Youth take the field

Published 12:01 pm Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jared Dowdy, in the red shirt at right, sung the National Anthem during Monday afternoon's Leisure Services baseball and softball opening ceremonies at the Bill Reynolds Sports Park.

More than 1,000 players, ranging in age from 3 to 18 and representing 75 softball, baseball and T-ball teams, took part in opening ceremonies Monday evening at Bill Reynolds Sports Park.

The highlight of the evening came when Bainbridge Mayor Pro-Tem Phil Long threw out the first baseball and softball pitches. Sarah Hobby, the daughter of Chris and Anne Hobby and a member of the Woodmen of the World 11-to-13-year-old softball team caught the softball pitch. Alijah Madge, the son of Allen and Tiffany Madge and a member of team seven of the 5-and-6-year-old T-Ball League, caught the first baseball pitch.

Long was introduced by Bainbridge City Manager Chris Hobby, along with City Councilwoman Roslyn Palmer. Before throwing out the first pitches, Long talked about the dedication of the adults and youngsters involved in the programs.

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“Every one of these teams has a coach and a team mother who cares about all these kids,” he said, as he glanced around the field, filled with teams from the field’s first base line to the third base line.

Addressing the players, Long told them to go out there and “hit them where they’re not.”

As they came on the field, the teams were introduced to the audience by Adrienne Harrison, executive director of the City of Bainbridge Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Prior to the invocation, delivered by Brian Steward, youth pastor at the Bainbridge First Baptist Church, a moment of silence was held for the family of Remington Walden, a five-year-old boy who recently passed away. Walden had played T-ball in the Leisure Services league last spring. Walden, whose nickname was Remy, had a team named in his honor for this season.

The National Anthem was sung by Jared Dowdy to much applause.

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