Instructional and Competitive Youth Baseball


WPPA History
The Welles Park Parents Association (WPPA) is a parent volunteer organization that operates in cooperation with the Chicago Park District to provide baseball instruction to neighborhood children. In 1990, Welles Park chose to discontinue their baseball program. The WPPA was formed in order to continue to offer baseball to our kids in the spring, summer, and fall months. The association has obtained both Federal and State tax exempt charitable organization status. The program has expanded and we now use the fields and facilities at Welles Pak as well as other parks throughout the northside.   However, the park district and its personnel are not responsible for the operation of the league. Rather, parent volunteers organize and operate the league. Therefore, you should direct questions about the program to a WPPA board member, not park personnel.

Association and Board
All parents that enroll their child in the program become members of the association. A board that consists of 21 officers makes the operating decisions.  These officers, commissioners and a representative of the park district staff, comprise the voting members of the WPPA board.  Regular board meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at 7:30pm throughout the year at the Welles Park Field House. All members of the association are welcome to attend.

2020 WPPA Executive Board
Name Role Email Address
Ross Kerr President
David Saunders VP - Secretary and Development
Rob Swenson VP - Treasurer
Scott Barsky VP - Fields & Scheduling
Shawna Ryan VP - Sponsorships
2020 WPPA Board
Name Role Email Address
Ben Look Major Commissioner
Brett Williams Equipment
David Kunkle Minor Commissioner
Gabriel Morales Rookie Commissioner
Jamie Schupp Registration & Vendor Management
Jen Patras Softball 8/10U
Jeremy Stump Travel Coordinator
Michael O'Brien Senior Commissioner
Kristin Reynolds Softball 12/14U
Mark Kromkowski Special Events
Mickey MacMillan Baseball Operations
Ronnie Minc Junior Commissioner com
Sheila Murphy Fundraising & Fall Ball Commissioner - Softball
Steve Holowka Liberty Commissioner
Steve Reaven Fields

The goal of our program is to teach baseball/softball fundamentals and good sportsmanship to kids in a positive and enjoyable atmosphere.  We consider our youth baseball program an instructional league.   Participants in WPPA Youth Baseball are separated into leagues or divisions based on their ages.  Each age group has rules variations designed to match the skill level of the participants.  This allows the children to experience success while developing the skills needed to compete at the next level.

We believe practice is essential in developing the skills players need to succeed in game situations.  Regardless of the players’ age level, all coaches are required to hold regular practices.  No coach should put any of their team members in situations for which they are not prepared.

Before each season, our more experienced coaches evaluate the players and a draft is conducted in each league/division.  The goal of the draft is to evenly distribute the talent and create competitive teams so that the season is enjoyable for all of the kids.  Hopefully, this makes the season more enjoyable for the coaches too, as we try to avoid situations where a few coaches have "stacked" teams.

We believe that our goals as an instructional league are not inconsistent with the spirit of competition.  In our program, we keep score, publish standings, and (with the exception of the Rookie League), we have playoffs and league championship competitions.  We believe that these are important measures of success and improvement.  We also believe that teamwork and sportsmanship are an integral part of all good competition.  We hope the kids will take these values with them as participants in the program and beyond.  We expect our coaches to set a good example and to be role models in this regard.

Fields and Facilities
Welles Park is the home park for WPPA.  However, games and practices are held at the following Chicago parks:

Hollywood Park (Jersey and Peterson)
Legion Park (Bryn Mawr east of the Chicago River between California and Kedzie)
River Park (5100 North Francisco - Foster and the River)
Rogers Park (7400 North Campbell)
Welles Park (2333 West Sunnyside)
Winnemac Park (5100 North Leavitt - Damen and Argyle)


Mailing Address
Welles Park Parents Association (WPPA)

P.O. Box 257840

Chicago, IL 60625-7840
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