News

Parsippany Little League Team Deals With Off-Field Loss

Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. (file/Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. (file/Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES

From our newsroom to your inbox weekday mornings at 9AM.
Sign Up

PARSIPPANY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – It’s been an emotional weekend on and off the field for the Little Leaguers from Parsippany-Troy East.

They’re still in the tournament, playing Monday afternoon. But 12-year-old star second baseman Dan Ruggiero will be taking the field without his grandfather watching.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports

“He had a stroke. My wife came to the game and that’s when I found out,” Parsippany-Troy East coach Mike Ruggiero told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.

“I feel guilty but it happened right before our first game and we agreed not to tell Daniel,” he told Rivera.

WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reports

Joseph Kayal suffered a stroke onFriday and died before the Ruggieros could get to his bedside after Saturday’s win over Oregon.

“40 minutes out and he already passed. So we didn’t get there in time,” Ruggiero said.

Parsippany Little League president John Bucciarelli said it’s been an emotional rollercoaster, especially for Dan Ruggiero.

“He’s got the best experience of his life and then coupled along with that, losing his grandfather,” Bucciarelli told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.

As for Monday’s Little League game in Williamsport, Penn., Ruggiero said the team has extra motivation to play a great game.

“Do it for Mid-Atlantic but also do it for Dan’s grandfather today, that’s our goal,” Ruggiero said.

Have you been following the Little League World Series? Share your comments below…