OCYAA offers Memorial Day tributes


The Ocean City Youth Athletic Association, which kicked off its 64th season of youth baseball recently, offered tributes during its Memorial Day ceremonies Monday morning at Harry Vanderslice Field.

The OCYAA made presentations to World War II tank commander Joe Caserta, retiring Superintendent of Recreation Maintenance Mike Lenhardt and Chris Vivarelli, representing the Ocean City PBA.

Caserta, 97, commanded a Sherman tank that landed on Omaha Beach two weeks after D-Day, was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and saved his tank in Cologne, Germany when the deck was set afire. He received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.

Lenhardt, who will step down from his position with the city later this year, is the guy who is responsible for keeping the fields and other recreation facilities throughout the city in top condition. He has always put in that extra effort that gives the young (and not so young) athletes the best places to play.

The Ocean City PBA, Local #61, purchased a new scoreboard for the OCYAA. It was one of many things the PBA does for Ocean City and its citizens, including the distribution of gifts in local schools during the Christmas holidays and sponsorship of high school basketball events in the high school. You can be sure that every dollar raised by or donated to the Ocean City PBA will benefit the community in some way.

After the ceremonies, the Phillies played the Diamondbacks in an OCYAA major league game and the Padres played the Astros in a minor league game. The Ocean City teams are combined with teams from Upper Township in the same league again in 2019.

Mike Lenhardt (center) received a plaque from the OCYAA for his years of dedication. With him are OCYAA officials Mike Dattilo (left) and Greg Donahue.
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Little League players congratulated Tank Commander Caserta and, in the background, members of the Ocean City PBA. 
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All four OCYAA teams who played on Memorial Day posed in front of the new scoreboard donated by the Ocean City PBA. 
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Joe Caserta throws out his first pitch and Chris Vivarelli and Mike Lenhardt wait to do the same. Though Vivarelli and Lenhardt delivered fast balls on the corner, it was reported that Caserta dropped a slider over the plate. 



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