As with just about every other one of the businesses, nonprofits and organizations in town, the Mill Valley Little League has endured the pandemic rollercoaster as nimbly as possible given the ever-shifting state and county guidelines associated with sports leagues.
One of the casualties of these past two years has been the touchstone that is the Mill Valley Little League Parade, a landmark local event that, much like the Memorial Day Parade, sends hundreds of little leaguers from Old Mill Park to Boyle Park to kick off opening day with gusto.
To mark the return of the parade after two years of Covid-induced quiet, girls softball teams and the Tam High baseball teams, both junior varsity and freshman squads, joined the parade. The day offered the opportunity to more formally recognize Suzanne “Suzie” Wickham, wife of Mill Valley City Councilman Jim Wickham and mother of five children, who passed away in March 2021 after a long, quiet, valiant fight against her illness, participating in a cutting-edge cancer study at U.C.S.F., and choosing to believe in the strides, rather than the odds.
In July 2021, the Mill Valley City Council unanimously backed a proposal to name the Boyle Park Snack Shack, a central element to Mill Valley Little League for years, after Wickham. She ran the snack shack for 15 years, in addition to her years of teaching at Happy Feet Dance School, working the front desk at Mount Tam School and Edna Maguire Elementary School and numerous other activities in supports of kids.
“We face a lot of of diff decision on the City Council and then there are the ones that you really look forward to, like this one,” Councilmember Urban Carmel said at the time. “I can’t think of anybody is who is more deserving of this and a more appropriate way to honor her life and legacy in Mill Valley.”
A Challenger league representative threw out the first pitch to a Tam High baseball player to kick off the season, followed by “play ball!”
The day provided the latest reminder of the longstanding power of baseball in our community, dating back to at least 2011, when its popularity was chronicled by the New York Times chronicled its popularity in the 94941. That surge was followed by a jolt of baseball fever from the San Francisco Giants’ three World Series championships that continues to reverberate in the 94941.