Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Don't Miss Little League Opening Day Celebration Saturday at Playfields

Once again, Northeast Seattle Little League (NESLL) will host an Opening Day celebration at the Laurelhurst Playfields.

It will be an exciting day with games all day and other events and some surprises as the NESLL President has told us.

Don't miss the exciting event in our own backyard!

We contacted Dennis Cearns, President of NESLL about this exciting event.

He sent us the above pictures - the one on the left is of a UW Husky baseball player with two NESLL players and the picture on the right same UW Husky baseball player and Dennis doing pre-game introductions.

Read on to hear about all the details and exciting things lined-up Dennis sent to us:

This is our third Opening Day celebration, which gets a bit grander every year.

We play 8 games on 2 fields, complete with announcers, concession stand, latte stand, and special presentations between each game. Games start at 9:15 and the last games start at 5:00.

We'll have one girl's fastpitch softball game and 7 baseball games.

We have several special events scheduled (and maybe a few surprises):

UW Husky baseball players will be on hand to throw out the first pitch, shake hands with our players, and sign autographs for the boys.

We use this as an opportunity to stress the importance of doing their best in school, not just sports, by highlighting the Husky ballplayers academics as well as their baseball skills.

We also do a photo with the players - see attached photos from last year. Husky ballplayers come to every game during the day to throw out first pitches and meet the kids. NESLL is very thankful for the generosity of their time and to KevinTicen and Katie Silva of the Husky baseball program for arranging for the players.

Between games, we will introduce our two All Star teams that advanced to the State tournaments last year: our Majors Division Fastpitch Softball team finished second in the state and our 10/11 year old baseball team finished 4th in State.

We will have sponsor representatives from our neighborhood businesses on hand to throw out the first pitch of each game. This is a really fun part of the celebration - in the past we have had Beverly Schaefer, owner of Katterman's Pharmacy who has sponsored NESLL teams for over 40 years, Kosta Varlamos of Varlamos Pizza who has also sponsored for years and has boys playing in the league, and Dr. Tony Lovrovich also a long time sponsor.

Other sponsors that we hope to have on hand include Dr. Randall Broom DDS, Tom Maider of, Dr. Gonsulus of North Seattle Orthodontics, Jeanne Ianelli of UVillage Kumon, Steve Knight of Olympic Eagle Distributing, Jae Oh of Georgio's Subs, Melanie Veazey of Burgermaster, and a few others.

We publish a program with lineups of every team, a "thanks" to our more than 60 sponsors, and some of my favorite baseball quotes. We announce lineups and action throughout the game. As the lineups are announced, the players come out on the field, line up before their parents and fans, say the Little League pledge, and stand for the national anthem.

It's a BIG deal, especially for the 9 and 10 year old players who have not participated in Opening Day before.

Throughout the day, we will probably have on the order of 500 to 600 people in the park, counting players, coaches and fans. Last I checked, the weather report called for sunshine and almost 70 degrees.

We have umpires all signed up for the games. In fact, we have umpires in line for almost every game of the season, which is extraordinary. In addition to neighborhood volunteers, we recruit UW students to umpire both our baseball and softball games. We provide them a night of rules training and a 3-hour field mechanics training and then put them to work. The UW students are a great resource to NESLL and we could not get sufficient umpires without them.

It's a great event. We would love to have the neighborhood come out and enjoy everyone's favorite rite of spring - Opening Day.

Thanks again for your interest in NESLL baseball and softball.

Come out and enjoy a great springtime celebration of youth baseball and softball.

Denny Cearns
NESLL President

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