PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Three state championships, eleven league titles, 28 years, 409 victories.
Those are all one way to measure the success of Pittsfield Little League coach Ty Perrault.
But Perrault can offer a different perspective.
“To me, it’s kind of like my calling,” he said this week. “When I look back at my life, it’s the thing I’ve done that I’m most happy about.
“I’ve had grown men come up to me and thank me. I’m now coaching the sons of kids who I coached, and their father will still call me coach.”
Earlier this season, Perrault earned win No. 400 with East Side Cafe. On Thursday at Deming Park, his squad will play Game 1 of the league championship against Berkshire Bank. A win for East Side will force the “if necessary” game of the double elimination tournament, a winner-take-all game on Friday evening.
Either way, it will not mark the end of the season for Perrault, who also coaches with the Pittsfield Little League American Division All-Stars.
With East Side, he has a record of 409-175-2 for a winning percentage of .698. He has helped the league’s All-Star team to a record of 165-55 with eight appearances in the state’s Final Four and three state titles.
He said that back when he started, he never envisioned sticking around long enough to reach the kinds of milestones his teams have achieved.
“I started off when my boys were playing – one was 11 and one was 9,” Perrault said. “I joined when I had the opportunity then. After they left, I stayed because it always seemed like there were a couple of kids who I wanted to see through the program.”
He does think that 2023 could be his last spring and summer in the Pittsfield Little League program. He has a couple of grandsons in the eastern part of the state who are getting to be Little League age, and he might want to look into coaching out there if the opportunity arises, Perrault said.
“Then again, you never know,” he said.
It’s not the first time he has thought about stepping away.
“My ex wife and my current wife could tell you, it always happens when spring comes and the nice weather … I want to get out and coach,” Perrault said.
He is proud of the success the Pittsfield Little League has achieved, both in terms of state and regional tournaments and the number of individual players in recent years who have gone on to state championships at the high school level and Division I athletic scholarship opportunities.
“But even just your average player gets so much out of the game,” he said. “I’ve got a kid this year, a 12-year-old. It’s his first year playing. He gets a couple of hits, and he has a blast.
Perrault has enjoyed the chance to help all those players and all those teams develop an appreciation and an aptitude for the game.
“Every year, you have your first practice in April, and you think, ‘Oh my goodness, what are we going to do with this team?’ “ he joked. “But it happens with every team – each kid gets so much better.”
Not that Perrault is taking all the credit.
“We have a fantastic coaching staff in our league,” he said. “That’s part of the success in our league: a lot of devoted coaches.
“I’ve got a young man coaching with me now, Tanner Hanford. He played for me for four years. Now he’s my pitching coach for the regular team and the All-Stars. To see him develop into an adult and give back and coach is amazing. I see it all the time, though. A lot of the kids I coached have great jobs and are giving back to the community. I love knowing I played a little part in that.”
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