“Without the hard work of the volunteers and coaches, who put in countless hours teaching our children the game of baseball, there would be no Little League,” Elizabethtown Boys Club (EBC) Vice President Brian Schoenberger said during his remarks at the opening ceremony of the 2008 EBC Little League season.
This season more volunteers than ever were needed as the league grew from 220 players to 295 according to first-year commissioner Rick Martin.
“I am most proud of all of the volunteers who donate their time, which allows the Etown Boys Club be able to teach all of the children who are lined up on the field the game of baseball, sportsmanship, and teamwork” Martin said.
“It’s exhausting work trying to get nine 5-year olds to understand the game of baseball,” Tigers assistant coach Frank Cross said, “but at the end of the day, when you see how much fun the kids are having, it is a neat experience.”
The EBC league has 25 different teams in three different age groups. The T-ball league (ages 5-6) has ten teams. The minor leagues (ages 7-9) also have ten. The major leagues (ages 10-12) have five teams. Every single player and coach involved in the league lined the field April 12th to take part in the opening ceremonies at Wenger Field before the games got underway.
This year for the opening ceremonies the main attraction for most of the players was a giant, blue river monster named Rascal. Rascal is one of two mascots for the Harrisburg Senators, a minor league team in the area, and most of the kids either mobbed him or ran away from him when given the opportunity.
“My favorite part was jumping on Rascal,” Mike Mungro, a 7-year old player for the Indians, said.
Also in attendance for the opening ceremony was Elizabethtown Fire Company, whose sirens went off in celebration while Elizabethtown Councilman Phil Clark threw out the first pitch of the season.
One of the highlights of the day took place during a major league game between the Yankees and Red Sox when the Yankees turned a double play in the fourth inning to stop the Red Sox from scoring and eventually going onto a 8-7 victory.
The regular season will last until June 14 when the playoffs will begin.
“Today was a great success,” Martin said. “I just hope the rest of the season the children will have fun, learn the game of baseball, and show good sportsmanship.”