It has been a passage of spring in these parts for years, and on Saturday at high noon over 250 kids aged 4-18 along with 28 coaches representing all six divisions filed out onto the field at Springwood Old for Oceanside Minor Baseball’s opening day ceremonies.
“It went great — we were thrilled,” OMB president Mike Parlow said after the dust had settled, adding “somebody likes us — the weather was fabulous for the second straight year.”
In the annual parade of sponsors, the teams took to the field carrying signs with the names of the sponsors.
Parlow welcomed everyone in attendance, Jesse Kelly sang the national anthem, and Save-On-Foods’ store manager Bruce Brown threw the ceremonial first pitch.
“I’m going with a slider this year instead of the heat,” Bruce chuckled prior to the pitch, adding, “this year I loosened up by throwing rocks, so I feel good, I’m ready to go.”
This is the third straight year Save-On-Foods has stepped up to the plate as OMB’s main sponsor, and over 500 hot dogs were served up on Saturday.
As always, the smiles on the faces of the kids said it all as teams with names like the Bukluks, the Dawgs, the Pineapples, the Flipsiders and the Cobras took to the field to mark the official start of a season that will run through to June 26, followed by the summer season which goes to the August long weekend.
Worth noting is that almost every player signed on with OMB this year — registration by the way is up by about 10 per cent — was on hand Saturday, “which is a real testament to the coaches and division coordinators getting everybody organized.”
After the opening ceremonies the kids and their coaches dug in for a full slate of games.
“Save-on-Foods again did a fabulous job with opening day, but that’s just a part of the story,” said Parlow, adding, “their support allows us to think longer term as an organization and really focus on creating the best experience for the kids … what they’re doing is just brilliant.”
Oceanside Minor Baseball in its current form was formed in 1991, and prior to that it was Parksville/Qualicum Baseball which goes back to the early 80s.
In the Pee Wee division:
• The Silver Bullets beat the Pineapples 8-2, the Dawgs dumped the Blues 11-7 and the Bukluks beat the Nanaimo Athletics 8-5.
• In the Mosquito Division the Cobras clipped the Eagles 8-2 and the Hornets stung the Steelers 8-4.