By Tom Momberg
Bob Reid might be too humble to bring up the little things he’s done behind the scenes over the years in Bayside, but they’ve added up to some tremendous accomplishments.
A Baysider for 47 years, Reid has been the commissioner of the Bayside Little League since 1991.
Reid’s son, Jonathan Reid, joined the Bayside Little League in 1986. Bob Reid immediately signed on as manager and coach of his son’s team. Soon after, he was leading a division which witnessed incredible growth under his leadership.
“The program has expanded from a number of 300 kids, going up to almost 900 at a time,” he said. “It gives something for kids to do: An outside activity, something they can be proud of. They can play from five years old until they turn 15, so many kids are with us for 10 years. They leave with great memories and friends.”
The Bayside Little League now has about 525 Little Leaguers. When Reid isn’t with his family, he spends time with the local business community, reaching out to potential Little League team sponsors and welcoming new establishments to Bayside.
He also organizes the annual Little League parade and coordinates a yearly cleanup of the fields in Crocheron Park to encourage responsibility among Bayside’s youth.
The great thing about having such a strong Little League organization is, “it makes our kids better citizens, Reid said. “We teach them how to work well with others, how to assist and support other people. It comes down to being proud of their community no matter where they are in life.”
Reid works with organizations like the Bayside Historical Society to promote community awareness of Bayside’s history and traditions and instilling them in the youth of the community.
“Anything that I can be involved in to benefit the community, I’m there,” he said. According to Reid, the small town feel Bayside has in such a big city is why there is so much support for the Little League.
“Over the course of time that I have been involved, we’ve noticed that the parents who are coming to sign their children up have been telling how they played in the Little League when they were younger,” he said. “People are not leaving the community, they’re staying in the community. Or they are coming back when they have kids.”
Reid has four children and now seven grandchildren of his own, one of whom is a Little Leaguer in Bayside.
He served in the New York Police Department for about 34 years before retiring in September 2008. Most notably, he was a detective for the 114th Precinct.
Reid is now part owner at the village cigar shop, Habana Hut, where he bought in after his retirement. On most days, community members know they can find him there to chat.