Junior Mason, superintendent of the Hagerstown Parks and Recreation Department, threw out the first pitch signaling the official start of baseball season.
With 14 teams and a total of 280 games over 10 weeks, league President Mike Houser said it’s certain to be an action-packed season.
The league’s four T-ball teams (ages 4 to 6), four Minor League teams (ages 7 to 11) and six Little League teams (ages 9 to 12) each play two games per week, Houser said.
On Saturday, there were three Little League games, and two games were played in both the Minor and T-ball leagues.
Conococheague Little League in Williamsport also held opening ceremonies on Saturday.
Houser has served on the league’s board for 28 years, but this is his first year as president.
During baseball season, it’s not unusual for Houser to spend 10 to 12 hours a day at the field.
But he said it’s not a burden. It’s a labor of love.
“I do this for the kids,” he said. “They learn so much from baseball. They learn respect, camaraderie, discipline and just plain fun.”
Eight-year-old Labron Carroll and his brother, Landan, 7, were so excited about baseball season that they woke their father up bright and early on Saturday.
“I have fun (playing baseball),” Labron said.
Labron’s father, Joshua Carroll, is helping coach his sons’ Minor League team.
“This is their first year and they wanted to play baseball,” he said. “They’ll learn to work together (on a team) and they’ll have fun.”
This is D’Andre Eby’s third year playing baseball for West End Little League.
“It’s something that we do together,” said Arnold Eby, D’Andre’s father. “It’s something that helps him learn a lot of lessons about life — about persistence that things don’t always come easy, and that you get out of life what you put in.”
D’Andre, 9, also plays basketball, but said baseball is by far his favorite sport.
“I’m really excited that baseball is here,” the center fielder said.
This year, 200 youths are playing for West End Little League, but Houser said he won’t turn anyone away who still wants to play.
As long as they pay the registration fee, they can play Minor League or T-ball, Houser said.
Registration is $50 for the first child, $30 for the second and $20 for each additional child.
The following are the times for opening ceremonies April 14 for Little Leagues in Washington County:
- American Little League, 10 a.m.
- Clear Spring Little League, 9 a.m.
- Federal Little League, 9 a.m.
- Halfway Little League, noon
- Hancock Little League, 10 a.m.
- Maugansville Little League, 10 a.m.
- National Little League, 10 a.m.
- Sharpsburg Little League, 10 a.m.
- South Mountain Little League, 10 a.m.
- Valley Little League, 9 a.m.