Friday, July 27, 2018

Mike and Mary Brach Named the 2018 George and Barbara Bush Little League® Parents of the Year

Courtesy of Little League Baseball and Softball
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (July 27, 2018) – Mike and Mary Brach, parents of 2016 MLB All-Star and current reliever for the Baltimore Orioles, Brad Brach, have forever been ingrained in the game of baseball. The parents of three sons, all of which grew up and played in the Freehold Twp. (N.J.) Little League program, Mr. and Mrs. Brach have truly exemplified what it means to be Little League® parents and for that have been named the 2018 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year.

Parents of Brad Brach, reliever for the Baltimore Orioles, Mike and Mary Brach exemplify the dedication of Little League® parents from around the world.

Mike Brach’s Little League career began in 1965 when he became one of the first players to ever participate in Freehold Twp. Little League. Almost 30 years later, in 1992, Mike returned to the league where he started to serve as a coach, a position he continued to serve in until 2004.


Courtesy of Little League
Baseball and Softball
In 1989, when their oldest son, Brian, didn’t make the all-star team, Mary Brach reached out to the league with an interest in how things were being run, and quickly signed up to be a volunteer. From that point on, Mrs. Brach became dedicated to helping out in the league, serving as a secretary, treasurer, and concession stand manager for more than 10 years.

While most people may recognize Brad as the big name in the family because of his role with the Orioles, it was his brother, Brett, who had the biggest moment in Little League. In 2004, Brett helped lead his team to the Senior League Baseball World Series Championship as the winning pitcher, with his father as his coach.

“That was the best six weeks I’ve ever had in baseball,” said Mike Brach. “That was a tremendous experience being at the World Series with teams from all over the world, seeing the comradery of baseball. Brad was actually there the whole week with us too, throwing batting practice and cheering everybody on, so it was a great experience.”

Joining Mike Brach as a coach during that 2004 championship run was Mike LaCava, who eventually become the League President for Freehold Twp. Little League, a position he continues to hold today.

Courtesy of Little League Baseball and Softball
“I’ve known Mike [LaCava] since 1997 when his son was on one of my fall teams and he was there coaching with me when we won the Senior League Baseball World Series in 2004,” said Mike Brach. “Even though he doesn’t have any kids in the league anymore, Mike continues to do an incredible job running the league and puts in a lot of tireless effort to make sure the kids have a great experience.”

For the Brach family, baseball has always been the bond that keeps them close together and it was Little League that helped foster the love for the game at an early age.

“Every kid should have the opportunity to play Little League, no matter what their ability is,” said Mike Brach. “Parents need to take things one step at a time and make sure their kids really do get to enjoy their Little League experience. Children grow up really fast, so parents should get involved as volunteers in some capacity so they can bond with their children and really spend important time with them.”

Established in 1980, the George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award, is presented annually to the parents of a Major League Baseball player who were actively involved in their son’s Little League experience. More than recognition of one set of parents annually, the Parents of the Year Award is designed to be a symbolic recognition of the millions of mothers and fathers who each year respond to the call of parental duty and help provide a wholesome healthy arena for leadership training for the children of their respective communities.

“To see the path of the people who have been awarded this in the past really made me realize how important this honor is,” said Mary Brach. “Being in this group of parents who have received this award is really special, so we are very honored and appreciative.”

The award is named for former President Bush and his wife Barbara, who were volunteers during their children’s early years in Texas, and continue to support Little League today. Mr. and Mrs. Brach will be presented with the award during the Little League Baseball® World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., this August.

About Little League®
Founded in 1939, Little League® Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with nearly 2.4 million players and one million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and more than 80 other countries. During its nearly 80 years of existence, Little League has seen more than 40 million honored graduates, including public officials, professional athletes, award-winning artists, and a variety of other influential members of society. Each year, millions of people follow the hard work, dedication, and sportsmanship that Little Leaguers® display at our seven baseball and softball World Series events, the premier tournaments in youth sports. For more information, visit LittleLeague.org, and follow Little League on Facebook (facebook.com/LittleLeague), Twitter (twitter.com/LittleLeague), and Instagram (Instagram.com/LittleLeague).