The sun was out, the grass was freshly mowed and John Fogerty’s “Center Field” blared on the PA as hundreds of youngsters walked down to Jannitto Field to start the Warren Little League season Saturday morning.
The season’s start had been planned for the previous Saturday, April 26, but rain postponed festivities until this past weekend. League president Steve Calenda told the crowd that volunteers had been working right up until the last minute to get the field ready — “it’s a great volunteer effort,” he said.
The kids didn’t seem to care about who was standing at the mic stand set up at home plate. They shuffled around the field, waiting for player introductions and the first pitch. Some goofed around, others waited quietly. Most wore shiny new cleats and sharp leather gloves, though a few had old beaters handed down from their fathers. They wore Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Angels, Tigers and other big-league uniforms, all sponsored by local businesses.
At the conclusion of the hour-long ceremony, long-time volunteer Kevin Ferias was given the first ever “Kevin M. Ferias Distinguished Volunteer Award” and, flanked by his son and daughter, got the honor of throwing out the first pitch.
The crowd cheered, and the kids got ready for baseball.