Griswold Little League marks opening day with parade

By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Griswold - posted Mon., Apr. 22, 2013
Members of the Blue Jays Little League team in Gridwold stand at attention for the National Anthem during opening day ceremonies in Jewett City. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.
Members of the Blue Jays Little League team in Gridwold stand at attention for the National Anthem during opening day ceremonies in Jewett City. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.

A tribute to Boston led the way in the Griswold Little League’s annual opening day parade April 21, as squads of pint-sized sluggers marched up Main Street to the Hill Street athletic complex. Players from age 4 through their teens took part in the annual celebration under clear sunny skies. The parade ended at Whiteley Field, where players, coaches and families gathered to pledge to the flag, offer a prayer and sing a rousing chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

One of several teams named after the Red Sox led the parade, carrying a banner and signs in honor of the city, which had just begun to recover from a bombing the previous week at the Boston Marathon and a citywide lockdown that resulted in the apprehension of the surviving suspect.

A lifetime achievement award was presented to the family of Ronald Taylor, a longtime coach and Little League booster who died in September. “He was a constant person down here on the fields,” said his wife, Marie. First Selectman Phil Anthony threw out the season’s first pitch to Taylor’s grandson, Derek Taylor.

Players were raring to go out on the diamond for the first time this season. Carly, age 4 and a half, said that this would be her first year playing t-ball. But she already knew what she had to do. “When the ball comes you hit it,” she said.

Rebecca Wood, 13, of Jewett City, has been in Little League since she was Carly’s age. This year she’s playing softball for the Ducks; their first game of the season was slated for Wednesday against Norwich. “Last year I was playing mostly outfield. This year I have no idea what I’m playing,” she said. “I actually made All-Stars last year.” She also received the Tyler Marsh Award for good sportsmanship last season.

The award, instituted last year, was particularly significant for her since her older brother, Richard, was a friend of Tyler, an avid Griswold ballplayer who died in an August 2010 vehicle accident at age 19. “He loved baseball. He was always playing,” said Rebecca’s mother Janet Wood.

 


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