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East Greenwich Little League

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In 1952, East Greenwich Little League became part of the International Organization of Little League Baseball. Under the leadership of RobertL. Cragan, four teams were established, and it is believed that Solomon& Silverman, E.G. Hardware, E.G. Dairy and E.G. Fire Department were the first four sponsors.

Bob Cragan played three varsity sports for U.R.I.—baseball, basketballand football. After graduating, he played professional football for the RI Steamrollers and a semi-pro baseball. Bob’s love for the game and his tremendous energy inspired him to employ the efforts of several hardworking townspeople to build a Little League field. 

In 1954, he found his “field of dreams” in a far corner of a privately owned cemetery. The patch of land was down an embankment, divided by an active stream. There was no access to this swampy lot, but that did not stop Bob and his hardworking crew. Bob’s motto had to be “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”, for they broke through a road off Reilly Avenue, redirected the stream through a large culvert, and constructed what is today known as Cragan Field. 

Among the pioneers of East Greenwich Little League were the first President, Fred Miller, first Treasurer, Bill Carr, Herb “he can fix anything” Wilson, Jim Philbrick, Town Treasurer Herb Cooper, Ralph Marden, Bill Brennan, Ellsworth “Bud” Harding, Earl Burnes, and Jim MacNie. Along with several others, these men worked long and hard in the spring of 1954, together with the volunteer assistance of Frank Coslor’s construction company, to complete Cragan Field. Spring fever and Little League Baseball had taken hold, and now a new problem was surfacing—the League had expanded to eight teams and more fields were needed.

What now? What else?! Build a new field! In the winter of 1954–55, Bob pulled his loyal crew together and discussed their problem with the town. The EGLL was willing to build another field, but the town had to come up with the land. In the early spring, the Town Council agreed to give the meadow behind the East Greenwich Academy to the crew for construction. This time, Cliff McKenna volunteered the services of his construction company and together, with the founders of EGLL, built what is today known as Academy Field. 

Although the field is quite different from the scratched out sandlot playing surface, the diamond, benches, and backstop are all in the very same position. Academy Field was completed by opening day in 1955 with proper celebration. Players in their gray flannel uniforms lined both sides of the field, while the National Anthem played and the flag was hoisted. On hand to throw out the first baseball was the President of the Town Council, Ray Crompton. Ray praised the Little League for establishing the field for the town, and credited the League for taking the initiative to create recreational facilities for the town.

Two months after the completion of Academy Field, Bob Cragan died suddenly, suffering a heart attack at the age of forty-four. In his memory, the cemetery field was dedicated to him; his spirit and energy will forever stay with us. The Robert L. Cragan Memorial Field is still owned by the E.G. Cemetery Corporation and leased to the Town for the exclusive use of the Little League. Academy Field is a town field which is now used for many recreational activities including Little League. Since those early years, the EGLL has grown substantially.

All told, 16,000 youths have gone through the League. Parents who once watched their children, are now watching their grandchildren. The Softball League, established in 1972, allows many of our fine female athletes to play competitively and prepare for teams at the junior and high school levels. The baseball program continues to expand and is responsible for many of the state titles at the junior and senior high schools. Numerous championships have been claimed in both the baseball & softball programs, including Regional, State, New England and Northeast Championships.
Highlights
Field Status
  • Cragan

    Updated: 01/10/24 8:49AM

    Cragan

  • Academy Field

    Updated: 01/10/24 8:50AM

    Academy Field

  • Meadowbrook

    Updated: 01/10/24 8:50AM

    Meadowbrook

  • Hanaford

    Updated: 01/10/24 8:50AM

    Hanaford

  • Frenchtown

    Updated: 01/10/24 8:51AM

    Frenchtown

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Contact

East Greenwich Little League

 PO Box 542
East Greenwich, Rhode Island 02818

Contact Us

East Greenwich Little League

 PO Box 542
East Greenwich, Rhode Island 02818

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