Baseball is alive and well in sports capital Rocklin
With the chill of winter faintly apparent, the pageantry and ceremony of one of the countries great institutions got under way for the city of Rocklin Saturday morning.
Fifty-nine teams, made up of roughly 700 kids and coaches made their way onto Twin Oaks baseball field for the opening day of Rocklin Little League.
The Juniors Athletics and Angels opened the floodgates of camera flashes and applause as the teams of the 2013 season filled the infield.
From the seasoned veterans of the Juniors and Major Leagues, to the 4-year-old children set to play America’s national pastime for the first time; every aspect of the day exemplified the excitement for the game of baseball.
On hand for the event were Rocklin Mayor Diana Ruslin, city councilmen Scott Yuill, Dave Butler, and District 11 Little League representative Kevin Smith.
The Whitney High School color guard led the multitude of fans in officially beginning the season with the national anthem.
Each of last year’s league champions were honored, which included the AAA Rivercats and Juniors A’s. Both clubs went on to win the District 11 Tournament of Champions in their respective divisions.
The Rocklin Junior All Stars provided the height of the city’s success, as the team returned as District 11, Section 4, and Northern California Division II champions.
After the ceremonies had past, and the gift cards, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and LCD TV had been raffled off, first-year president Scott Brown spoke in an interview about the importance of Little League.
“It’s important to the city of Rocklin, but it’s more important to these kids,” said Brown. “Little League gives these kids an outlet, not only athletically, but allows them a chance to learn life lessons.
“It gives them a chance to be somewhere else and not getting in trouble,” added Brown.
A pair of teammates from the Farm White Sox, Tyler Lonergan and Alex Durham posed beside their family and friends as camera phones were exchanged in-and-out to capture the emotions of opening day.
With five years of experience shared between the two teammates, Lonergan and Durham provided their thoughts on what their favorite part of Little League was.
“It’s fun because you get to play a lot of baseball games,” said Lonergan, who slung his arm around the quieter Durham. “And the best thing is snack bar.”