by Cosmo Hadac

Garfield Ridge native Ryan Aderman, the new president of Clear-Ridge Little League. --Photo by Cosmo Hadac

Batting cleanup, Ryan Aderman

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By Tim Hadac

Editor

Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound

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Baseball is in Ryan Aderman’s blood.

Especially Little League ball.

He even talked baseball with me last week, on his 33rd birthday.

The Garfield Ridge native (St. Dan’s and later St. Laurence) was just a little boy when he donned his first baseball uniform—a Clear-Ridge Little League uniform—back in the late 1990s.

That was during CRLL’s heyday, when as many as a thousand boys and girls of all ages played baseball or softball in one of Chicago’s best neighborhood youth athletic associations.

These days, about half that many play, but CRLL remains the largest Little League, by far, in the greater Midway area.

Through all that, one constant has been Ryan Aderman.

He stuck with CRLL and played all the way to age 18. After his playing days were done, he stuck around and served in just about every role there is: grounds maintenance, concessions, whatever needed to be done. For the past decade or so, Ryan has served as league vice president, right-hand man to longtime President Adam Rush.

Now that Adam has decided to step down, Ryan has moved up in the batting order, so to speak.

CRRNH RyanAderman 092023

Garfield Ridge native Ryan Aderman, the new president of Clear-Ridge Little League. –Photo by Cosmo Hadac

Frankly, it’s hard to imagine a person as well prepared to be CRLL president as Ryan Aderman.

He has his work cut out for him. He needs to maintain CRLL’s current strength (about 500 boys and girls play each season) and he has to build upon it, convincing kids ages 5-16 to pull their eyes away from their smartphone screens and towards our local baseball and softball diamonds. That’s a challenge—a formidable challenge–that essentially didn’t exist 20 years ago.

He also has to convince boys and girls to play Little League ball right here in the neighborhood, as opposed to joining (for example) traveling leagues.

But he has help.

“I have a good group of volunteers,” Ryan told me in a phone conversation on his birthday. “It’s a mix of parents who are pretty new to the game, along with people who have been around for years, who are experienced with what makes a Little League organization successful.”

He credits 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn with refurbishing the diamonds at Hale Park, as well as Wentworth Park. He also tips his CRLL cap to 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares, State Senator Mike Porfirio (D-11th) and State Rep. Angie Guerrero Cuellar (D-22nd) for their ongoing support.

“And it helps that our local Park District supervisors, like our aldermen, are people who live in the community and [therefore] care about the neighborhoods that much more,” he added. “ That kind of support helps us be a better Little League; and that benefits the community.”

It certainly does. Having an active, thriving Little League organization makes Clearing and Garfield Ridge that much more attractive to young parents looking to buy a home.

It’s not something any of us should take for granted. Over the years, many other city neighborhoods and suburban towns have seen their Little League organizations wither and even die because not enough members of the community cared to offer and deliver support.

What about each of us here in Clearing and Garfield Ridge? If you’re the mom or dad of a youngster, please consider registering your child for the 2024 season when signup starts in January. And please step forward to volunteer your time.

If you’re a local business owner—from a big company down to a home-based operation and everything in between, consider signing up as a sponsor for the 2024 season.

The next step? Head over to clearridgell.com and get started on helping our Little League continue to serve our community’s boys and girls, just as it has since 1953. Your support is definitely needed.

In other news

  • Octoberfest is set for 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 in Centennial Hall (inside the old St. Joseph School), 5641 S. 73rd Ave., Summit. Enjoy dinner (served from 3 to 5), drinks, and dancing to live music by the Schnitzel Band from 4 to 7. Tickets are $20 each, $10 for children ages 5-12 and free for kids under age 5. Tickets may be purchased after Sunday Masses at St. Joseph Church, at the rectory (7240 W. 57th St.) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, or by calling Dee at (773) 586-8651. This fun event is sponsored by the parish Holy Name Society and the Ladies of the Rosary. Prost!
  • The Clearing Night Force is seeking vendors to sell at their car show, set for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1 in the 6200 and 6300 blocks of West 63rd Street. Cost for vendors is $25 per space plus a donation toward the CNF raffle baskets. Interested? Send an email to CNF63rdStCarShow@gmail.com.
  • The Midway Chamber of Commerce will present their Sweetheart Comedy Show from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20 at European Chalet Banquets, 5445 S. Harlem. Tickets are $35 each and may be purchased by heading over to midwaychamber.org. This annual event is often sold out, so get your tickets soon.
  • Save the date! The annual Pumpkin Jamboree Parade is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Details to come.

That’s all for now. Always pleased to share the news of Clearing and Garfield Ridge. Just call me, and I’ll work with you.

Local News

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound June 19, 2024

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