The skies were cloudy and there was a bit of a chill in the air, but the dozens of young ballplayers lining up on the playing fields at Hogan-Ennis Park didn’t seem to mind at all.
Saturday, March 7 was Opening Day for the City of Escalon’s recreational baseball-softball program and nearly 40 teams were there to be introduced. Ranging in age from the T-Ball division to Major Boys and the 14 and Under Softball Girls, the teams enjoyed the chance to get out on the diamond and play a few innings.
Serving as emcee was Mayor Robert Swift, who offered thanks to the city’s Recreation Commission members and city rec staff and also gave a special nod to Krandal Vandagriff for overseeing the field preparation, as he has done for several years.
Swift also urged the crowd to take note of the various business banners posted on backstops and new home run fences around the fields.
He said the Recreation Commission decision to offer the banner spaces for sale helped raise money to purchase the home run fences as well as to bring in new dirt for the fields. Also completed in time for opening day was new overflow parking, adjacent to the fields and just past Escalon Feed along Escalon-Bellota Road.
After the Escalon American Legion Post 263 colorguard brought in the colors, accompanied by members of the new Cub Scout Pack 263, the microphone was turned over to Raegan Goff. The 15-year-old Escalon High School sophomore sang the National Anthem to officially begin the ceremonies. That was followed by the reading of the team names, manager, coaches and sponsors for each division, with Recreation Commission member Malinda Walker handling that portion of the program.
Cub Scout Emily Govia, 9, a member of the new pack in the community, was selected to throw out the first pitch and, once the opening ceremonies were concluded, it was time to play ball for another season.
Govia, a third grader at Dent Elementary, is one of several youngsters in the newly formed Cub Scout Pack, which meets the second and fourth Mondays of the month at the American Legion Hall on Second Street at 6:30 p.m.
And while the rain held off for the start of the 8 a.m. opening ceremonies, a number of games later in the day were played with some raindrops falling, but not enough to dampen the spirits of the ballplayers or their fans.