Young sluggers ready to play ball!
Last updated 2/28/2008 at Noon
The sights and sounds of members of the Fallbrook Youth Baseball League (FYBL) celebrating Opening Day filled Bronco Field at Fallbrook-Ingold Sports Park on Saturday, February 23.
Under clear blue skies, team players and their families enjoyed a pancake breakfast, perused booths containing baseball merchandise and took pleasure in the camaraderie of the event with other players.
Larry Van Laar, pastor of North Coast Church, led the invocation for the official Opening Ceremony, followed by Aisha Lund, a junior at Fallbrook High School, who sang the National Anthem.
President Lila McDonald offered a moment of silence to honor Coach Johnny P. Lopez Jr., who passed away February 14 from a heart attack.
Special guest Arlyne Ingold, the sports park’s namesake, was recognized for her philanthropic efforts and dedication to the community. Ingold was presented with an orchid plant as a special ‘thank you’ from the organization.
Professional baseball player and 1998 Fallbrook High School graduate Josh Carter threw the opening pitch to 12-year-old White Sox catcher Cory Souza.
The excitement ran high as team players happily reunited with friends from last season.
“It’s fun playing baseball,” said 7-year-old Evan Molden. “I like batting the best.”
Team member Alec McKay added, “I like running around the bases the most.”
Jason Tuch, 11, and A.J. Kressin, 12, laughed and horsed around with their teammates before lining up for the ceremony.
“I like stealing bases the most,” said Tuch, who got a nod of agreement from most of the group.
“Me, I like pitching the best,” added Kressin.
Following the games, a raffle and fundraiser was held at Cold Stone Creamery from 4 to 8 p.m. Raffle items donated by members of the community included baseball bats and gear, flowers, a massage package and more.
Cold Stone donated 20 percent of the day’s proceeds to the FYBL.
The Fallbrook Youth Baseball League provides opportunity for youth ages 5 through 15, or up to eighth grade. The divisions are as follows: Shetland (ages 5-6), Pinto (ages 7-8), Mustang (ages 9-10), Bronco (ages 11-12) and Pony (ages 13-15).
Currently, the league boasts 450 members.