Complete with a parade of teams, team photos, guest speakers and the ceremonial first pitch, this year's Middletown Little League Opening Day did not disappoint the hundreds of baseball/softball players, family members and fans who came together on the Aquidneck School Majors Field Saturday morning.
The "rainbow" of uniforms representing kids from tee-ball to softball to baseball was a striking sight to see as proud parents and fans lined the fences and back stop.
League President Paul Theriault commented on how this year's combined town/school and volunteer effort to maintain the many fields in town was especially critical as this past winter battered the properties.
Department of Public Works Director Tom O'Loughlin remarked that the town would see many improvements throughout the town's fields. Some of the project's include:
- Oliphant Field: An additional field with new fences and a new back stop have been installed with the process of finalizing the field and installing a new infield still in process.
- Lower Aquidneck Field: Temporary repairs have been conducted in collaboration with MLL and Mello Construction to take care of the standing water issue. Final repairs will be underway when this year's season has ended.
- Berkeley-Peckham Field: The backstop bleachers will be replaced by aluminum bleachers with a permanent male/female restroom to be built in a separate location. The current bleachers will return to the Gaudet fields when the project is completed.
Middletown Little League parent and Town Administrator Shawn Brown commented on the special relationship between the town and residents to make events like this one happen with such success, "What is so amazing about Opening Day is that the town alone could never do what the combined efforts of the town and its residents do to develop our kids - it's just special."
With special guests giving words of encouragement, volunteers and sponsors being honored and, of course, the first pitch of the season, Middletown ball players can look forward to many innings of fun and competition.
For more information and game schedules refer to the Middletown Little League website at www.midll.org