EATON — Eaton Little League geared up for Opening Day over the past few weeks with final touches around the ball parks and as many practices as the weather would allow.
The league had a like-new fence installed around the Minor League field, repaired storage buildings, stocked the concession stand, hung sponsorship signs, and manicured the fields.
ELL has over 40 local business sponsors this year and over 100 volunteer coaches. There are 12 t-ball teams, eight softball teams, and 21 baseball teams this year, filled with over 440 4-18-year-olds.
Saturday, April 30, Opening Day involved all those listed above, plus their many family and friend supporters. Although it rained all morning, it stopped long enough for the parade and ceremony to take place. League President Kyle Cross was the ceremony spokesman with close help from the other 2016 ELL Board members; VP Tim Davis, Player Agent Chuck Winings, Baseball Commissioner Kevin Melling Sr., Softball Commissioner Dave Ditmer, Treasurer Kevin Kochensparger, Concessions Manager Bonita Reyna, and Assistant Player Agent Rhonda Winings.
The 2016 Pieratt Volunteer of the Year Award was presented in honor of Steve Pieratt to Softball Commissioner and team manager Dave Ditmer. The season’s blessing was delivered by Reverend Wayne Morrison of Eaton First Presbyterian Church, and the National Anthem was performed by Eaton High School’s Choir Ensemble. Thanks to the initiative of Frank Marshall, a food drive was started, and will continue next Saturday, May 7, to help “strike out hunger” in Preble County. All raffle ticket profits and donated foods going to the Preble County Food Bank.
The rain quickly returned after the ceremony and only allowed three baseball games to get started, but they were all suspended due to persistent rain.
The season will continue this week through July 9. Schedules and a calendar of events can be found on the league’s website, www.leaguelineup.com/eatonlittleleague.