A beautiful spring day was on tap as the Point Pleasant Youth Baseball and Softball Association opened the 2012 season with its annual Opening Day Parade and Ceremony.
The parade stepped off from the Boro High School at 10:00 am on April 21.
Players and family members from the league’s 58 teams hit the streets by winding their way down River Avenue, turning right onto Maplewood Avenue and then looping around the fields, entering the McKennan Lake Field Complex from the east side.
League President Jerry Gencarelli enthusiastically announced the teams and their coaches as they marched their way onto the field. The brightly colored jerseys created quite a spectacular view as the players settled in on the grass bordering the Major 70 infield for the ceremony.
Following the introduction of teams, Mr. Gencarelli welcomed the players and guests and offered opening remarks. This was followed by the presentation of the American flag by VFW Post 4715 from Point Pleasant Beach.
The players and their families proudly recited the Pledge of Allegiance as the flag was raised and they remained standing as a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem was sung by resident and league volunteer Mrs. Allison Slowey.
Before moving on to the rest of the ceremony, the VFW Post provided an added touch by firing off three rifles and a cannon.
President Gencarelli acknowledged the PPYBSA 9 Year Old 2011 All Star team as well as the 15U 2011 All Star team and congratulated both on being named the 2011 Cal Ripken District 2 Champions in their respective divisions.
The players from the 9 Year Old All Star team bounded up to stand by their team's banner and proudly tipped their caps as Gencarelli announced each of their names. A true picture of the joy of youth baseball!
The ceremony concluded with Point Pleasant Mayor William Schroeder and Boro School Board President, and league volunteer, Sean Hagan throwing out the ceremonial first pitches to officially open the season.
Mayor Schroeder offered some inspirational words to the players and wished them well. Soon after, Gencarelli officially opened the 2012 season with the cry of "Play Ball!"
Now that the season is underway, folks can take in the action almost every night of the week as well as Saturdays. The league makes use of the fields at Community Park on Bridge Avenue, the Boro High School JV baseball field, the Memorial Middle school softball field as well as the diamonds at McKennan Lake Field Complex.
For more information about the league and the game schedules, log on to the league’s website at www.pointbaseball.com.