TORRINGTON – On Monday evening, the road to Williamsport, Pennsylvania and the Little League World Series officially began at Abe Correa Field at the Torrington Sports Complex.
During the opening ceremonies of the Wyoming No. 2 District Little League Tournament, a long-kept secret was revealed, and Abe Correa, president of the Torrington Little League, never saw it coming.
“I was blown away. I still can’t wrap my head around that that field has my name on it,” Correa said. “I was surprised. They were able to keep it a secret. I had no idea.
“I thought it was a little weird when Danielle came up to talk. She started reading it and some of the stuff was aiming towards me. I thought they were going to razz me about something.”
The longer it went, the more he caught on, asking the other board members on the field what was going on.
“They wouldn’t say anything, but it became apparent something was up,” Correa said.
Ultimately, it was revealed Field No. 2 at the Torrington Sports Complex will forever be known as Abe Correa Field with approval from Torrington major Randy Adams and the city council.
“In Abe’s mind, field No. 2, is the premier field at the Sports Complex, and we thought what a great honor to commemorate a man who has literally built Torrington Little League to the program it is today,” Kendra Stienmetz, a member of the board said. “The program has continued to gain kids every year, and without a doubt, a direct reflection of the impact he’s made in the community to bring back Torrington Little League back to its glory days.”
The 2021 season was record year for the Torrington Little League in terms of the number of teams and kids who took to the fields this summer.
When Correa, who has spent nearly 10 years on the board, took over the Little League program, it had only 180 players, but over the years, the numbers increased to 280 this season.
Correa first got involved in the board when his son, Mateo, became old enough to start playing t-ball at the age of four.
Over the years, his responsibilities increased, and by the time Mateo reached the Minors division, Correa found himself in charge of the entire Little League program.
“It’s been fun. Some of the things we’ve been able to do has been a lot of improvements. We wanted to improve the ballpark,” Correa said. “There is nobody that has hosted more tournaments than Torrington in the last five or six years. The improvements we make is with the kiddos in mind, and the tournaments are an added incentive to make improvements.”
Sidewalks, batting cages, lights and safety nets are just a few of the improvements made to the facility since he took over.
This year’s district tournament was supposed to be held in town in 2020, but because of COVID-19, those plans changed. Even with Mateo, aging out of Little League and moving on to the American Legion program, Correa wasn’t going to leave the board high and dry with no experience running a tournament.
“We were supposed to host this tournament last year, and I didn’t want to move on and leave the board with a district tournament,” he said. “We all felt like it was a good fit to hang around another year.”
Moving forward, Correa has hopes to continue to be involved in some capacity.
“I’m not just going to walk away from it. Little League gets in your heart and stays there,” he said. “(My family) has been guilty by association through this whole deal. I don’t do this without them and the rest of the board. When I say it takes a community to do something like it, it really does.”