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Opening Day for Artesia Youth Baseball and Softball

Banner winners

WINNERS: Artesia Padres players, coached and parents cheer after winning the Best Banner Contest on opening day. Photo by Kristen Keiser, City of Artesia.



By Tammye McDuff

Celebrating the beginning of the youth baseball and softball spring season, the City of Artesia started the day with a pancake breakfast benefiting the youth league Saturday, March 7, 2015 at Artesia Park.

The Annual Pancake Breakfast was hosted by the Artesia Parent Volunteer Group [APV]. The City originally created this group ten years ago to assist in providing support to the baseball and softball programs. The APV donated dry fit jerseys with team logos to each player, painted all the back stops for opening day, donated a pitching machine and purchased green screen nettings for diamond one, three and four to help shade the dugouts.

Members of the APV board were responsible for the organization of Opening Day.  The pancake breakfast served more than 300 people and earned over $1800.00 for the programs. At $5.00 a plate each person received three pancakes, two sausages, scrambled eggs and a choice of beverage.  Rene Travino, APV board member stated, “this is the most successful breakfast we have had. I would venture to say that 80 percent of the attendees were team members and families, with the remaining 20 percent coming from the community.”  The team that sold the most tickets to the breakfast was the Pee Wee Cubs, selling 101. They will receive a pizza party for all their hard work. The APV also served up 250 hot dogs as a free lunch for all the kids.

Opening ceremonies included the introduction of all the teams, six teams of Little T-Ball [4-6 years]; 11 Little League Baseball teams [7–14 years] and two girls’ softball teams. After an absence of softball teams since 2009, the City decided to reintroduce girl’s teams in 2014.

Teams competed in a banner contest fundraiser. The City Council chose the Pee Wee Padres as the most creative banner for the second year in a row.  The banner was decorated in team colors of brown and yellow with baseball cutouts, the teams name and names of all the players.

The opening pitch was thrown out by Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez of California’s 46th Congressional District to Artesia Mayor Pro Tem Victor Manalo. Several other officials attended the ceremonies, Artesia Council members Sally Flowers and Tony Lima; Representative Michael Vuong from Congresswoman Linda Sanchez office and Ursula Parra of Senator Tony Mendoza office assisted with the pancake breakfast.

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez gave the opening speech saying that she had come from a baseball family. “Remember if you work hard, practice everyday and play your best game, you will all be champions!”