McCormick Ranch Little League’s Opening Day 2022 was one for the books! We started with a parade, led by our Tee Ball teams. Coaches and players went all out in decorating posters. I even saw custom printed banners, balloons, and more. I’m not going to lie–seeing those little guys come down the main corridor brought a tear to my eye.
Once all of our teams were settled on the field, we were delighted by the vocal stylings of our National Anthem singer, Amelie Maldonado. She sang an acapella rendition met with endless applause and cheers. We were so honored to have Amelie!
Two outgoing MRLL Majors players, Will Ross and Dylan Carlson, recited the Pledge of Allegiance and Little League Pledge. Later in the ceremony, three additional outgoing players–Luca Montemore, Maddox Easterly, and Connor Huseth–participated in our first pitch ceremony. We also tried something new this year: a second first pitch. Rafaela Nogales, one of our Tee Ballers, has now “received the torch” and will see us through many more years of memories.
Although we kept our opening ceremonies short and sweet, it was still hot! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a line form so quickly at an ice cream truck. The kids gorged while parents did their best to keep them clean for team pictures. The music played, banners waved gently in the breeze, and families left the fields on Saturday decked out in brand new MRLL apparel.
We can’t forget the games! As the taco truck rolled in, our teams were playing ball. All but a handful of our older teams played right at Chaparral Park on Saturday, starting with Tee Ball. When I was removing the speaker system from Field 5, one of the Tee Ball games had already begun. I could have watched all day. I forget that at one point, all of our kiddos were that tiny. After a quick rest at home, I headed to Cocopah for my older son’s game. Then, the sun set on a spectacular day.
What did I learn? That simple fun is best. The chance to feel like a star when you walk in a parade or throw a first pitch is a memory you’ll take with you forever. Gene, MRLL’s former president, had Rafaela sign her first pitch ball for me and I’ll save it for always. I was also reminded that it takes a village–to raise our kids, coach our kids, feed our kids…and organize our kids into a parade. :)
It was an Opening Day to remember. Thank you for being a part of it!