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The Jamaica Estates-Holliswood Little League isn’t like the many others in Queens. They don’t have their own clubhouse or even a base of operations. They play all their games at Cunningham Park, on fields that are also used for softball. But what truly separates the organization is their originality.
While other leagues are rightfully proud of their amazing talent, solid play or performance in district play, Don Chu, the Jamaica Estates-Holliswood Little League President, boasts that his league is open to all comers, specifically beginners. While many Little Leagues have participants just starting out in the game, those are mostly in younger age groups. But as Chu points out, there are 13-year-olds just starting out in the game in his league. Not that the six-division, 350-kid, 50-year-old league can’t competitively hold its own, but they want to make it welcome for everyone.
“We have kids who just want to start playing baseball to those who are really good,” he said. “We’re trying to make it a league for kids who don’t even know how to play baseball. We don’t turn any kids away. It’s always been a league that was for the kids and we wanted all the kids to be able to play no matter how good they are.”
Chu first got involved as a coach with the Jamaica Estates-Holliswood Little League six years ago when he signed up his son Jonathan, 16, who still plays in the league. Eventually, Chu, a manager at Con Edison, got on the board and then became president three years ago. Although the league is doing well, Chu, who spends all day Saturday and a portion of Sunday there, in addition to weekday night games, says there are still many challenges he faces on a year-to-year basis.
He would like to see more parents volunteer because the number of people on the league’s Board of Directors is a little low. They would also like their own clubhouse and fields that aren’t used for other sports. Chu, nonetheless, loves being a part of the league. “I do it for the kids, that they are enjoying themselves and having fun,” he said. “Today’s kids aren’t active enough. They would rather stay at home and watch television or play video games. I think sports is a good thing for them.”


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