Big Birthday for a Little League

June 27th, 2015 1:27 am

First Posted: 4/16/2013

The Exeter Lions Little League celebrated its 60th anniversary celebration yesterday with an Opening Day parade from the Exeter Borough Building to the Little League Complex.

Following the parade, State Senator John Yudichak threw out the first pitch and State Rep. Phyllis Mundy presented the League with a citation from the PA House of Representatives.

The field is named for Mike Chiampi one of the league’s founders and an early president. Chiampi died in 1982 at age 66, but before he did the Exeter Lions Little League named its field for him in 1975. It was during his term as president from the early 1960s to 1975 that Chiampi did the work that put his name on the field. Under Chiampi the league bought the land for the field from the Pennsylvania Coal Company for $4,500. He also oversaw the installation of news chain link fencing, a backstop and lights for night games.

When the league was charted in 1953 games were played on St. Cecilia’s Field. The next year the field was moved to near the site of the current Major League field on land leased from the coal company, before Chiampi arranged to buy the land.

In 1953 league volunteers went to Binghamton where they dismantled an old box car and brought the wood back to Exeter to build a fence.

Chiampi had no sons but three of his great grandchildren — John Morgan, Jacob Morgan, and Mario Belzaare — are Exeter Leaguers today.