Softball leagues helping to keep kids safe, organizers say

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SOUNDVIEW -

Two softball leagues in the Bronx are aiming to keep people off the streets while giving them a way to stay active.

The Roberto Clemente and Latinos Unidos softball leagues were first founded by members of the Hispanic community about 35 to 40 years ago.

More than 500 players meet at Soundview Park every Sunday from April to September to play ball.

The goal of the leagues is to give both teenagers and seniors something active to do to stay healthy and out of trouble.

"Especially with all the things going on in the streets now, this is the best way to keep kids safe," said Ponce Laspina, president of the Roberto Clemente Softball League. "We have many 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds, young guys, that instead of them being in the streets or on the corner, they're here playing and sharing with people that are older than them."

With over 20 teams, men of any background are allowed to join.  There is also a co-ed team available for women.

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