By Dan Harrison
---- — The Beverly Little League Board of Directors has decided that youth baseball in the Garden City could use a bit of a shake-up.
In an effort to bring more parity into all the levels of the Beverly Little League, the Board of Directors announced that the two different leagues — East and West — will merge into one. The merger is effective immediately and applies to the majors and all different minor league levels.
“We wanted to maintain the high quality of play in the majors and build parity at all levels,” said Beverly Little League President Greg Deschenes. “The distribution (of players) between the East and the West made it difficult to keep parity.”
Deschenes approached the Board of Directors in September with the idea of combining the East and West Little Leagues into one. The board had been talking around the idea for years and decided to conduct some research.
They found that the population in the city of Beverly has gone down nearly 12 percent in the last five years.
“Our (Little League) numbers have gone down accordingly,” explained Deschenes. With only one league now, Beverly will also only have one all star team per age group as opposed to past years where the Garden City had the East and West all star teams. However the all star teams had no real bearing on the decision to merge. The most important thing was the parity within the Beverly league.
“Every child in Beverly (now) can play with and play against every child in the city as well,” said Deschenes. The merger isn’t the only news coming out of Beverly. The Massachusetts Little League State Finals in 2014 will be held at Harry Ball. It will be the third time Beverly has hosted the state finals at Harry Ball and the first since four years ago.