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CHALLENGER LITTLE LEAGUE
In 1987, Jerry Pack attended a Little League State meeting in Reno, Nevada, At this meeting he saw pictures of a new program that was being started for physically and mentally disadvantaged children. He was an umpire for District 7 and saw many of these children sitting in the bleachers watching older and younger siblings, cousins or friends playing Little League baseball every year. Knowing that this was the program he wanted to be involved with, he got together with his District Administrator, Chuck Evans, and told him he wanted to start this program in Sacramento. With Mr. Evans blessing, Jerry started asking for donations to fund his new program. The first year he collected around $800. But he couldnít find any kids to play in this program. The next year he contacted Parks and Recreation for the city of Sacramento. They had a lot of children ready to play, but no money for insurance or equipment. From these two programs a perfect marriage was "arrangedí The second year, there were enough children to form four teams. Equipment and uniforms were handed down from several leagues in District. Each year the program grew. After a few years we were able to buy all new uniforms and equipment - We still donít have our own fields, but we play at several Little League diamonds in South Sacramento. Some day the dream of our own fields could come true. Meanwhile, we teach kids how to play baseball and have fun.
The baseball part isnít the most important. The fun part is. Some of our kids have gone from wheelchairs to walkers to their own power. But we still need to reach all the kids out there that still donít know about Challenger Little League.
In 2000, there were 79 kids playing ball. The figures change from year to year, and some of the faces change too. But at the end of the season there is always that regret ..... that there isnít just one or two more games to play.