Due to Juneau's unexpected weather, the Gastineau Channel Little League has postponed its opening day ceremonies until Saturday, May 4th. First pitch festivities and scheduled games will not be played on area fields this weekend due to recent snow. The 2013 Little League season will begin officially on Saturday, May 4th, with Opening Day ceremonies at Adair Kennedy Baseball Field at 10 a.m.
My brief column in today's paper can be folded away neatly and reopened next week. Here it is:
Ahem... (title follows) LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL SEASON OPENS (that was the title. Yeah, I know, direct and now misleading).
You won’t have to take me out to the ball game or buy me peanuts and crackerjacks... I already have a venue in mind and plenty of goodies in my camera bag to keep me snack happy.
Yep, I am headed to the Gastineau Channel Little League’s 2013 Opening Day ceremonies at Adair Kennedy Baseball Field on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Rain or shine, possibly more rain than shine, but this is where anybody who is anybody in the diamond life goes to be seen.
This is my Spring Training; my Arizona high desert sun or Florida balmy breeze; my stand-along-the-fences asking for autographs; my scribbling down notes about the long-armed pitchers and short-legged catchers and the players with pony tails who can hit the horsehide a country mile.
I am looking for that speedy fielder who treats every deep fly ball like a big ‘ol can of corn... for that catcher who loves to wear the tools of ignorance and keeps the tailgate down... for the next wunderkind that, as he/she approaches the plate, looks hitterish.
This is truly opening day.
GCLL’s entire rosters will be in uniform. Well, in various different uniforms.
There will be wee ones, middle ones and larger ones... and those are just the parents.
Baseball and softball youth will be sporting every color of the rainbow. Roughly 512 players have already made a choice of one of 47 baseball, softball and tee ball teams.
Roughly 150 volunteer managers, coaches and league administrators from our rainy community are making sure cleats are on and shoelaces tied.
Roughly over 1000 parents, 2000 grandparents, assorted aunts and uncles, and friends and neighbors will be buying bug spray, sun lotion, and umbrellas for the season games, most will use all three at the same game.
It is said that opening day ball games will follow the ceremonies in almost every park, field, pitch and hamlet in the city… weather permitting.
It is also said that many fields are not quite basebally yet.
Your best bet is to come on out to the ballpark at 10 a.m. Saturday and check it all out for yourself.
League president Marcy Herman is leading the activities.
Jordan Harris will sing the National Anthem and flag bearers Sam Dobson and Riley Sikes will escort her onto the field.
Dobson and Sikes play for the GCLL major division Braves.
And how many professional players have you seen singing in front of thousands and then stepping up to the plate?
Harris is quite a player herself. She battled with the GCLL all-star team against Nunaka Valley in the state championship last summer and is currently on the Juneau-Douglas High School varsity team, whom she will be dashing to join over at Melvin Park 2 for the Crimson Bears softball tournament after her vocal renditions.
I love little league.
The 512 players will recite the Little League Pledge.
I believe they do this all together… not individually, although I have heard the word “sleepover” mentioned.
Anyway, the festivities will come to a close with long time league volunteer, and Chief Umpire, Tom Karpstein throwing out the first baseball and softball to a couple of Mid Night Sun catchers: Michael Cesar and Sophie Hultberg.
I am thinking by this time my snacks will be gone and my camera spent.
Then all that is left is watching some dead pull hitter crowd the plate and crank a cousin’s pitch for extra bases.
And then I get his/her autograph next to the fence.