Nearly three dozen teams braved a chilly wind on Saturday morning, March 8 to start their baseball and softball seasons, with Opening Day ceremonies hosted at Hogan Field.
Emcee Robert Swift also gave a little history lesson, noting that the complex on Escalon-Bellota Road has been renamed to reflect the contributions of longtime councilman and mayor Dave Ennis, who was a driving force in getting the sports complex completed.
“This was built without a single grant, it was all Escalon,” Swift told the assembled ball players, parents and community residents on hand for the ceremony.
“This complex came about through the work of many volunteers, the Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary, a lot of fundraising, hard physical work,” Swift added. “The grass was seeded by local farmers, it was all in the spirit of volunteerism that is Escalon.”
Ennis and Mark Hogan, son of Hogan Manufacturing founder Walt Hogan, cooperated in the project many years ago to bring the dream to fruition.
Saturday, the youngsters ready to play ball were appreciative, as they had green grass and lined infields to play on.
A total of 34 teams were introduced, many sponsored by local businesses and organizations, with the manager and coaches saluted as well. Games will be played in the T-ball (12 teams) division, with four Rookie Girl teams, six Rookie Boys, four Minor Girls, four Minor Boys, two Major Girls and two Major Boys team.
The Weston Ranch NJROTC presented the colors, the national anthem was sung, and Miss Escalon 2013 Spencer Borba threw a first pitch strike to Major Boys catcher Demetrius Teixeira of the Giants and the season was officially under way.