In a small ceremony behind home plate at Montrose Park on Tuesday, Vinceri was presented with a $5,000 grant for park improvements, a brand new Briggs and Stratton power mower for use on the field, and for himself, a prize pack of memorabilia of his favorite team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Diamonds in the Rough is an annual contest that recognizes kids who have used lessons learned from playing baseball to overcome challenges on and off the field.
Vinceri’s essay touched on lessons of sportsmanship and teamwork, as well as the difficulty of missing the previous season with a broken leg.
The essay ended with Vinceri’s stated desire to win funds for local fields and new equipment.
Some of the grant money has already been put to use on a new equipment bin and fence repairs.
“Scott not only wrote a wonderfully perceptive essay about the power within to overcome his reading struggles,” said Crescenta Valley Little League President Dave Fisher in his speech, “he highlighted the challenges our league has in maintaining safe playing fields and safe playing equipment for the 500 boys and girls who participate in our program.”
Vinceri, who plays for Trophy Shop, placed a pointed emphasis in the essay on the need for new scoreboard controls to replace the current ones that occasionally fail during games.
“Probably around the time Scott wrote this essay, we were having trouble with our scoreboard,” said Fisher, who circulated the contest application among the league’s coaches earlier this year. “The board wasn’t working for two weeks. So I told Scott a couple of weeks ago we’re going to use part of the money to buy a backup controller so when it breaks again we don’t have to go down for a couple of weeks while we wait for it to be repaired.”
With the Diamonds in the Rough grant and the City of Glendale’s plans for a complete resodding later this summer, the ballfields at Montrose look to be in good shape for next season.
“Scott is defintely thrilled that he’s able to contribute back to the league,” said Sharon Vinceri, Scott’s mother. “He’s a baseball player through and through.”
GABRIEL RIZK covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3226 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.