BRAWLEY — “America’s Favorite Pastime” drew hundreds of youth baseball players and hundreds more of their family members to gather at the Volunteer Park Little League fields in Brawley for Opening Ceremonies and the start of the 2015 baseball season.
With “fair weather” passed, the warm dusk made for an enjoyable evening and set the stage for the excitement the beginning of the season generates.
President of Brawley Little League three of the past four years, Jesse Rodriguez, welcomed all those present. He introduced Kelly Rodriguez who sang “The Star Spangled Banner.” Daniel Heihn, youth pastor from Western Avenue Baptist, followed with a blessing . He also prayed for a safe and fun season, and that all the players give it their best. He thanked all the parents and volunteers who give their time to make it possible for Little League to succeed.
Tommy Spear reminded everyone about Little League’s biggest fund raiser, the April 12th BBQ dinner at the Lion’s Center. Tickets for the BBQ are $10 and each player is encouraged to sell all their tickets. The Brawley Little League has earned the reputation of being one of the northend’s best BBQs and has lasted through the decades.
All Board members were introduced:President- Jesse Rodriguez Vice-President- Ralph Lopez, Secretary-Cynthia Dickerson Treasurer- Jennifer Layaye, Safety Coordinator- Brett Houser Equipment Manager- Luis Magana, Snack Bar Coordinator- Isabel Magana Banner Sales/Fundraiser- Kelly Rodriguez, Player Agent- Tina Reina, and Coaches Coordinator- Mario Reina.
This season will include 21 teams in four different Divisions.
After the introduction of players and coaching staff from each team, the ceremonial “First Pitch” was thrown. On the mound for this special moment were representatives from Mothers Against Gangs (M.A.G.). It was in honor of Martin Garza Jr., a former Brawley Little League player. M.A.G. fights for the justice being sought for Martin’s tragic and senseless murder two years ago. Two pitches were made, one by Martin’s sister, Yulinda Garza, and a second by father, Martin Garza Sr.
The Little League Pledge was presented by Minor B’s team Royals as all twelve loudly and proudly recited much to the appreciation of those attending:
I Trust in God
I Love My Country
And Will Respect Its Laws
I Will Play Fair and Strive To Win
But Win or Lose, I Will always Do My Best