Bob Vitale

Bob Vitale: 30 Years of Service - and gone too soon

Robert (Bob) Vitale, long-time volunteer, passed away on Monday, January 15, 2018, days after his 68th birthday, following a two-year battle with cancer.

Bob started coaching in the AAA Division (when it was a 7-8 division, and before PRLL had tee-ball) in 1986.  In 1991, Tom Fennell recruited Bob for the Board of Directors (thank you, Tom), and for the next two decades plus, Bob had a profound influence on the growth and success of Pearl River Little League. 

In 1993, John Castelli became PRLL’s seventh League President, and firmly believed that the League should be run as a small business would, and he took steps to improve record-keeping and communications. He enlisted Bob, who was a computer enthusiast and network administrator, to revamp the registration process and automate registration forms, team rosters and all league information.  Bob established a computerized database that simplified paperwork at all levels. Had this step not been taken, the league would have been ill-equipped to deal with the enrollment explosion that would take place later in the decade.  Led by John and Bob, PRLL erased a $30,000 deficit that had the league in peril.

Bob served as league vice-president for many years. He was never interested in becoming president, but John Castelli and the next five PRLL presidents leaned heavily upon Bob's expertise and judgment.  Each one only accepted the position on the condition that Bob would be around to serve as right-hand man. It was Bob's organizational skills that permitted PRLL, in the late 1990's, to add tee-ball, Junior League and Senior League divisions, swelling the league's enrollment at one point to over 1300 children.

Bob supported John Taylor in the quest to light two of the fields at Anderson Fields.  He designed the official PRLL league pin, as well as its replacement in 2013.  He spearheaded the naming of playing fields after Robert McKiernan, Billy Kayser and Alicia Brady, all former PRLL players who had met tragic ends.  Seeing that the "Hopper" (concession stand) had no counterpart near McCarthy Field (the major girls field at the other end of the complex), Bob proposed and enlisted volunteers to build the "Coffey House" (named after early PRLL president Tom Coffey).  After the traumatic loss of Billy Kayser in 2003, Bob and Anthony DiGiovanni were the first to propose a memorial tournament in the player's name.  That, of course, became the county-wide Kayser-Brady Tournament which will be held for the 15th time this summer. Bob has served on the Tournament Committee since its inception.  Even during his difficult illness, he played a key role in the yearly planning of the Tournament, and, after a one-year absence, returned to his role of MC of the closing ceremonies in 2017.  For Bob and others, the Tournament was a true labor of love. 

Pearl River Little League and the Kayser-Brady Tournament are truly grateful for Bob Vitale's life.  His impact was undeniable, as is our acute sense of loss.

OFFICIAL OBITUARY

Obituary of Robert Vitale

Robert Nicholas Vitale, of Pearl River, NY, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Monday, January 15, 2018 at the age of 68.

Robert, known to his beloved friends as "Bob" was born on January 10, 1950 in the Bronx, NY to parents Vito and Irene Vitale. On September 22, 1973 he married the love of his life, Roseann. He was a loving father to his son Robert Jr. and his wife Nicole; and to his son Stephen and his wife Meghan. Robert was an especially proud and loving grandfather to his granddaughters Layla, Everly, and Ashley. He is survived by his sister Valerie Vitale; brother Joseph Vitale and wife Carleen and their daughters Danielle and Nicole.

Graduating from the Academy of Aeronautics in 1973 in Queens, NY, he then had a 35-year career as a Senior Electrical Technical and Network Administrator with Con Edison, the New York Power Authority and Entergy. His lifelong love of baseball and the New York Yankees led him to serve his community through the Pearl River Little League, especially the Kayser-Brady Memorial Tournament, which held a special place in his heart. Family and friends may call Thursday, January 18, 2018 from 7 to 9 PM, and Friday, January 19, 2018, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 PM at Joseph W. Sorce Funeral Home, Inc.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 10:00 AM in St. Aedan's Church, Pearl River. Interment will be in St. Anthony's Cemetery, Nanuet. JOSEPH W. SORCE F.H., INC. 728 West Nyack Road West Nyack, NY 10994 (845) 358-4433, www.sorcefuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you make a donation to United Hospice of Rockland (845) 634-4974 11 Stokum Lane, New City, NY 10956.