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8

Apr, 2019

Heavy Hitters at TCLL

Most of the hundreds of players and fans who packed Joe Wagner Field for Twin Cities Little League Opening Day last month are only vaguely familiar with the decades-long commitment of key leaders and volunteers behind youth baseball in Larkspur and Corte Madera.

“We are blessed with an array of dedicated folks from different backgrounds,” says Mike Boland, president of TCLL, who is marking his 20th year as president and 26th year on the board of directors. “Over time, the faces have changed but the commitment of a select few has not.”

Though the full-time attorney now lives in Novato, Boland was raised in Corte Madera, served on the Town Council from 1976-84, played TCLL ball, became involved again when his son Matthew joined the league as a five-year-old in 1992 and has been involved ever since. Boland says not much has changed since the 1990s.

“Over the years, I’ve seen a consistent commitment to the goals of little league — character, courage and loyalty,” says Boland. “What’s different is that I now see players participating in more sports and other activities. I also see a greater understanding in the community that little league is a youth leadership program and not one solely focused on baseball skills.”

 
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“Mike is a great leader who is fully dedicated to the kids and to making Twin Cities Little League the special place that it is,” says Chad Solter, who together with Kevin Dufficy was named “Volunteer of the Year” for their longtime service to the league.

“Chad was selected for his dedication and for personifying the youthfulness of the program,” says Boland, “As everyone knows, Chad is just a big kid himself.” The Larkspur president of a technology company coached his son, Evan, for the nine years from T-ball through Juniors. He has served as the player agent and the post-season manager for the past five years and continues to umpire for the league as well.

“I love our community, our friends, and Little League baseball,” says Solter, who coached the 2013 Little League All-Star Team with Steve Stewart. The group won district and sectionals, advancing further than any other TCLL 11-12-year-old team. “I was more excited than the kids after the sectional win — I didn’t know I could scream at such a high pitch.”

Dufficy, the CEO of an internet financial services company, also continues to ump district and high school play after 10 years as a TCLL manager and coach, eight years on the board, and serving as commissioner of Minors and Juniors.

“I love to hear ‘Hey Coach!’ or ‘Hey Blue!’ when I’m out around Marin — sometimes from kids I coached 10 years ago,” says Dufficy, who remembers several games from his coaching career, including one when a first-time pitcher saved the game. “The smile on his face was priceless.”

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