BATTERS UP: It's Little League season

The Dr. Phillips, Windermere and Winter Garden Little Leagues have selected their All-Star teams. Now, players from throughout the area have their sights set on baseball glory.

The 8-9 category of the Dr. Phillips Little League defeated the Windermere Little League 13-3 in the Championship Game Wednesday, June 7.
The 8-9 category of the Dr. Phillips Little League defeated the Windermere Little League 13-3 in the Championship Game Wednesday, June 7.
Photo by Andrea Mujica
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School is out, the temperatures have risen, and the sun is shining. That can only mean one thing: All-Star season.

For many aspiring baseball players throughout the West Orange and Southwest Orange communities, summer is the season to chase immortality on the field. It’s where legends are created, memories are made and the unbreakable bonds between teammates are born.


The Dr. Phillips Little League is playing its final season at its current complex — and what has been its home since the mid 1980s — before moving to its new home, located near the corner of Buenavista Woods Boulevard and Bissell Street.

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Photo by Andrea Mujica

“We are very excited for the opportunity to compete with other little leagues in our districts,” DPLL President Nomi Ansari said. “I’m confident the teams will represent our community well and hopefully, along the road, get some wins.” 

With more than 550 children enrolled in the league this year, and about 49 teams, the league had the highest number of athletes involved in both — baseball and softball — it had had in years. 

From those 49 teams, the league chose 10 All-Star teams, which have begun their 2023 seasons. Through the months, the selection of the All-Star teams and tournaments, the DPLL has seen the community come together to host games and make all efforts to provide the children with a great place to play. 

“Along with the history of being at this location, we were not in a county-operated facility so we need the assistance of all our families to operate the league,” Ansari said. “It’s a real community field. Everybody has to pitch in — not only coaching and mentoring kids but (also) picking up the trash, flipping burgers and running concession stands. It’s a lot of hard work, but it is what makes this place really special.” 

Tournaments for the DPLL already have started. The 8-9 All-Star team defeated Windermere Little League 13-3 during the championship game Wednesday, June 7, and the intermediate category defeated WLL 12-7 Monday, June 12, during the championship game.  


The Windermere Little League, as well as the DPLL and the WGLL, recently selected its All-Stars teams, and the tournaments are currently underway. 

This year, the WLL implemented a new category, the 50/70 or intermediate category, which provides a higher distance for pitchers and infielders when it comes to throwing the ball during games.

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Photo by Andrea Mujica

“The intermediate or 50/70 category is still smaller than our juniors and seniors, but it has a much farther back pitching mound (than Little League),” WLL Vice President of Operations Krista Kirk said. “The distance is 50 feet instead of 46, and your base pass is 70 feet instead of 60.” 

With previous successes in their 2022 season — the 9U division team claimed a championship, the 10U division won districts and sectionals, and the 11U team won district and sectionals — WLL hopes to fare well through the tournaments this year and is looking forward to future tournaments. 

Currently, the 8-9 category lost the championship game against DPLL 13-3 Wednesday, June 7, and the intermediate category lost 12-7 against DPLL Monday, June 12.  


The Winter Garden Little League has experience a big growth in enrollment and currently has 540 players. 

“We seem to really be coming together as a league,” WGLL Player Agent Erica Bucciferro said. “We have built a good relationship with the city. We’ve had a good relationship (in the past), but we’ve made it stronger.”

Along with the high enrollment, the league is working on improving its current fields to provide its players with the best fields possible for them to create everlasting memories. 

“We are getting all our fields turfed, we are improving the looks of our fields, and we’ve come up with a new logo,” Bucciferro said. “All of our coaches are giving their time for free just because they want to help and they love the kids.”

The league chose its All-Stars teams mid-May this year, and tournaments are currently underway.



Andrea Mujica

Staff writer Andrea Mujica covers sports, news and features. She holds both a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Central Florida. When she’s not on the sidelines, you can find Andrea coaching rowers at the Orlando Area Rowing Society in Windermere.

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