Mother nature shined down (literally) on the annual Little League opening ceremony and parade Saturday as 500 players ages 4-12 marched onto Orloski Field at the Mountaintop Area Little League Complex at Alberdeen.
The parade, led by Slocum, Dorrance and Wright Township Fire and Ambulance companies, included players from the league’s Minors and Majors Softball, Minor and Major Baseball, T-Ball and Coach Pitch divisions. The players, who ranged from four year olds just beginning their experience to those entering their last year of eligibility, took their place in the outfield. Team names like Cubs, Nationals, Pirates, Athletics, Tigers, Orioles, Red Sox, Hot Rods, Bees, Thunder, Dash and Storm filled the fronts of the uniforms that created a sea of color that shimmered against the green grass.
Past board member, Dave Rediker welcomed the crowd to being the program. Majors Softball Marlins team member, Abby Davis sang the National Anthem and Pastor James P. Bohanan, of Christ United Methodist Church of Mountaintop led the players in hope and prayer for a safe and fun season.
Softball Orioles and Baseball Mets -last year’s majors division winners -were recognized along with the 2017 minors girls and boys All Star teams who presented their banners to league president, Justin Krommes.
Matt Wotherspoon, Sr. took the mound on behalf of his son; an alum of the league and pitcher for the Norfolk Tides in the Baltimore Orioles Organization. He relayed the message from his son, Matt Jr., that the players pursue their goals, work hard, and have a passion for what they do.
“Success takes a lot of desire,” explained Wotherspoon. “Whether it’s art, music or sports; everything is what you make it.”
Nick Toma from WBRE and Doc Medek from Froggy 101 threw out the first baseball pitches of the season. KRZ’s Melissa “Lissa” Krahnke had a little trouble keeping her pitch in bounds, as her first pitch sailed over the backstop in a comedic moment appreciated by the crowd. Catchers were Jayden Brown of the Baseball Majors Brewers and Mikeyla Toney of the Softball Majors Orioles .
The Alberdeen Complex sits on what was once the Laude Dairy Farm and was purchased by the league in 1995. Mountaintop Little League is one of only two little leagues in the region that owns and operates it’s own field complex. After the ceremonies, the players were treated to a free hot dog and drink, courtesy of Abe’s Hot Dogs of Mountaintop, and Bimbo’s Bakery. Team photos were then taken on the fields in the glory of a beautiful day and the excitement of a new season, while the first games began on the five-field complex that afternoon.
For schedules and information the league website is: www. mountaintoparealittleleague.com
Spring is here! Play Ball!