Peter J. Foley wins big league experience

Peter J. Foley Little League’s stadium on Scott Street in Naugatuck. The Little League won the Little Field, Big Experience sweepstakes. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck community rallied around Peter J. Foley Little League to vault the league to the grand prize of the Major League Baseball and Scotts lawn care Little Field, Big Experience sweepstakes.

Peter J. Foley announced July 13 that the league won the grand prize, which includes a celebration, a field makeover, and a game between two local Little League teams featuring MLB players, mascots, stadium announcers and big league ball park food.

“We will be contacted by Scotts and MLB about coordinating dates and times,” Peter J. Foley President Robert Didato said. “If we learned anything out of all this, the borough of Naugatuck is a force to be reckoned with. The way the community rallied around us to support this, I don’t think we will ever be able to thank them enough for what they did.”

It all began in April when Peter J. Foley coach and board of directors member Mike Worobel entered the contest. On May 23, Peter J. Foley officials got word that the Little League was named one of six finalists.

“I saw that some parents were sharing about the contest on Facebook,” Worobel said. “I threw our name in just for kicks to see what would happen and at the end of May we got a call that we were selected as one of the six finalists.”

Worobel then composed a 250-word essay on what bringing the MLB experience to his team or the league would mean to them.

“I decided to make it more about the league and what it would mean to PJF,” Worobel said. “We began a Facebook, email and media campaign to get the word out, and the town of Naugatuck was so supportive and we can’t thank them enough for their involvement.”

Little League officials invited the community to join the league when the celebration is held.

Voting was open from June 6 through July 4. Going up against teams from California, Missouri, Louisiana and Pennsylvania appeared to be a daunting task, even for the oldest Little League field in New England, but Peter J. Foley got the borough’s full support.

Peter J. Foley also got a boost when the New York Mets and New York Yankees mentioned the Little League being a finalist on their Facebook pages in June.

“Once again Naugatuck has proven its grit and tenacity with this victory in the Little Field, Big Experience sweepstakes,” Naugatuck Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said. “This was a town-wide effort and a tribute not only to Bob Didato, Mike Worobel and their entire team, but to everyone who participated in this contest.”

“Our field is already historic and the remake of this field will help preserve our heritage forever,” Hess added.