Rockville Little League opens for 62nd season
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon/Rockville - posted Thu., Apr. 26, 2012
Cloudy skies and a light rain couldn't dampen the spirits at the 62nd Opening Day ceremony for the Rockville Little League on April 22. All of the 12 teams and most of the 160 players in the league came out for the event.
“We're just trying to beat the rain,” said League President Chris Holt.
The players, coaches and onlookers observed the national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance. Player Francis Collins also led the Little League Pledge. State Sen. Tony Guglielmo, state Rep. Claire Janowski, Vernon Deputy Mayor Brian Motola and Parks and Rec. Director Bruce Dinnie were among dignitaries on hand for the occasion.
League Vice President Larry Bojarski, who served as master of ceremonies for the event, said the league has many great volunteers, but is always in need of more. “There's always work to be done,” Bojarski said. “There are always dugouts that need to be painted, and signs that need to be hung. After weather like this, there are fields that need to be raked.”
Bojarski said the league doesn't just teach baseball, but also other valuable lessons. “All of our coaches instill in the players a sense of sportsmanship, teach them the rules of the game and teach them how to be good sports,” Bojarski said, adding that parents and spectators help with that, as well.
“We need to have you model that sportsmanship when you're watching the games,” he said. “We need you to cheer for your team, and for good plays, no matter who makes them.”
He also reminded parents that the league's sole fundraiser will be held on May 11 and 12. Players and parents will be collecting donations at various local businesses.
Deputy Mayor Brian Motola read a proclamation from Mayor George Apel, officially celebrating the occasion. Janowski had the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, which according to catcher Ryan Burkhardt of the Exchange team, was a strike right down the middle.
“It was perfect,” he said. “It was a good pitch.”
After the ceremony, and despite the rain, a few of the games were able to start, as the field conditions had not yet deteriorated. Among the opening day games at Henry Park was a match-up between teams representing the Exchange Club and the Thaddeus Kosciuszko Brotherhood Society.
Burkhardt, who started at pitcher for Exchange, hit a grand slam in the second inning, leaving a score of 9 to 1 before the game was called after three innings. The game was scheduled to be finished on April 27.
For more information, visit www.rockvillelittleleague.com.