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By Alan Burke, Staff Writer for the Salem News –
PEABODY — When Bill Needleman was a kid everyone played baseball.
“I was a lefty,” he recalled. “Some guys used to call me Lefty.”
It was an era long before there was Little League with its uniforms, organization and adult supervision. But it was also before electronics and other distractions, a time when no one cared that the ball might be trailing string with every hit and bats were held together with screws.
All on their own, youngsters could develop a passion for sports, basketball, football and baseball.
Sunday, Needleman, 100, threw out the first ball at the commencement of Peabody Little League’s 2016 season at MacArthur Field in South Peabody. Mayor Ted Bettencourt was there to catch his toss. Because it’s a special year, the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of Peabody as a city, league officials wanted this to be a special event…
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